23 Fish With Big Lips: Explore The Uniqueness of Each Species

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Many fish species, such as the Triggerfish and the Mola Mola, feature prominently large lips. The Batfish and the Parrotfish also display this characteristic trait.

Aquatic realms are home to a fascinating diversity of fish, each with distinct adaptations that offer a glimpse into the wonders of evolution. Among them, some fish draw attention with their notably large lips, a feature that can serve various purposes, from foraging to mating displays.

The ocean’s vivid tapestry includes these large-lipped creatures, contributing to the ecosystems in which they dwell. Anglers and aquarists often marvel at these species, not only for their striking appearance but also for their intriguing behaviors. Biologists study these fish to understand the advantages their big lips provide, unlocking the secrets of survival beneath the waves. These fish are a testament to the endless forms of beauty and function in the aquatic environment.

23. Queen Parrotfish (Scarus Vetula)

Feast your eyes on the vibrant Queen Parrotfish (Scarus Vetula), a spectacle of the sea. This fascinating fish is more than just a pretty face. Let us dive into the world of this colorful creature and discover what makes it truly unique.

Unique Physical Features

The Queen Parrotfish stands out with its brightly colored scales that shimmer underwater. Its body showcases a kaleidoscope of blues, greens, and yellows. Not to be outshined is its most notable trait: oversized, kissable lips that are hard to miss.

  • Size: Can grow up to 50 centimeters.
  • Color: Males display vibrant colors, females are duller.
  • Teeth: Fused teeth look like a beak.
Queen Parrotfish (scarus Vetula) photo

Function Of Big Lips

The Queen Parrotfish’s big lips aren’t just for show. They play a crucial role in their survival. These lips protect their beak-like teeth when they feed on coral. This feeding process is essential as it helps maintain reef health.

22. Surgeonfish (Family Acanthuridae)

Meet the Surgeonfish, known for their vibrant colors and striking lips. These sea dwellers glide through coral reefs and command attention. Their ‘big lips’ aren’t just for show – they play a crucial role in their survival. Let’s dive into the world of Surgeonfish and discover more about their distinctive features.

Surgeonfish (family Acanthuridae) photo

Distinctive Appearance

The Surgeonfish is a standout in the ocean. Notice their round, plump lips that are perfect for grazing on algae. Their bodies are sleek and laterally compressed, built for maneuvering with ease.

Bright colors adorn their scales, ranging from electric blue to radiant yellow. Each Surgeonfish carries a unique palette, a true underwater spectacle.

  • Their name ‘Surgeonfish’ comes from scalpel-like spines near their tails.
  • These spines help protect them from predators.
  • Big lips aid in algae consumption, their main food source.

With their distinctive assets, Surgeonfish are a marvel in marine ecosystems. Children and adults alike are enchanted by their beauty as they swim with purpose. Study these fish closely and learn about their roles in keeping reefs healthy.

21. Flowerhorn Cichlid Fish

The Flowerhorn Cichlid, a captivating and unique aquarium fish, boasts a charismatic personality and striking appearance. Renowned for its vivid colors, distinct nuchal hump (a fleshy protuberance on its head), and intricate patterns reminiscent of a blossoming flower, the Flowerhorn Cichlid is a true aquatic masterpiece.

In terms of weight, these enchanting fish can range from a few hundred grams to several kilograms, with variations depending on factors such as age, genetics, and diet.

Habitat-wise, Flowerhorn Cichlids thrive in spacious aquariums adorned with rocks, driftwood, and ample hiding places. Originating from the hybridization of various South American cichlid species, they have adapted to diverse water conditions but generally prefer warm temperatures around 78-82°F (25-28°C).

Flowerhorn Cichlid fish photo

20. Fangtooth Fish (Anoplogaster Cornuta)

Fangtooth fish, known scientifically as Anoplogaster cornuta, belong to the deep sea’s mysterious dwellers. Notable for its daunting appearance, this fish boasts some of the most distinctive features found in the oceanic depths. Among the most remarkable are its gaping mouth and sizeable, protruding teeth, which make it one of the most unusual fish with big lips.

Fangtooth Fish (anoplogaster Cornuta) photo

Unconventional Lips

Fangtooth fish stand out with their exceptional oral features. These creatures have prominent, oversized lips that often overshadow their terrifying fangs. Despite appearing intimidating, these lips serve a vital role. They are cushions that protect the fish from self-inflicted injuries due to its long, sharp teeth.

Distinguishing characteristics include:

  • Oversized lips that shield its teeth
  • Enormous lower jaw with protruding fangs
  • Massive gaping mouth used for feeding

The Fangtooth fish’s diet mainly consists of small fish and squid. Its oversized mouth and lips play a critical role in its survival in the deep-sea environment.

The big lips of the Fangtooth fish also enhance its sensory capabilities. They are packed with receptors that help the fish detect movements and vibrations in the water, guiding it towards potential prey or away from predators.

19. Ribbon Eel (Rhinomuraena Quaesita)

The Ribbon Eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita) is a fascinating sea creature known for its distinct appearance. With its elongated body and expansive nasal tubes, it stands out in the aquatic world. But what truly catches the eye are its large, expressive lips. Native to the Indo-Pacific reefs, this eel brings a splash of color and mystery to the ocean depths. Colorful and Vibrant Lips

Ribbon Eel (rhinomuraena Quaesita) photo

Colorful And Vibrant Lips

Ribbon Eels boast lips that are more than just big. They are colorful and can change hues. Young eels start with a black body and yellow detailing, transforming into a brilliant blue and yellow as they mature. The males have a jaw-dropping neon yellow hue around their mouths.

AgeBody ColorLip Color
Adult MaleBlueYellow
Adult FemaleYellowBlue

During the final shift, adult males become females and their colors change once more. Their bodies turn a soft yellow, and the lips get outlined in blue. It’s a stunning display of nature’s palette. Bullet Points on Ribbon Eel Lip Functionality

  • The lips help in suction feeding.
  • Big lips also assist in digging burrows.
  • Lip movement may help attract prey.

18. Batfish (Family Ogcocephalidae)

Belonging to the family Ogcocephalidae, these creatures surprise divers and scientists alike. Let’s dive deeper into the lives of batfish and uncover why they’re one of the five fish with remarkably big lips!

Batfish (family Ogcocephalidae) photo


Batfish often glide across the ocean floor on fin-like legs, a unique sight in the marine world. Unlike their namesake, they do not fly but their broad pectoral fins resemble bat wings. Batfish species come in vivid hues and varied shapes, with faces only a mother could love. Covered in bumpy skin, their features are as fascinating as they are bizarre.

Purpose Of Big Lips

The batfish’s oversized lips serve a vital role in their survival. These lips are not just for show. They are perfect for digging and hunting. By puffing out their lips, they create a vacuum to suck up prey from the seabed. This technique allows batfish to surprise their meal, ensuring a successful hunt nearly every time. It’s a creative adaptation to living a life along the ocean floor.

  • Assist in feeding: Big lips create a vacuum to capture prey.
  • Enhance prey detection: Sensory abilities increase along with lip size.
  • Foster camouflage: When still, big lips blend with the seabed.

17. Goatfish (Family Mullidae)

Among the fascinating fish with big lips, the Goatfish stands out. Part of the family Mullidae, these colorful swimmers grace the tropical and subtropical seas. Their distinctive big lips are not just for show; they serve an important role in the goatfish’s daily life.

Goatfish (family Mullidae) photo


The Goatfish is easy to spot with its vivid hues and whisker-like barbels. These barbels, resembling a goat’s beard, give the fish its name. They have elongated bodies, and their large, pouty lips are instantly noticeable.

  • Length: Up to 60 centimeters
  • Colors: Reds, yellows, or whites
  • Barbels: Help in searching for food

Feeding Habits

Goatfish are bottom dwellers. Their big lips and barbels work together for foraging in the sand. They shuffle through sediment, scooping up meals.

With each movement, tiny prey gets uncovered. Then, their large lips suck up the food. This strategy makes the goatfish a successful nocturnal hunter.

16. Archerfish (Family Toxotidae)

Among the fascinating creatures of the aquatic world, Archerfish stand out due to their remarkable traits. Residents of mangrove estuaries and freshwater streams, these fish boast an extraordinary hunting skill. With their distinctive big lips, they can shoot jets of water at insects above the surface, earning them the name ‘archerfish’.


The Archerfish is easily recognized by its large, protruding lips and elongated body. Sporting silver and black scales, they can grow up to 10 inches in length. Their most notable feature, the impressive mouth, serves as a natural water pistol. This adaptation allows them to hunt with precision, knocking down prey with a strong burst of water.

  • Silver and black scales
  • Length: up to 10 inches
  • Protruding lips used to shoot water
Archerfish (family Toxotidae) photo

Mating Behavior

The mating rituals of Archerfish are a sight to behold. Around the breeding season, males court females with displays of strength and agility. They showcase their water-shooting accuracy by dislodging insects into the water for potential mates. These displays serve as both a test of ability and a romantic gesture.

  1. Males dislodge insects to impress females.
  2. Strength and accuracy help attract mates.

Their unique abilities not only make Archerfish a wonder among fish with big lips but also highlight the diversity and complexity found within aquatic life.

15. Dragonfish (Family Stomiidae)

The dragonfish stands out in the aquatic world. This mysterious creature from the family Stomiidae boasts prominent lips and an appearance that’s as intriguing as its name.

Dragonfish (family Stomiidae) photo


The dragonfish sports an elongated body. Its scales glitter like stars in a dark ocean. But what really catches the eye are its oversized lips. These aren’t just for looks though; they play a vital role in the dragonfish’s survival.

  • Body shines with bioluminescent lights
  • Lives in deep, almost lightless waters
  • Teeth like needles, almost invisible to prey

Predatory Techniques

Dragonfish are masters of ambush predation. They use their natural lights to lure unsuspecting victims. Once close, those big lips engulf prey in an instant.

Lurking up to 5,000 feet deep, the dragonfish’s large mouth and lips aren’t just for intimidation. They create a powerful suction. This pulls the prey straight into its toothy maw.

14. Blobfish (Psychrolutes Marcidus)

Meet the Blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus), an intriguing sea creature. Often winning the title for the world’s ugliest fish, it’s famous for its distinctively large, gelatinous lips and comical appearance.

Blobfish (psychrolutes Marcidus) photo


The Blobfish boasts a unique look that catches the eye. Its body is primarily a soft, pinkish hue. Unlike most fish, its body is jelly-like. This texture helps it float above the sea floor. Although they appear funny, Blobfish are well-adapted to the deep sea.

Key features:

  • Soft, gelatinous body
  • Large, floppy lips
  • Loose, flabby skin
  • Deep-sea dweller

Coral Reef Ecology

Surprisingly, Blobfish play little part in coral reef ecology. They inhabit deep-sea regions below 600 meters (1,970 feet). At these depths, coral reefs do not exist. Instead, Blobfish survive in waters too deep for most reef life. Thus, they live beyond the vibrant world of coral ecosystems.

13. Gulper Eel (Eurypharynx Pelecanoides)

Among the deep-sea creatures with peculiar features, the Gulper Eel, also known as the Pelican Eel, stands out. Its most notable characteristic – enormous, oversized lips – make it a fascinating topic for marine enthusiasts. Eurypharynx pelecanoides thrives in the twilight zone of the ocean, where darkness reigns.

Inflatable Lips

The Gulper Eel’s lips are not just for show; they serve a unique purpose. These extremely flexible and inflatable lips act like a net. The eel can capture more prey thanks to these lips. The diet of this eel includes small fish and invertebrates found in deep waters.

Protection Mechanism

Its impressive lips also play a role in protection. When threatened, the Gulper Eel can puff up its lips. This makes the eel seem much larger to predators. This defensive tactic helps it scare off potential threats lurking in the deep sea.

12. Atlantic Wolffish (Anarhichas Lupus)

The Atlantic Wolffish, known for its distinctive appearance, stands out among oceanic species. This intriguing fish, also called the Seawolf, Devil Fish, or Wolf Eel, draws attention primarily because of its unusually large, fleshy lips. An inhabitant of the cold, deep waters of the North Atlantic, the Atlantic Wolffish plays a unique role in its ecosystem.

Atlantic Wolffish (anarhichas Lupus) photo

Colorful Beak-like Lips

The lips of the Atlantic Wolffish are not only prominent but also bear an uncanny resemblance to a beak. With a palette extending from blue to violet, these lips serve major functions. The vibrant lips may assist in the communication and species recognition underwater, where colors shift with depth.

  • Blue to violet hues: Contrast with the murky depths
  • Thick, fleshy appearance: Protects from sharp prey

Feeding Habits

With its beak-like lips, the Atlantic Wolffish is adapted to a diet that includes hard-shelled prey. Its strong jaws and crushing molar-like teeth allow it to break open sea urchins, crabs, and mussels. This diet has implications for shellfish populations and the overall health of the ocean floor.

11. Warty Frogfish (Antennarius Maculatus)

Among the ocean’s quirky creatures, the Warty Frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) stands out. This unique fish calls tropical waters home. Its appearance is as unusual as its name suggests. With striking features and behavior, the Warty Frogfish fascinates marine enthusiasts and scientists alike.

Warty Frogfish (antennarius Maculatus) photo

Prominent Thick Lips

The Warty Frogfish owns an impressive set of bulging lips. These are not just for show; they play a vital role in their survival. Their gargantuan mouth can swallow prey as big as themselves. Mimicking a yawn, their lips expand, creating a vacuum to suck unsuspecting prey in.

Role In Courtship Display

In the world of Warty Frogfish, big lips are more than a feeding tool. They play a part in flirting and finding a mate. Males will flaunt their puffy lips in a unique courtship dance to attract females. The bigger and more noticeable the lips, the better their chances in the mate selection extravaganza.

  • Vibrant coloring and peculiar appendages make them a sight to behold.
  • Masters of camouflage, they blend seamlessly with their environment.
  • Known for their lure, they fish for their dinner with a built-in rod and bait.

10. Clownfish (Family Pomacentridae)

Clownfish, instantly recognizable with their vibrant orange and white stripes, belong to the family Pomacentridae. These marine fish are native to the warmer waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Their close relationship with sea anemones is fascinating. The clownfish’s bright colors might make you think they are easy for predators to spot. But their features hold surprising secrets.

Large Protruding Lips

Why do clownfish have such big lips? These distinctive, fleshy lips are more than just a bold fashion statement. Clownfish lips are useful tools. They help with feeding and fighting. When it comes to scaring off enemies or battling for territory, big lips can make a fish seem larger and more intimidating.

Clownfish (family Pomacentridae) photo

Camouflage Technique

Clownfish have an ingenious way of staying safe. They use their bright colors for camouflage. How does this work? Their stripes blend in perfectly with the waving tentacles of sea anemones. This cooperation is called symbiosis. The anemone protects the clownfish, and in return, the fish keeps the anemone clean of debris. It’s a perfect underwater partnership.

  • Family: Pomacentridae
  • Known for: Relationship with sea anemones
  • Distinct trait: Big, protruding lips

9. Longhorn Cowfish (Lactoria Cornuta)

Among the most fascinating creatures of the ocean, the Longhorn Cowfish stands out. Its bright colors and distinctive horns create an almost cartoon-like appearance. This fish doesn’t just capture our attention with its looks. Its unique features make it an intriguing subject for marine enthusiasts. Let’s dive into the world of the Longhorn Cowfish and uncover the secrets behind their powerful jaws and prominent lips.

Powerful Jaws And Prominent Lips

The Longhorn Cowfish possesses jaws that pack a punch. Its mouth is a remarkable tool for survival. The lips of this fish aren’t just for show; they serve a crucial purpose. Big and fleshy, the lips act as a cushion, protecting the fish as it feeds. They are also sensitive detectors in their hunt for food, feeling out spaces where tasty treats hide.

Longhorn Cowfish (lactoria Cornuta) photo

Hunting Strategy

With such distinctive lips, the Longhorn Cowfish has a unique hunting strategy. It uses its lips to sift through sand, uncovering hidden prey. These fish feed on small invertebrates, often exposed by their relentless searching. Instead of pursuing their food, they let their lips lead the way, ensuring a meal with minimal effort. With their specialized technique, they are masters of finding sustenance in the vast ocean.

8. Largemouth Bass (Micropterus Salmoides)

The Largemouth Bass is a fish that turns heads with its sizeable kisser. It’s not just their impressive lips that make them a fisherman’s prize. Their agility and strength set them apart. Let’s dive into the details of this captivating creature.


Imagine a fish with a mouth so wide, it can swallow prey half its size. Largemouth Bass own this feat with a mouth that extends way beyond their eyes. They boast a sleek, green body, shimmering in the sunlight. Their large lips are not just for show; they serve a critical role in sucking in their next meal.

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) photo


The ideal home for a Largemouth Bass is warm and cozy freshwater. They thrive in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Aquatic vegetation is their favorite hideout, providing ample cover to ambush prey. Whether it’s the clear Saint Lawrence River or the murky Mississippi backwaters, these bass adapt to a range of water conditions.

  • Found across North America
  • Prefer clear waters with minimal current
  • Spawning season is a sight to see with males fiercely guarding nests

7. Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus Itajara)

The Goliath Grouper, with its impressive size and distinctive features, stands as a testimony to the wonders of the aquatic world. These underwater behemoths boast an unmistakable appearance, characterized by their massively protruding lips. Let’s dive into the details of these gentle giants of the sea.


Goliath Groupers are truly the titans of the ocean floor. With their expansive bodies, they command attention. Mature adults can grow up to 8 feet in length and weigh as much as 800 pounds, making them one of the largest fish found in coral reefs. Their mottled, brownish-yellow bodies feature dark bands that are as unique as fingerprints. What truly sets them apart, however, are their enormous lips which give them a perpetually puckered look.

Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) photo


The Goliath Grouper prefers the warm waters of tropical and subtropical oceans. They thrive in a variety of environments, making their homes in shallow reefs, mangroves, and even shipwrecks. These ambient nursery grounds offer them ample shelter and a rich supply of food. Their preference for shallow waters means that divers often encounter them, gliding majestically through their underwater habitats.

6. Trumpetfish (Aulostomidae)

Meet the Trumpetfish, a truly unique character from the underwater world. With its long, slender body and tube-shaped snout, it’s a fish that stands out from the rest. Get ready to dive into the details about this fascinating creature.


The Trumpetfish easily catches eyes with its quirky look. Think of it like a swimming straw! Their bodies stretch long and thin, reaching up to 80 centimeters in length.

They come in colors like green, brown, or blue. But here’s a fun trick – they can change color to blend in with their surroundings.

Trumpetfish (Aulostomidae) photo


Trumpetfish call warm waters home. They love coral reefs and seagrass beds. Places like the Caribbean Sea and the Indian Ocean are their favorite hangouts.

These clever fish will often stand still, pretending to be a piece of coral. This sneaky behavior helps them surprise their dinner – usually small fish.

5. Moray Eel (Family Muraenidae)

Let’s talk about Moray Eels, a fish with big lips. These eels look scary, but they are very interesting!


Moray Eels have snake-like bodies. They wiggle through the water. Their big lips hide sharp teeth. Eels come in many colors. Some are green, some are brown.

Moray Eel (family Muraenidae) photo


Use a list to make it easy to read

  • Eels love rocky places.
  • They live in warm and cold waters.
  • Coral reefs are a favorite home.
  • They can hide in cracks and crevices.

4. Pufferfish (Family Tetraodontidae)

Pufferfish, also known as blowfish, are a unique spectacle under the sea. Known for their engorged lips and ability to puff up, these fish capture the attention of both divers and marine enthusiasts alike. Their distinctive features serve as a defense mechanism against predators, making them one of the most interesting sea dwellers to learn about.


The pufferfish’s oversized lips are hard to miss. But their most famous trait is the ability to inflate their bodies, turning into almost spherical shapes. Their skin is tough, and often adorned with spines that enhance their defensive capabilities. Available in various sizes and colors, pufferfish are truly a marvel of the ocean.

Pufferfish (family Tetraodontidae) photo


Pufferfish can be found across the globe, predominantly in tropical and subtropical waters. They reside in reefs, sandy bottoms, and estuaries. They require warm environments to thrive and are frequently spotted in shallow waters. In these habitats, pufferfish live and scan the sea floor for crustaceans and mollusks, their main food sources.

3. Triggerfish (Family Balistidae)

Triggerfish are a visual spectacle of the ocean. They boast quirky traits that distinguish them from other marine species. Their most striking features are their lips and vividly colored bodies. Let’s dive into the watery world of Triggerfish and explore these characteristics.

Distinctive Lip Shape

Triggerfish have unusually prominent lips. These puffy lips are not just for show. They serve a practical purpose. Triggerfish use their strong lips to crush and grasp their prey. This includes a variety of sea creatures like crustaceans and sea urchins.

Triggerfish (family Balistidae) photo

Colorful And Patterned Bodies

The body of a Triggerfish is like a living canvas. It showcases intricate patterns and a burst of colors. Their scales may appear in vibrant hues, stripes, or spots. These patterns help them blend into coral reefs. They also communicate social status and mood to other Triggerfish.

Understanding these unique features of Triggerfish adds to the fascination of watching these colorful creatures in their natural habitat.

2. Parrotfish (Family Scaridae)

The underwater world is rife with vibrant life, but few creatures are as striking as the Parrotfish. These colorful inhabitants of tropical reefs boast features that are not only a spectacle for divers and snorkelers but also critical to marine ecosystems. Let’s dive into some of these remarkable traits.

Parrotfish (family Scaridae) photo

Beak-like Teeth For Feeding

Parrotfish are named for their distinct dental structure which resembles a bird’s beak. This unique adaptation allows them to feed efficiently on hard coral surfaces, scraping off algae and polyps. This process is vital for coral health and in turn, helps maintain the balance of reef ecosystems.

Color-changing Abilities

Another mesmerizing feature of the Parrotfish is their ability to change colors. This capability varies with age, gender, and even the social status of the fish. Younger fish may appear dull, but as they mature, they transform into vividly colored adults. This spectacle is not just aesthetic; it plays a crucial role in their social interactions and survival.

  • Youth: Generally duller colors
  • Adults: Bright, vibrant hues
  • Function: Social signaling and camouflage

Bans on harmful fishing practices help protect these creatures. Preservation of coral reefs is essential for their survival. Together, we can protect this iconic species for future generations.

1. Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus Undulatus)

The Humphead Wrasse is a spectacle among reef dwellers, known for its prominent lips and striking appearance. This fish commands attention with its size and vivid color patterns. Native to coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region, it’s not just their pout that’s impressive. Humphead Wrasses play a key role in maintaining the balance of reef ecosystems.

Remarkable for their intelligence, they use their bulky lips to feast on invertebrates and even toxic sea hares. Growing up to two meters, they are one of the largest reef fish. Researchers recognize the Humphead Wrasse for its unique mating dances and fascinating life cycle.

Humphead Wrasse (cheilinus Undulatus) photo

Variety Of Triggerfish

While the Humphead Wrasse is a standout, let’s not forget the eclectic Triggerfish. These fish also boast remarkable lips, each species with its own distinct charm. Here are a few:

  • Queen Triggerfish – With blue highlights and pouty lips, it’s a reef royal.
  • Clown Triggerfish – Known for its polka dots and whimsical smile.
  • Titan Triggerfish – The brawny builder of the seabed with impressive lips.
  • Picasso Triggerfish – With abstract patterns, it’s a swimming work of art.

Frequently Asked Questions On 23 Fish With Big Lips

What Is The Fish With Big Lips Called?

The fish known for its big lips is the “Triggerfish. “

What Is The Aggressive Fish With Big Lips?

The aggressive fish with big lips is commonly known as the Flowerhorn Cichlid. These freshwater fish are known for their vivid colors and distinctively large, fleshy lips.

What Fish Has Big Lip Teeth?

The sheepshead fish is known for its prominent, human-like teeth within large lips. Its strong molars help it crush hard-shelled prey.

What Are The Puffy Fish With Big Lips?

The puffy fish with big lips are commonly known as blowfish or pufferfish, famed for their ability to inflate and distinctive appearance.


Diving into the aquatic world, we’ve uncovered fish with truly standout smoochers. These 23 species blend beauty and bizarreness, showcasing nature’s playful side in their lip designs. Whether you’re an angler, biologist, or simply curious, their fascinating features are sure to capture the imagination.

Embrace the diversity beneath the waves, and remember: big lips make for some unforgettable fish tales.

Read also: Let’s Find Out: Fish With Crab Claws Real or Fake?

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