One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A boxfish with hornlike spines on the head.
Several genera and species in the family Ostraciontidae, in particular Lactoria diaphana
- ‘In some boxfishes, such as the aptly named cowfishes, the keels extend forward, beyond the body, to form sharp horns.’
- ‘Boxfish, also known cowfish, can be found in warm ocean waters, where they linger near the seafloor.’
- ‘The specimen is identified as a cowfish based on several morphological characteristics.’
- ‘From the cowfish we see that fish are named arbitrarily, and it's up to them thereafter.’
2A marine mammal, especially a manatee.
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