CRITTER SPOTLIGHT: Remora (Remora remora)
Good Morning Watershed Explorers,
Today's critter spotlight is about a special fish called the remora. A remora is a fish that likes to attach itself to larger animals and get a ride. Remora have a special suction disk on the top of their heads that allow them to cling on to other animals like sharks, sea turtles, bony fish, and others. When the larger creatures eat a meal, the remora capitalize on the scraps that fall off, so not only do they get a ride, but they get some quick treats too!
Remora can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They prefer the warmer parts of the ocean.
For a long time, scientists thought that the remora fed mostly on the scraps discarded by the animal it was clinging to. It was also thought that the remora would feed on ectoparasites on the larger animal's skin in a type of symbiotic relationship. It is now believed, that the remora feeds in both of these ways, and also eats plankton on occasion as well.
Remoras play a pretty cool watershed role. As we already learned, they do help to rid larger marine animals of ectoparasites, but they also help fisherman fish! Fisherman have found a way to attach a fishing line to a remora's tail and allow it to swim out and suction to a larger fish or sea turtle. The fisherman can then pull both animals back in. Remoras are not usually feasted upon themselves, but the larger sea animals they help to catch are!
I hope you enjoyed learning about this interesting creature of the sea. If you have ideas for future critter spotlights, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org