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Atlantic tarpon
Megalops atlanticus
Valenciennes, 1847

Description:
Body stout without markings. Scales large and shiny; scales of the lateral line with ramified tubes (M. atlanticus 2). One dorsal fin with a short base but with a long filament. Base of the anal fin longer. Origin of pectoral fins very low. Mouth upturned.

Habitat:
Inhabit coastal waters, bays, estuaries, mangrove-lined lagoons and rivers, to a depth of 30 m (M. atlanticus). Often found in river mouth and bays, with entering fresh water. Large schools may inhabit a particular area for years. Feed on fish and crabs. The swim bladder can be filled directly with air, permitting the fish to live in oxygen poor waters.

Distribution:
Occasional Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.

Remarks:
The large scales are used in ornamental work and in preparation of artificial pearls.

Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus)