Category Archives: Fishes

Fly like an eagle ray

Spotted Eagle Ray
Spotted Eagle Ray –
Aetobatus narinari

There is a row of six or seven papillae (small projections) on the roof and floor of the mouth behind the teeth that are believed to separate shells from prey prior to ingestion.

Spotted eagle ray preys mainly upon bivalves, crabs, whelks, benthic infauna they also feed on mollusks, crustaceans, particularly malacostracans and also upon hermit crabs, shrimp, octopuses, and some small fish.]

The spotted eagle ray’s specialized chevron-shaped tooth structure helps it to crush the mollusks’ hard shells. The jaws of these rays have developed calcified struts to help them break through the shells of mollusks, by supporting the jaws and preventing dents from hard prey. These rays have the unique behavior of digging with their snouts in the sand of the ocean. ] While doing this, a cloud of sand surrounds the ray and sand spews from its gills.

Aetobatus – Greek Aetos = ‘eagle’ + batus = ‘a ray’
narinari – Nari (asomtavruli Ⴌ, nuskhuri ⴌ, mkhedruli ნ) is the 14th letter of the three Georgian scripts. Nari commonly represents the alveolar nasal consonant /n/, like the pronunciation of ⟨n⟩ in “nose”.

Bonus fact that is probably not true:
Steve Millers famous song was originally written about rays not birds:

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future

Wanna fly like an eagle ray
In the sea
Fly like an eagle ray
Let water carry me
I want to fly like an eagle ray
'Till I'm free
Oh, Lord, through the revolution ...

Hello Toadfish – Brrrrzz Brrrrzz Brrrrzz Brrrrzz

Splendid Toadfish –
Sanopus splendidus

It is difficult for toadfishes to swim across great distances, so populations can become easily isolated by geography and evolve into now species.

Also known as the coral toadfish and the Cozumel splendid toadfish is a species entirely endemic to the island of Cozumel, Mexico.

Bonus Fact 1: Toadfish have gone into space orbin on two NASA space shuttle missions.

Bonus Fact 2: Gulf Toadfish who life off the coast of Florida make up a notable portion of the dolphin’s diet, approximately 13%. Scientific experiments have shown that the mating call of the toadfish alerts dolphin predators to the fish’s location. Similarly, the sounds caused by the dolphin when hunting its prey alert toadfish to the location of the predators and cause the fish to silence their mating call. Male toadfish will reduce their mating calls by up to 50% when they hear the low sound of a dolphin’s “pop”.
“Fish Eavesdrop to Avoid Becoming Dinner”. Livescience. Retrieved 2016-10-20.

Bonus Fact 3: The sounds of a toadfish reminds me of an amplified phone vibrating.

Sanopus – Greek, sanoo, saino = ‘to shake the tail’ + Greek, pous = ‘foot’
Splendidius – Latin splendeō = ‘shine’ +‎ -idus = ‘tending to’

Smartest Fish in the Sea? Mantas with PhDs!

Manta Brain
Manta Brain

Mantas have one of the largest brains of all fish! They have a giant rete, web of capillaries and blood vessels, that encases their huge brain and keeps it warm even when diving to incredible depths.

“The gross morphology of their brains resembled the most to that of hammerhead sharks, most likely due to the three dimensional habitat they live, their active and maneuverable lifestyles, highly developed social and migratory behavior and possibly the increased ability of sensory processing thanks to the broad shape of their heads.”

Csilla Ari, renowned manta researcher

Frida has nothing on these Cirri

Secretary blenny -  Acanthemblemaria maria
Secretary blenny – Acanthemblemaria maria

Blenny Fact:
The eyebrow like appendages called cirri are used to feel for pressure waves of potential predators.

Secretary blennyAcanthemblemaria maria
Here the Secretary blenny has the cirri above the eye (a supraorbital cirrus.)
Acanthemblemaria maria lives in a hole in a colonial coral or an empty serpulid worm tube. It is often associated with small brain corals, sea fans, sea whips and sea urchins. They are an ambush predator, remaining concealed in its lair with only its head projecting, until a copepod or other small invertebrate prey approaches. At this stage, it darts out, grabs the prey and retreats into its home. The eggs are laid in the lair and are tended by the male, the female taking no part in their care.

Acanthemblemaria: Greek akantha = ‘thorn’ + Greek, emblema, –atos = ‘anything that is nailed, knocked in’
maria: Latin = ‘Mary’
Cirri – Latin cirrus = ‘a curl-like tuft or fringe’

Horns, Horns on my head…

Manta Horns
Manta horns

The distinctive ‘horns’ on either side of its broad head are actually derived from the pectoral fins. During embryonic development, part of the pectoral fin breaks away and moves forward, surround the mouth. The way the horns develop is surprisingly simple. All it takes is a tiny notch that deepens and widens as the manta grows, separating each fin into two distinct parts: one for feeding and the remainder for swimming. This give the manta ray the distinction of being the only jawed vertebrate to have novel limbs. These flexible horns are used to direct plankton into its mouth.

Oh, give me a horn on the sides of my head
Where I keep them rolled up all tight;
And where the food is just right I reach out to bite
And the plankton is funneled precisely in.
Horns Horns on my head…

Jon B – from Home on the Range

Lt. Ellen Ripley’s least favorite fish.

Angelfish Mouth
Angelfish Mouth

Due to an extra joint in their jaw design, Angelfish can protrude their upper and lower jaw out away from their had and then bite really hard, something other fish can not do.

A big angelfish can extend its jaws a couple of inches. They can reach into nooks and crannies on the reef. They are powerful biters. They can yank.

Oh and yes, the title is an homage of the movie Alien

Creole Wrasse Fact: How that pot gets stirred.

Creole Wrasse Fact
Creole Wrasse

Creole wrasseClepticus parrae – are protogynous hermaphrodites; the largest fish in a group is a dominant breeding male, While smaller fish remain female. If the dominant male dies, the largest female changes sex.

Protogyny is the most common form of hermaphroditism in fish in nature. About 75% of the 500 known sequentially hermaphroditic fish species are protogynous.

Wrasses are always on the go during the day, but are the first to go to bed and the last to rise.

Clepticus: Greek, kleptikos = ‘related to thieves’

Fly Flying Fish Fly

Flying Fish
Flying Fish

Flying Fish Fact:
Flying fish can reach the height of four feet in the air, and glide distance of 655 ft before returning to the water.

The Exocoetidae are a family of marine fish in the order Beloniformes class Actinopterygii, known colloquially as flying fish. About 64 species. While they cannot fly in the same way as a bird does, flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of water where their long wing-like fins enable gliding for considerable distances above the water’s surface. This uncommon ability is a natural defense mechanism to evade predators. The ‘Exocet’ missile is named after them, as variants are launched from underwater, and take a low trajectory, skimming the surface, before striking their prey.

The term Exocoetidae is both the scientific name and the general name in Latin for a flying fish. The suffix -idae, common for indicating a family, follows the root of the Latin word exocoetus, a transliteration of the Ancient Greek name ἐξώκοιτος. This means literally “sleeping outside”, from ἔξω “outside” and κοῖτος “bed”, “resting place”, verb root κει- “to lie down” (not “untruth”), so named as flying fish were believed to leave the water to sleep ashore, or due to flying fish flying and thus stranding themselves in boats.

Fade with the darkness

Butterflyfish fact
Butterflyfish Fact

At night, butterflyfish settle into dark crevices, and their brilliant colors and markings fade to blend with the reef background.

The butterflyfish are a group of conspicuous tropical marine fish of the family Chaetodontidae

Chaetodontidae – The family name from Ancient Greek words χαιτέ, chaite ‘hair’ + οδοντος, odontos ‘tooth.’ This is an allusion to the rows of brush-like teeth found in their small, protrusible mouths.