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Unicorns of the Fish World

The surgeonfishes of the Naso genus are interesting fish with a “unicornlike” head growth.

By Scott W. Michael |

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We have all heard of the unicorn. You know — that mythical beast that looks like a horse with a lionlike mane, a goatlike beard, cloven hooves and a long horn protruding from its head. But have you heard of a unicornfish? While not mythical, they are somewhat mystical, in that they differ significantly from the rest of the family to which they belong. Unicornfishes are members of the family Acanthuridae (known collectively as surgeonfishes), but they are disparate from most other members of this group in both appearance and lifestyle, much the same way as the legendary unicorn differs from its supposed equine relatives. While they can make fascinating aquarium inhabitants, unicornfishes have special care requirements that will need to be addressed if they are to be kept long-term.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the March 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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