MATTHEW OLDFIELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MATTHEW OLDFIELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lionfish. Spotfin lionfish (Pterois antennata) on a coral reef. This is a carnivorous fish which inhabits the reefs of the tropical Indo-Pacific region. It feeds mainly on smaller fish and crustaceans. Its fins comprise spines attached to poison glands. The venom is highly toxic and may even prove fatal to humans if a sting is not treated. Unlike most venomous fish, the lionfish does not use its poisonous fins only in passive defence. It is known to swim at other fish or humans with the intention of stinging them. It may reach 20 centimetres in length. Photographed off Lankayan, Malaysia.
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