flatfish


flat·fish

noun \ˈflat-ˌfish\

: a fish (such as a halibut, flounder, or sole) that has a flat body and swims on its side with both eyes on the upper side

Full Definition of FLATFISH

:  any of an order (Heterosomata) of marine typically bottom-dwelling bony fishes (as the halibuts, flounders, turbots, and soles) that as adults swim on one side of the laterally compressed body and have both eyes on the upper side

First Known Use of FLATFISH

1710

flatfish

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Flatfish (Scophthalmus).—Jacques Six

Any of about 600 species (order Pleuronectiformes) of oval-shaped, flattened bony fishes (e.g., flounder, turbot) found from tropical to cold waters. Most are marine and live at moderate depths along the continental shelf, but some enter or live permanently in fresh water. Flatfishes are carnivorous bottom dwellers that habitually rest on one side, often partly buried in the sand or mud. Some can also change colour to blend with their surroundings. Both eyes are on one side of the head. The eyed side of the fish (uppermost as it lies on the bottom) is pigmented, but the lower, blind side is normally white. Species vary from 4 in. (10 cm) to 7 ft (2 m) long, and some (e.g., the Atlantic halibut) may weigh as much as 720 lb (325 kg). Many species are highly valued as food. See also plaice; sole.

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