Friday, May 04, 2012

The Wonderful World of the Triggerfish

 

The triggerfish is a member of the Tetraodontiformes, an order that also includes pufferfish, filefish, and even the ocean sunfish, and is so named for the beak-like “teeth” of its mouth, which are perfect for cracking the shells of crustaceans and mollusks. Residing mainly in coral reef areas, the triggerfish has a distinctive body shape and notoriously bad temperament, especially if it happens to be guarding a clutch of eggs. Many SCUBA divers and snorkelers have experienced the wrath of a triggerfish, who will not hesitate to dart in for a bite, if it feels like there’s a threat to their throne. Their territory extends upward from the seafloor in a cone shape, so if a triggerfish seems like it might be a little feisty, it is best to swim horizontally away, rather than toward the surface. Besides being able to deliver a powerful chomp, the triggerfish poses little threat to humans. Some species of triggerfish harbor dangerous toxins in their skin and organs, so care must be taken if catching one for consumption. The name “triggerfish” comes from another defensive characteristic: two dorsal spines are erected when threatened, the first and tallest of which can only be released by depressing the second spine, much like a trigger on a gun. They can be found in nearly all shallow tropical and subtropical regions of the world, but they are most highly concentrated in the Indo-Pacific. Here are some of the many varieties of triggerfish you’ll encounter on a dive, but be careful to watch that trigger!

4 comments:

Nick from LeisurePro said...

If you are going to copy and paste, please provide proper citation: http://aquaviews.net/explore-the-blue/trigger-happy/

Antonio Ruivo said...

Sorry Nick. I'll do that asap

Antonio Ruivo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Antonio Ruivo said...

Had a close encounter with one of these fellows during an awesome dive in Maldives.
Unfortunatly I wasn't carrying my UW camera along :-(
Those unique and exquisite colours are abslolutely astonishing in the reef crystal clear waters!
I didn't have experienced the wrath of that particular triggerfish cause probably he wasn't guarding a clutch of eggs...