surgeonfish

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English[edit]

'Acanthurus xanthopterus, a surgeonfish with the mark on the caudal peduncle showing the location of the sharp spine alongside the tail.
The exposed spine of the surgeonfish species Acanthurus xanthopterus

Etymology[edit]

surgeon +‎ fish

Noun[edit]

surgeonfish (plural surgeonfishes or surgeonfish)

  1. Any of many species of reef-dwelling fishes, most of them brightly coloured, of the family Acanthuridae. They are named "surgeonfish" because they bear erectile, scalpel-like, dangerously sharp spines on either side of the caudal peduncle.

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