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     Groupers are part of the fish classification. Some groupers can grow up to 52 inches long, they could weigh over 150 pounds and live for 15 - 60 years. Two different examples of common groupers are: Black groupers and Nassau groupers. Groupers rarely come together to form schools or packs, they just group together when it is time for them to reproduce. A couple predators of the grouper are: Barracuda, King Mackerel, sand bar sharks etc... After research, male groupers have been known to spawn more than female. Female groupers turn into male groupers as they grow larger but are unable to change back. Parasites are a big problem that affect groupers nostrils, stomach and intestines. Parasites are isopods, cestodes, larval tape worms, nematodes and trematodes are some of the main harmful ones. Groupers are an essential part of the coral reef ecosystem. They are considered an endangered species because humans fish for groupers during their reproduction season.





     Groupers can be found living off the coast of Bermuda, in the Carribean Sea, in the Gulf of Mexico and all over the Western Atlantic Ocean. In fact, they are found in all oceans around the world but mostly in the Atlantic. The point in the water that each species of grouper lives in depends on its age - juvenile groupers tend to be located close to the shore; they stick around seagrass beds and tidal pools for protection until they are fully matured, at which point they head for the deeper tropical and subtropical waters.



Predator Adaptations


     An important aspect of the grouper's body is its jaw; it snaps very quickly. Although they don't have front teeth, groupers use their mouth and gills and are able to suck prey up from a distance. They swallow it whole and crush it with their inner teeth. Groupers are capable of swimming long distances but prefer to restrict themselves to a certain area, camouflage and capture their prey. Mature groupers feed on marine animals like octopus, crab, lobster. Young groupers eat smaller marine animals like plankton, crustaceans, micro algae and other microorganisms.



Prey Adaptations


      When groupers sense predators nearby, they make their way into the reef and quickly become pale or darken their body to camouflage. If threatened, the grouper can produce boom sounds by vibrating their swim bladder to scare off their predators. The groupers' main predators include: the moray eel, the sandbar shark, the king mackerel, the hammer head shark and the barracuda.





        A mutual symbiosis exists between the tiger grouper and the goby. The grouper allows the goby, a cleaner fish, to enter its mouth and feed on left over food scraps trapped between its teeth. In return, the goby cleans out dead skin and ectoparasites providing improved dental hygiene.



Species comparison: Stonefish


     Both stonefish and grouper use their camouflage ability for prey and predator adaptations. They both suck up their prey from a distance and use an ambush technique. Their habitat is similar and both can be found in the Carribbean sea.



     The stonefish has venomous dorsal spines which can be fatal to humans. Groupers can grow up to 4 feet whereas stonefish can rarely exceed 12 inches in length.



Brian Commiskey. The Habitats, Behaviors and Importance of Groupers in Coral Reef Ecosystems. 6:09 AM on 6/10/06. Tropical Field Courses-Western Program-Miami University. May 26,

2013. http://jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu/fieldcourses06/PapersMarineEcologyArticles/TheHabitatsBehaviorsandIm.htm


Marine Wildlife Encyclopedia - Nassau Grouper. 2012. Oceana. May 26, 2013. http://oceana.org/en/explore/marinewildlife/nassau-grouper


Synanceia. May 30, 2013. wikipedia. June 1, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synanceia


Grouper. May 4, 2013. wikipedia. June 1, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grouper 

















Comments (1)

Lucas Clarke said

at 6:01 pm on Jun 5, 2013

maybe some pictures would help;)

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