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California Tonguefish
DSCF0018a
Scientific Name Symphurus atricaudus
Conservation Status Data Defficient
Family Chordata
Habitat Subtropic and Temperate Ocean Rims
Food Small Crustaceans and plankton

Tonguefishes are a family, Cynoglossidae, of flatfishes. They are distinguished by the presence of a long hook on the snout overhanging the mouth, and the absence of pectoral fins. Their eyes are both on the left side of their body, which also lacks a pelvic fin.

They are found in tropical and subtropical oceans, mainly in shallow waters and estuaries, though a few species found in deep sea floors, and a few in rivers.

Some species have been observed congregating around ponds of sulphur that pool up from beneath the seafloor. Scientists are unsure of the mechanism that allows the fish to survive and even thrive in such a hostile environment.

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