Some thought the very fact that this big fish had several little fish living on it was interesting on its own but these symbiotic relationships are also a great way to show, as I have said, that the natural world is an ecology. The removal or depletion of a single species can have far-ranging effects beyond what we might first think.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Another Story About Symbiosis
Coincidentally, our visitor education update at the aquarium this week was about symbiosis. One of the specific stories is about goliath groupers, huge fish that like to live in blue holes and other close quarters environments and their symbionts the neon gobies. The little gobies are often overlooked by visitors because they are so small compared to the groupers. But I was able to draw several visitors' attention to the little fish. They like to hang out right on the grouper itself and munch on parasites, dead skin and other junk the grouper doesn't want around. They are one of many "cleaning station" symbionts that exhibit this kind of behavior: the cleaner gets a meal and the cleanee gets...cleaned.