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any of the marine fishes that constitute the family Aulostomidae (order Gasterosteiformes), found along shores in tropical waters. Trumpet fishes have elongated, slender bodies and stiff, tubelike snouts ending in small, weak jaws. The body is covered with small scales, the back bears a row of spines that can be raised in defense, and the chin is provided with a short barbel. West Indies species may attain lengths of up to 180 centimetres (6 feet); northern species, however, are usually less than 30 centimetres (1 foot)