Sunday, September 5, 2010

September 5, 2010 : Razorfish


Aeoliscus strigatus, also known as the razorfish, is a member of the family Centriscidae of the order Gasterosteiformes. This unique fish adopts a face down, head up position as an adaptation for hiding among sea urchin spines.

The razorfish is generally found in coastal waters from the central Indian Ocean to the Red Sea to Hawaii. Its natural habitat includes beds of sea grass and coral reefs, where sea urchins are found.

The razorfish eats mainly small brine shrimp and other invertebrates. They have also been known to eat minute crustaceans in the zooplankton. In the wild they have been observed hiding in the spines of sea urchins, both as a defense mechanism and as a hunting mechanism. When threatened by larger fish, the razorfish darts away to a nearby sea urchin. The larger fish, wary of being stung by the sea urchin, which can sometimes be deadly, gives up the chase. They also hide in the spines for a completely different reason. When hunting, razorfish will hide among the sea urchin spines an wait for small invertebrates that feed on the urchins. When their prey gets close the razorfish will dart out and try to catch its dinner.

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