Lionfish

Lionfish

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Credit: MATTHEW OLDFIELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lionfish (Pterois volitans) in a sponge. This brightly-coloured and distinctive fish lives in coral reefs and around rocky shorelines in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. It is a nocturnal predator, chasing smaller fish and crustaceans into crevices before eating them. It possesses flowing fins reinforced with spines which can inject a powerful venom. This venom is mainly used for defence rather than on the fish's prey, and is strong enough to be potentially fatal to humans. Adult lionfish may reach 50 centimetres in length. Photographed off Mabul Island, Malaysia.

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Keywords: animal, bony fish, carnivore, carnivorous, deadly, displaying, fatal, indian, lionfish, mabul, malaysian, marine, nature, nocturnal, oceans, pacific, pisces, poisonous, predatory, pterois volitans, sea, sponge, toxic, underwater, wildlife, zoology

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