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prickleback

[prik-uh l-bak] /ˈprɪk əlˌbæk/
noun
1.
any of several blennioid fishes of the family Stichaeidae, usually inhabiting cold waters, having spiny rays in the dorsal fin.
Origin
1740-1750
1740-50; prickle + back1
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for prickle back

prickleback

any of numerous fishes constituting the family Stichaeidae (order Perciformes). All of the approximately 60 species are marine, and most are restricted to the northern Pacific Ocean; a few species occur in the North Atlantic. Members of the family are characteristically elongate, with a low dorsal fin running the length of the body. In most species the pelvic fins are reduced or absent, a typical feature of the blennies, a group of fishes to which pricklebacks belong. They get their name from the presence of spiny rays that compose the dorsal fin.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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