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Parrotfish facts for kids

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Parrotfish
Cetoscarus ocellatus Great Barrier Reef.jpg
Bicolour parrotfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Labroidei
Family: Scaridae

Parrotfishes are a group of marine fishes that live in shallow tropical and subtropical oceans around the world. Previously considered to form a separate family (Scaridae), these fish are now thought to belong to the large family of wrasses (Labridae). Their numbers are largest in the Indo-Pacific region where they are found in and around coral reefs and seagrass beds. They play an important part in bioerosion. There are about 95 species of parrotfish living today.

Parrotfish are very colourful. Their name comes from the parrot-like beak formed by their teeth. The buccal cavity (cheek) of the parrotfish secretes the 'sleeping sack' that the fish sleeps in overnight. It is a semi-translucent sack which completely surrounds the parrot fish. In the morning the sack is discarded. You can see these on the sea bed floor during the following day.



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