parrotfish tagged posts

Little Known Things that Parrotfish Do to Help our Coral Reefs

parrotfish swing in a coral reef

Who is not fascinated by the beauty of a Parrotfish? These fishes are more than what you think. This species is the key to preserve our coral reefs. The colourful, seaweed-eating, sand-pooping animal, Parrotfish is the heart and soul of coral reefs. Parrotfishes do many things that help us save our coral reefs.

  • Parrotfishes’ diet includes algae and dead coral. They spend up to 22hrs of the day nibbling. In short, they clean the reef. This is a vital activity because reefs can be suffocated by algae.
  • After eating all those greens, they excrete the finest white sand – pounds of it! Each living parrotfish can release up to 320 kilograms of sand every year.
  • They have delightfully garish fashion sense. Parrotfish are a big part of what makes scuba diving so colorful...
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Parrotfish ‘Farm’ Coral Reefs


Octopus gardens get all the attention from songwriters, but maybe it’s time someone wrote a ditty about parrotfish algae farms. According to new research, the fascinating fish—also responsible for pooping out Hawaii’s white-sand beaches—actually “farms” its food in coral reefs.

A pair of research papers have stated that some species of parrotfish, colorful creatures with fused teeth that form a bird-like beak, revisit the same feeding spots at regular intervals, according to a story on Futurity. Like farmers on land, they seem to spread out their feedings in such a way that new crops of algae can grow in their favored spots, and even go so far as to defend the spots from other sea creatures that might try to steal a crop before its harvest time.

The studies also took note of t...

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Parrotfish: Harm or Help Corals?


Jacksonville University researchers have embarked on a study of critical importance to scientists rearing and out-planting coral on the Florida Keys reef.

Mote Marine Laboratory, the Coral Restoration Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have spent millions of dollars rearing and out-planting coral on the Keys reef for nearly a decade.

Jacksonville University marine science professor Dan McCarthy and two of his graduate students are examining whether coral reefs flourish when more parrotfish are around to eat the algae that battle for space on the reef with coral or whether certain species of parrotfish feeding on the live coral itself might also damage them, McCarthy said.

McCarthy will be working with Mote, which gave the professor ...

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Parrotfish, sea urchins essential to Caribbean reef survival


Colorful parrotfish and spindly sea urchins are the key to saving the Caribbean’s coral reefs, which may disappear in two decades if no action is taken, a report by several international organizations said Wednesday. The report, which analyzed the work of 90 experts over three years, said Caribbean reefs have declined by more than 50 percent since the 1970s. It said that while many experts have blamed climate change for the problem, a drop in the populations of parrotfish and sea urchins is largely responsible.

Parrotfish and sea urchins feed off seaweed, and a drop in their numbers has led to an increase in seaweed, which smothers coral reefs, Jeremy Jackson, lead author of the report, said.

“The situation is truly horrific in the sense that you have all these places that are despera...

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