Commonly found in bays, tidal creeks and protected coastal waters, especially on seagrass beds, and in brackish water. Rare or absent on coral reefs. Does not form schools, but may form huge aggregates. Hides in the sand when frightened (Ref. 9710). Feeds mainly on bivalves, gastropods, foraminiferans and several other benthic invertebrates specially crustaceans, which it crushes with its powerful teeth (Ref. 35237). To ward off predators, it inflates itself like a balloon. Highly toxic; used to poison cats and dogs (Ref. 2861).