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Prionotus Carolinus - Northern Sea Robin - Long Island Aquarium | Riverhead, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Triglidae
Genus: Prionotus
Species: P. carolinus
Binomial name
Prionotus carolinus

Prionotus carolinus, commonly known as the northern sea robin, common sea robin or gurnard, is a species of ray-finned fish found in shallow water on the east coast of the United States.

The northern sea robin can be identified by its broad spiny head, tapering body, blue eyes, and large, wing-like pectoral fins. The dorsal surface is reddish or grayish, the chin black, the belly pale and the fins reddish-brown with darker edges and paling to greyish-white at their bases. Three lower rays of the northern sea robin’s pelvic fins are feelers used to “walk” along the bottom, so as to stir up bottom sediments to find food. Northern searobins grow to an average of 17 inches (43 cm) long.

Northern sea robins are found in shallow seas from Southern New England and New York southward to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, where they are found in estuaries to the edge of the continental shelf. They prefer the sandy bottoms of the waterbed, where they feed by kicking up sediment to find food, using their “legs”. Read more

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