Longhorn cowfish are sometimes seen at Cyrene Reef, in pens of clean silt below a sheet of liquid glass. They hang in shallow water, hoping perhaps to be mistaken for a drifting frond, with their fins still, the 'horns' just piercing the surface and their tails furled in repose. Encased in a bony carapace with ventral processes and preorbital spines that make it just a bit harder to swallow, the fish is a little floating fortress with limited horsepower and high manœuvrability.
As in many tetraodontiforms, the dorsal and anal fins fan the animal forward, while twirling pectorals perform slow pirouettes that allow the ostracid to pan its surroundings for treats or threats. The tail, supported by a slim, flexible peduncle, is probably reserved for sudden bursts that quickly drag, angular boxes being inimical to long streaks. Corralled between a rim of rubble and a ridge of sand, the cowfish are content to cast headstrong shadows and keep trouble at bay, lest they find themselves in a corner where ties turn toxic and end in a slaughter of sacred things.