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toadfish

toadfish, common name for the sluggish, bottom-feeding fishes of the family Batrachoididae, found mainly in marine and brackish waters worldwide. Toadfishes feed largely on crustaceans and small fishes. The head of a toadfish is broad and flat, with barbels and fleshy fringes, sharp gill covers, and spiny protrusions on the cheeks; the mouth is enormous and has many sharp teeth. The scaleless, slimy body tapers to a slender tail. Some toadfishes grow up to 22 in. (57 cm) in length, but most are smaller. The eggs, sometimes laid in empty shells or tin cans, are guarded viciously by the male. The midshipmen (Porichthys species) of the same family are deepwater fishes of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, with many small luminescent organs on the underside of the body. Other members of the family, found in tropical waters, have venomous spines. Toadfishes and their relatives are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Batrachoidiformes, family Batrachoididae.

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toadfish

toadfish See BATRACHOIDIDAE.

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Toadfish

Toadfish

Toadfish are a poorly known group of marine fishes, the vast majority of which live close to the shoreline but remain close to the sea bed. Unlike most fish, these animals are extremely vocal, with some authorities even reporting that their loud calls can be heard out of water. One North American genus, Porichthys, is more commonly known as the singing midshipman. The calls are produced by muscular contractions of the swimming bladder; the intensity of the sound is related to the degree of stimulation by the muscles. Toadfish are renowned for their territorial behavior, and it is likely that these loud calls have developed to warn off potential rivals through a series of grunts and postures. As an additional deterrent to potential attackers, toadfish have a number of venomous spines which can inflict an irritating, if not lethal, injection of toxins to a would-be predator.

Another peculiar adaptation of toadfish is the large number of light-emitting cells, or photophores, that are scattered around the body. A toadfish can have as many as 700 of these specialized glands. They are thought to contain large numbers of luminescent bacteria, but their purpose is not yet fully understood. In some species these lights, which may flash on and off, serve to attract prey or mates. In contrast to the habitat of most toadfish, similar light-emitting organs are most often found in deep sea fishes and often those that inhabit the deepest and darkest reaches of the oceans.

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Notes:
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Toadfish

Toadfish

Toadfish are a poorly known group of marine fishes, the vast majority of which live close to the shoreline but remain close to the sea bed. Unlike most fish , these animals are extremely vocal, with some authorities even reporting that their loud calls can be heard out of water . One North American genus, Porichthys, is more commonly known as the singing midshipman. The calls are produced by muscular contractions of the swimming bladder; the intensity of the sound is related to the degree of stimulation by the muscles. Toadfish are renowned for their territorial behavior , and it is likely that these loud calls have developed to warn off potential rivals through a series of grunts and postures. As an additional deterrent to potential attackers, toadfish have a number of venomous spines which can inflict an irritating, if not lethal, injection of toxins to a would-be predator .

Another peculiar adaptation of toadfish is the large number of light-emitting cells, or photophores, that are scattered around the body. A toadfish can have as many as 700 of these specialized glands . They are thought to contain large numbers of luminescent bacteria , but their purpose is not yet fully understood. In some species these lights, which may flash on and off, serve to attract prey or mates. However, these features are most often found in deep sea fishes and often those that inhabit the deepest and darkest reaches of the oceans.

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"Toadfish." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Toadfish." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved December 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/toadfish

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Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

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American Psychological Association

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Notes:
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