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Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, SC
Trigger fish belong to the order Tetradontiformes ‘4-tooth bearing’, and the family Balistidae, and are closely related to 9 other families, including cowfishes, filefishes, puffers and leatherjackets among others.
Most species in the order, and certainly all the members of the family balistidae, practice balistiform locomotion – using the dorsal and anal fin rather than the caudal fin – almost exclusively, although the caudal fin is sometimes used for short bursts of speed. In simple terms, triggerfish do not normally use their tail for swimming, but instead undulate their dorsal and anal fins, keeping the body rigid. This gives the impression almost that they are flying through the water rather than swimming.