Beautiful fish: Hook-eared sculpin and Mailed sculpin -By Al Bezanson

Meet the sculpins

The several members of the sculpin and sea raven tribe that are known from the Gulf of Maine are a homogeneous group, characterized by large spiny heads; very wide gill openings; very broad mouths; slender bodies; separate spiny and soft-rayed dorsal fins (united in some rare species); large fanlike pectorals but small caudals; and by ventrals that are reduced to three long rays. All of them, too, have a fashion of spreading the gill covers and of flattening the head when taken in the hand. They likewise produce grunting sounds, and some of them have the power of inflating themselves with air or water when they are molested.

From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder (1953) courtesy of MBL/WHOI

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