; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes)
A very large family of small, mostly marine fish found in shallow waters, even in tidal pools, in large numbers. They are identifiable by their long dorsal and anal fins, virtually naked skin, and two pronounced rays in each of the pelvic fins located below the gills; often they have tufts of skin (tentacles) above the head. Many species rely on skin coloration for protection. There are about 550 species, distributed world-wide in tropical and temperate waters.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.