; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes)
A fairly large family of colourful marine fish that have an oval-shaped body, continuous dorsal fin, large scales, and with the teeth in both jaws fused into a strong cutting edge, resembling the beak of a parrot. This ‘beak’ is used to scrape off algae and other plant material from rocks and corals. Active during the day, parrotfish have been observed to sleep or rest during the night. Like the related wrasses (Labridae), colour patterns can change during the day and may differ between the sexes. One of the larger species is Scarus coeruleus (blue parrotfish), 1.2 m, found in the western Atlantic. There are about 68 species, distributed world-wide in tropical to temperate waters.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.