Adults usually are solitary, although they probably congregate for spawning. They typically occur near the bottom, but they often make excursions above the bottom to feed on midwater fishes. With its greatly compressed head and body, large mouth, and extremely protrusible upper jaw, the John Dory is a successful ambush predator. It slowly approaches an unsuspecting small fish by means of undulating waves of the transparent soft dorsal and anal fins. In one quick motion it drops the "trapdoor" lower jaw, shoots out the upper jaw, and expands the gill cavity, sucking in the hapless prey along with a considerable volume of water.

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