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Dactylopteridae (flying gurnard; subclass Actinopterygii, order Dactylopteriformes) A small family of marine, tropical to subtropical fish which have a somewhat bizarre profile. The very large pectoral fins are wing-like, the fin tips reaching the tail fin when folded. Two free spines preceding the first dorsal fin are well forward on the back. The pelvic fins are used by the fish to ‘walk’ on the sea-bottom, and the pectoral ‘wings’ are used to glide over it. There are about four species, widely distributed in coastal areas. The fairly common Dactylopterus volitans grows to 35 cm.

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