Awesome Video: Pearlfish and their Sea Cucumber B&B

A POST HERE SEVERAL MONTHS AGO closed with the “Really Odd Fact” that blenny-like pearlfish (Periclimenes imperator) have a habit of taking up residence in the … well…rear ends of sea cucumbers. The overall post, “Sea Cucumbers – Superheroes of the Sea,” was about the fact that sea cucumbers, often ignored as inert, unimportant creatures, actually had a lot to recommend them.  THE PEARLFISH/CUCUMBER EQUATION The pearlfish/cuke interaction is generally described as commensal relationship, but that term implies a

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“Fish Flashing:” Fishy Therapy, or Simply a Good Backscratch? Plus, a Great Video!

WHETHER FOR HEALTH OR PLEASURE, FISH SOMETIMES ENGAGE IN A PHENOMENON CALLED “FLASHING,” otherwise known as rubbingtheir bodies along the sea bottom. Ned Deloach, in his estimable Reef Fish Behavior, describes it as an effort to deal with the irritation of parasites by scrapping them off, an alternative to the much more commonly seen symbiotic cleaning by small fishes and crustaceans. Discussions about the cleaning dynamic sometimes suggest that, in addition to health benefits, the fish

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Pygmy Seahorses:  Find them if You Can

PYGMY SEAHORSES (HIPPOCAMPUS BARGIBANTI) are small, fragile creatures of the Indo-Pacific, amazing in their ability to blend in with the colorful sea fans they spend their lives on. The question was: Do they choose the sea fan to match their color or do they acclimate to match the host sea fan’s color? Watch this awesome video from the equally amazing folks at Deep Look to find out – and learn a lot about pygmy seahorses

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 Fish Buoyancy – How Our Finny Friends Stay Neutral (Unless They Don’t)

ONE THING IS CLEAR – FISH HAVE BETTER BUOYANCY THAN YOU.  And, they don’t have to press any buttons. Many bony fishes have built-in versions of the buoyancy-compensators that divers use to control their position in the water versus changing ambient pressures. In these fishes’ case, it’s an internal gas-filled sac called a swim bladder that automatically works to counteract the ambient pressures applied by the waters surrounding it and keep the fish at neutral

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Puffers Sleeping, Brittlestars at Work

THE MARKINGS OF THE FISHES AT LEFT AND LOWER RIGHT suggest members of the genus Canthigaster, sharp-nosed puffers often known as toby’s that are found in the Indo-Pacific. But the specific designs and colors are sufficiently different from the familiar black saddled toby (Canthigaster valentini) to suggest they’re not described in any of the references I have access to. CANTHIGASTER POSEIDONSWEBUS   But there are a lot of fishes in the sea, so to speak, and

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Black Durgons: In Living Color

BLACK DURGONS (MELICHTHYS NIGER) HAVE LONG BEEN BOTH A FAVORITE FISH OF MINE and a challenge to photograph. A favorite because I like their dramatic effect – all that blackness with blue stripes along their anterior dorsal and anal fins – and their wiggly technique of swimming powered by those fins. A challenge because, well, they’re black. They suck up light like a black hole. And (see above), they’re wiggly. I’ve shot more black, blobby

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Anglerfishes: Graceful and Stunning in an Awesome Video

A STUNNING VIDEO OF PERMANENTLY MATED ANGLERFISHES  has been captured by two marine biologists in the Azores, in the Atlantic Ocean off Portugal’s coast. As deep-sea denizens, anglerfishes are best known for the bioluminescent lures projected from their heads, positioned to attract prey in the dark surrounding waters. With long, sharp teeth, they appear quite fierce, but because of the depths at which they live, much about them is a mystery. REMARKABLE MATING PROCESS But

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Trunkfishes, Cowfishes: Boxy But Cute!

WHAT’S MORE ENDEARING THAN WATCHING A TRUNKFISH SWIM? Watching a baby trunkfish jiggle about trying to. Trunkfishes at their best are relatively inept swimmers, with bulky, triangular bodies and limited tailfin  propulsion. They row furiously, they move slowly and awkwardly. As juveniles, they’re small and round. Their tails are barely there, almost negligible, making for less control, with a certain amount of yeeing and yawing. It’s both irresistible to watch them work to master their

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Eel Buddies

  THIS LITTLE GOLDENTAIL EEL used to live in a coralhead right at the top of the house reef at Buddy Dive Resort on Bonaire. I used to stop by and say hello every time I did a dive there. One year, it was joined by its distant chain moray cousin – two wild and crazy guys living it in the same efficiency apartment. Small, but a waterfront view! GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN After that

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The Shrimp-Goby Connection: An Ocean Odd Couple

GOOGLE THIS FISH, THE SPOTTED PRAWN GOBY, and most of the posts you’ll find are for the aquarium trade; Amblyeleotris guttata appears to be a popular fish for home saltwater aquariums. Www.fishbase.org carries a listing for it, but it’s largely related to it colors, size and distribution (which is the Western Pacific from the Philippines down to the Great Barrier Reef at Australia; this photo was taken on the GBR). IT’S A SHRIMPGOBY   All of

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