Cottidae (sculpin, father lasher; subclass Actinopterygii, order Scorpaeniformes) A very large family of marine and freshwater fish, all of which have a bony support beneath the eye, and the eyes placed high on the head. There is a deep notch between the two dorsal fins, and the large pectorals are wing-like. Most sculpins are found in inshore situations; some species (e.g. Gymnocanthus tricuspis, staghorn sculpin) live in cold polar waters. Myoxocephalus scorpius (father lasher), of the N. Atlantic, is a voracious predator but is used as a source of bait and fishmeal. There are about 300 species, widespread in non-tropical regions. See also PSYCHROLUTIDAE.
scul·pin / ˈskəlpən/ • n. a chiefly marine fish (Cottidae and related families) of the northern hemisphere, with a broad flattened head and spiny scales and fins. Many genera and numerous species include the bullheads.
sculpin any of several spiny fishes. XVII. perh. alt. of scorpene — L. scorpæna — Gr. skórpaina, presumably f. skorpios SCORPION.
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