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The surfperches (Embiotocidae) are a family of 24 species. Most inhabit nearshore waters off of western North America, though a few species are also found in the seas surrounding Japan. They span a range of trophic strategies and include planktivores, benthic carnivores, omnivores, and oral winnowers. Surfperches are viviparous, or live-bearing, fishes.

At most speeds, surfperches swim by beating their pectoral fins, not their tail as many other fishes do. For more information about pectoral fin swimming in surfperches, see the species pages for Cymatogaster aggregata and Embiotoca lateralis under Morphology.

A well-supported hypothesis describing the evolutionary relationships between surfperch species has been proposed by Bernardi and Bucciarelli (1999).


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