Lionfish, Pterois volitans, in coral reef

Lionfish, Pterois volitans, in coral reef

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Credit: DR GEORGE GORNACZ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lionfish. A colourful lionfish Pterois volitans, which is also known as the zebrafish or firefish and which is poisonous. The large fins situated behind the head are used as a net to drive prey into the corners of cliffs and reefs, where it is eaten. The bright colours of the lionfish warn other creatures that it is poisonous. The dorsal fin spines are elongated and contain a group of glandular cells at their base, which produce a strong toxin. The poison is stored in the surrounding skin and sent into a wound through the spines. The lionfish is aggressive and the spines are used for attack as well as defence. Photographed on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

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Keywords: animal, bony fish, firefish, fish, lion, lion fish, lionfish, nature, pisces, poisonous, poisonous fish, pterois volitans, type, warning colours, wildlife, zebra fish, zoology

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