Bizarre remora behaviour

While conducting fish surveys in The Solomon Islands, we were approached by several large remora ‘suckerfish’. Their distinctive first dorsal fins take the form of a modified oval, sucker-like organ with slat-like structures that open and close to create suction and take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals.

As far as we understand, the face first embrace captured in this video is never-before seen behaviour from these animals.

Peacock Flounder

Like all flounders, peacock flounders are masters of camouflage. They use cryptic coloration to avoid being detected by both prey and predators. Whenever possible rather than swim they crawl on their fins along the bottom while constantly changing colours and patterns.

The changing of the colours is an extremely complex and not well understood process. It involves the flounder’s vision and hormones. The flounders match the colours of the surface by releasing different pigments to the surface of the skin cells while leaving some of the cells white by suppressing those pigments.

Healthy coral reef in Palau

Not only are Palau’s coral reefs a big tourist draw, but like healthy corals around the world, Palau’s #coralreefs provide vital habitat for fish and other sea life.

 

In this clip, a school of pyramid butterflyfish (Hemitaurichthys polylepis) dance over the delicate coral reef habitat they call home. Pyramid butterflyfish appreciate these outer reef slopes from which they can swim out into open water to get food.

Crocodilefish

Aptly named for it’s resemblance to a crocodile, this unusual looking flathead species belongs to the flathead family Platycephalidae. Close relatives of scorpionfish and stonefish, the crocodilefish is native to the western Pacific region.

 

As ambush predators, these unique fish have evolved specialised eyes with iris “lappets”. These projections help break up their black pupil’s and thus improve camouflage.