Members of this family occur in a variety of different colors, and are notable for the hexagonal or "honeycomb" patterns on their skin. They swim in a rowing manner. Their hexagonal plate-like scales are fused together into a solid, triangular or box-like carapace, from which the fins, tail, eyes and mouth protrude. Because of these heavy armoured scales, Ostraciidae are limited to slow movements, but few other fish are able to eat the adults. Ostraciid boxfish of the genus Lactophrys also secrete poisons from their skin into the surrounding water, further protecting them from predation. Although the adults are in general quite square in shape, young Ostraciidae are more rounded. The young often exhibit brighter colors than the adults.
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