One of the most wonderful elements of nature is the coral reefs, and so it is just natural that the coral reef fish are also some animals that the more people know about, the better.
The diversity of the fish of the coral reef
In case of the tropical reefs there are many different species that we can find and in the same time these regions are quite densely populated. These reefs have about 4,000 fish species, and this means about a third of all of the known marine fish species.
There are some families of fish of the coral reef that have adapted to these living conditions, like the damselfish and the butterfly fish.
On the other hand there are some families that have only a few members living in such areas, like the wrasses.
These fish can be found around the reef building corals, but in the same time you can spot them with sea fans, sponges, soft corals and sea anemones.
Some of the fish prefer to rest on the bottom of the ocean, while others are more active, swimming above them.
Since there are so many coral reef fish you may be asking how the coral reef can support them all. This is possible because the different fish species have diverse lives, preferring different zones, and different kinds of food.
Since the pressure is quite big to the animals, they have been forced to create different habits and to stick to them.
Just as you might have guessed, not all fish of the coral reef are active in the same time. While some of them feed and are active during the day, sleeping at night, the others do things on the other way around. Also there are some species that are active in the entire day, on and off. Usually when the fish aren’t feeding or doing any other activity, they are hiding from the predators.
In order to save space, many of the coral reef fish use the same hiding place. Usually the smaller fish, such as the gobies and blennies don’t travel to great distances, so the place where they find food and their hiding place are pretty close. On the other hand, the larger fish of the coral reef travel great distances between the feeding and resting places.
Another method for self-preservation is for the fish to form schools. This way the chances are smaller to be singled out be predators.
Taxonomy of the coral reef fish
These fish can be categorized in more than 100 families. The majority of these families are represented by bony fish, but we can also find some cartilaginous ones. Sharks and rays belong to this group, although there are quite few of them around the coral reefs.
Adaptation of the fish of the coral reef
There are many different methods that the coral reef fish have been using to adapt to the environment. These include adjusting the body shape, coloration, feeding structures and some other adaptations as well.