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All about Parrot Fish
What is Parrot Fish
Parrot fish are mostly tropical, perciform marine fish. Peciformes are the largest order of vertebrates and include about 40% of all bony fish. The parrotfish family contains ten genera and about 90 species. A group of parrot fish is called school.
A number of parrotfish species excrete two different mucus types during day and night. Prior to going to sleep each night, the parrotfish extrudes mucus from its mouth, forming a protective cocoon that envelopes and secures the fish at a particular location and hides its scent from any predators.
Parrot fish are named for their dentition; their numerous teeth are arranged in a tightly packed mosaic on the external surface of the jaw bones, forming a parrot-like beak which is used to rasp algae from coral and other rocky substrates. Also most species of parrot fish are brightly colore with shaed of blue, green, red and yellow like parrots.
Their family is called Scaridae.
They are found on shallow reefs of the Red Sea, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans in large numbers.
Life span of a Parrot Fish
They can live upto 7 years in the wild.
Diet of a Parrot Fish
Parrotfish are considered herbivores but the tend to eat a wide variety of organisms. Their feeding activity help the production and distribution of coral sands in the reef biome and can prevent aglae from chocking coral.
Maximum sizes of these fish do not vary widely within the family. Majority of parrotfish species reach 30 to 40 cm in length. But there are exceptions as a very few parrotfish species are much larger in size, just like the bumphead parrot fish which can reach 100 cm. Some can reach 120cm in length. They can weigh upto 20 kg (45 pounds).
Interesting Facts about Parrot Fish
Some female parrotfish can change their gender and turn themselves into males. Some dominant male parrot fish maintain harems of females. If the dominant male dies, one of the females will change gender and color and become the dominant male. (Sounds really interesting to me)
Their teeth keep on growing continuously.
One parrot fish can chew coral into 90 kg of sand each year.
Much of the sand in the parrot fish's range is actually the ground-up, undigested coral these fish excrete.
In Polynesia their meat is served raw and was once considered "royal food," only eaten by the king.