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A warning

A lionfish spreads out distinctively-patterned fins around its body and shows its zebra stripes. Such striking beauty hides a deadly secret: the lionfish has venomous spines hidden among the dorsal fins, and can deliver a very painful—though rarely fatal to humans—sting. The fish adopts a head-down posture and will swim aggressively towards intruders with spines exposed, to warn them away. This image and other coral reef images from the Red Sea are featured in the 2009 WHOI Wall Calendar, now available for purchase online at the WHOI Store. (Photo by Konrad Hughen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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