; subclass Actinopterygii, order Pleuronectiformes)
A large family of mainly marine, shallow-water flatfish, in which both eyes lie on the left side of the body. The dorsal fin originates in front of the eyes and spines are absent from all the fins. Many species are of small to moderate size. Others, e.g. Scophthalmus maximus (European turbot) and Paralichthys californicus (California halibut), are of considerable economic value. Flatfish are known for their remarkable colour adaptations to the prevailing background. There are about 425 species, with world-wide distribution.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.