; subclass Actinopterygii, order Tetraodontiformes)
A small family of marine, warm- to temperate-water fish in which the short, rotund body is covered by numerous hard spines. The teeth are fused in each jaw, resembling the beak of a parrot. Porcupine fish are well known for their peculiar habit of distending themselves with water until the body assumes a nearly spherical shape. The inflated, dried skin has been used to make lampshades. There are at least 15 species, inhabiting the coastal regions of the oceans.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.