I found a couple unusual specimens washed up on the Rockport Beach recently. Topping out at 10 inches long, the Striped Burrfish (Chilomycterus schoepfi) is a resident of coastal estuaries.
Just looking at their tiny fins one can guess that they aren’t fast or agile swimmers. It is thought that their ability to inflate (similar to a puffer fish) helps them avoid predation.
They don’t need to be fast to catch their prey of shellfish, barnacles, and occasionally, crabs. Their beak-like jaws help them chow down on their crunchy diet. Note to beachgoers, their spines can be hard on bare feet!