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What Is a Goatfish?

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  • Written By: Alex Said
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The name Goatfish refers to a large group of fish species that are within the family Mullidae and in the order Perciformes. There are over 50 different fish species that belong to this family. The species are grouped together based on their location, their environment, and their appearance. They are tropical fish and tend to stay in warmer areas of the world. During their development, they can be found in schools of other fish species, but this does not usually last, and this fish family will branch off and live solitary lives during adulthood.

The main sources of food for the goatfish include small fish, crustaceans, worms, and even molluscs. Goatfish have tiny whiskers protruding from their chin; there are specialized organs within these whiskers that help in sensing and searching out prey. These fish usually stay within relatively deep parts of the ocean, and the specialized organs within their whiskers are so efficient that they can detect prey all the way down to the bottom of the ocean. Some species of the fish are night feeders, while other species will hunt during the day.

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There are many species of goatfish, and each has their unique physical characteristics to make them efficient in their environment. In terms of appearance, however, goatfish do have common features that are relatively common across the species. One notable characteristic is color; this fish has the ability to change the color of their scales depending on their activity. Another common trait among this group is their long-cigar shaped bodies. The fins in their rear and the spacing between the fins can be used as a way to help identify a species from this family.

Fish from this family can usually be found in tropical areas of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Although salt water is their most common habitat, goatfish have been known to survive in rivers and other fresh waters. They are also not social creatures, and often live the majority of their lives alone. They will spawn a number of eggs, but do not care for their offspring. Some species will travel along with other school fish during their development, but usually spend their adult life alone.

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