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triggerfish

triggerfish, any of several species of tropical reef fishes with laterally compressed bodies, heavy scales, and tough skins. They are named for the mechanism of the three spines of the dorsal fin: when the fish is alarmed the first of these spines is locked upright by the second and drops only when the latter is pressed like a trigger. The function of this reaction is to lock the fish firmly in a mass of coral; when attacked, the fish dives into the coral and erects the spine, releasing it only when the danger has passed. Triggerfishes have powerful, chisellike teeth adapted for cracking the coral and mollusks on which they feed. They average 1 lb (0.45 kg) in weight and 1 ft (30 cm) in length and are common around the West Indies and Florida. The gray, or common, triggerfish is variably colored in mottled browns, yellows, or grays, but many other species are strikingly colored, e.g., the queen triggerfish in blue, green, and yellow. The ocean triggerfish, which unlike most triggerfishes found in waters away from reefs, among seaweed or debris; it is up to 2 ft (60 cm) long and may weigh as much as 13 lb (6 kg). Triggerfish are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Tetraodontiformes, family Balistidae.

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"triggerfish." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"triggerfish." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/triggerfish

triggerfish

trig·ger·fish / ˈtrigərˌfish/ • n. (pl. same or -fishes) a marine fish (family Balistidae: numerous genera and species) occurring chiefly in tropical inshore waters. It has a large, stout dorsal spine that can be erected and locked into place, allowing the fish to wedge itself into crevices.

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"triggerfish." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"triggerfish." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/triggerfish

"triggerfish." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/triggerfish

triggerfish

triggerfish Any of several tropical marine fish found in warm, shallow Pacific waters, identified by a dorsal fin spine that can be erected to lodge the fish in a coral cavity, as a protection against predators. Length: to 60cm (24in). Family Balistidae; typical genus Balistoides.

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"triggerfish." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"triggerfish." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/triggerfish

"triggerfish." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/triggerfish

triggerfish

triggerfish See BALISTIDAE.

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"triggerfish." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"triggerfish." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved December 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/triggerfish