Zinc is a vital micronutrient, yet as an environmental toxicant it can be deleterious to aquatic organisms such as fish. Consequently, the study of zinc uptake mechanisms is essential for understanding nutrition, toxicity, and metabolism of this metal. Intestinal zinc uptake was studied in two marine teleosts, using both in vitro (in vitro perfusion and intestinal sacs) and in vivo techniques (in situ bolus). Female squirrelfish (Holocentrus adscensionis) exhibited significantly increased epithelial zinc uptake associated with enhanced hepatic zinc accumulation. This confirms this zinc-hyperaccumulating teleost as a potential model of zinc absorption. Intestinal zinc uptake in the gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) was biphasic with respect to zinc concentration (0.3-500 μM), exhibiting both saturable and passive uptake components. In both species, the passage of zinc into the postintestinal compartment was highly dependent on technique. Decreased proportions of postintestinal zinc in vivo, coupled with concentration-dependent distribution of zinc accumulation, suggested mechanisms may act to control the movement of zinc into the circulation. In addition, the results of this study were used to reinterpret previous findings of zinc uptake in freshwater fish and allowed a critique of techniques used to study intestinal metal uptake.