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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sculpin \Scul"pin\, n. [Written also skulpin.] (Zo["o]l.)

  1. Any one of numerous species of marine cottoid fishes of the genus Cottus, or Acanthocottus, having a large head armed with several sharp spines, and a broad mouth. They are generally mottled with yellow, brown, and black. Several species are found on the Atlantic coasts of Europe and America.

  2. A large cottoid market fish of California ( Scorp[ae]nichthys marmoratus); -- called also bighead, cabezon, scorpion, salpa.

  3. The dragonet, or yellow sculpin, of Europe ( Callionymus lyra).

    Note: The name is also applied to other related California species.

    Deep-water sculpin, the sea raven.


n. A small fish of the family Cottidae, usually lacking scales. Often found on river bottoms and in tidal pools.


n. any of numerous spiny large-headed broad-mouthed usually scaleless scorpaenoid fishes


A sculpin is a type of fish that belongs to the superfamily Cottoidea in the order Scorpaeniformes. As of 2006, this superfamily contains 11 families, 149 genera, and 756 species.

Sculpins occur in many types of habitat, including ocean and freshwater zones. They live in rivers, submarine canyons, kelp forests, and shallow littoral habitat types, such as tidepools.

Sculpins are benthic fish, dwelling on the bottoms of water bodies. Their pectoral fins are smooth on the upper edge and webbed with sharp rays along the lower edge, a modification that makes them specialized for gripping the substrate. This adaptation helps the fish anchor in fast-flowing water.

Usage examples of "sculpin".

Norman, 169, 185-7, 197, 200,581 Scrapping, under Washington Treaty, 24-5 SCUFFLE, 489 SCULPIN, 499-50O SEA DOG, 510 Seabees, 290, 410-11, 489, 523-4, 555 SEAHORSE, 329 SEA LION 505, 508 Searles, Lt.