Meet Tommy the Thornback Cowfish!

animals education fish

T is for Thornback Cowfish
Conservation Status:
Not Evaluated

Hi there! I’m Tommy the Thornback Cowfish! I’m also called a boxfish, because my body is kind of box-shaped. 

My family and I live on sandy bottoms of clear lagoons and reefs in the Southeast Atlantic and Indo-West Pacific. I also have 23 cousins of different species.

I’m brightly colored depending on what my surroundings are, generally pale tan with spots or wiggly markings in yellow, mauve or blue. My body is covered in a toxic mucus that I release when I get stressed. This really helps if someone is trying to eat me. But mostly I prefer to swim away fast! 

I love to eat small invertebrates like worms that I pick up off the sea bed. I find them by blowing jets of water over the sand, then sucking them up when I see one. Doesn’t that sound like a fun game?

I like to play with my friends near the reef. What sort of fun things would you do at a coral reef?

You can take Tommy home with you!


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