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Tue Jun 8, 2021, 08:54 AM

Bizarre and Beautiful Coral Reef Animals


From parrotfish that cover themselves in a blanket of their own mucus to tiny pygmy sea horses, there are some bizarre sea creatures that live in coral reefs. In this slideshow you can explore some of the oddest and most amazing ones there are to see. Take a look at corals that can burn, and learn what fish mark a healthy reef.

Spotfin Lionfish
Credit: Chuck Savall

The spotfin lionfish (Pterois antennata), with venomous spines extended, is native to Indo-Pacific reefs. Certain lionfish species have invaded reefs in Florida, the Caribbean and are moving up the Atlantic coast. The native Pacific fish probably escaped from an aquarium. Lionfish are aggressive predators and threaten local species. They are also referred to as turkeyfish because depending on how you view the lionfish it can look like the plumage of a turkey.

Parrotfish in Mucus Cocoon
Credit: Lexa Grutter
A parrotfish (Chlorurus sordidus) creates a mucus cocoon to protect it from parasites, like bloodsucking isopods, while it sleeps.


Happy Parrotfish feasting on algae which grows on coral...

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