Moray Eels – Species of the Reef


Moray Eel on the Great Barrier Reef

There are over 200 different types of Moray Eels around the world, living in a number of different environments. The smallest moray is about 12cm (5 inches) and the longest is about 4m (13 feet) long. The largest variety of the species being found in warm tropical waters and reefs with diversity lessening as the water becomes cooler.

The Moray Eel relies on camouflage and smell to catch its food as it has relatively poor eyesight. It lies in crevaces and waits for its next meal to swim past. To assist with hiding even the inside of the mouth is coloured to fit in with its surroundings. This also allows the moray to lie in waiting with its mouth open to get little warning to the unsuspecting prey. The moray eel also has a second set of jaws that move forward when attacking and give the eel some extra grip on the prey. This second set of jaws also help pass the food down to the stomach of the ray.

There are only a few predators of the moray eel, they include the barracuda, Groupers, Sea Snakes and other Moray Eels. The Moray itself is carnivorous and eats just about anything.

The Morays have sometimes been described as vicious or ill-tempered, this is not a deserved reputaiton as Morays hide from humans and would rather flee than fight. Morays are shy and secretive, and attack humans only in self-defense or mistaken identity (for example, a finger placed in a crevice where a moray resides may resemble a prey-item). Most attacks involve accidental bites during human-initiated interaction.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Guest Testimonials




Surgeon Fish – Species of the Reef


Say G'Day to a Yellow Fin Surgeon Fish

A colourful and common sight on the Great Barrier reef is the surgeon fish, like the yellow fin surgeon fish pictured above. The distinctive characteristic of the family is the spines, one or more on either side of the tail. Both the dorsal and tail fins are large, extending for most of the length of the body. The small mouths have a single row of teeth used for grazing on algae.

Surgeonfishes sometimes feed by themselves, but they are also often seen traveling and feeding in large colourful schools. It has been suggested that feeding in schools is a mechanism for overwhelming the highly aggressive defense responses of small territorial damselfishes that vigorously guard small patches of algae on coral reefs.

Most species are relatively small and have a maximum length of 15–40 cm (6–16 in), but some members of the genus Acanthurus, some members of the genus Prionurus, and most members of the genus Naso can grow larger, with the whitemargin unicornfish (N. annulatus), the largest species in the family, reaching a length of up to a meter (3,3 ft). These fishes can grow quickly in aquariums so it is advisable to check the average growth size and suitability before adding to a marine aquarium.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Guest Testimonials