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Parrotfish

on March 28, 2011
Aquarium Guide - Mini

The teeth of the parrotfish are uniquely designed to scrape algae from coral and rocks.

Design

Parrotfish

The teeth of the parrotfish are uniquely designed to scrape algae from coral and rocks. This is its main food source. Its Creator gave it an unusual “beak” to help it survive. It is also able to grind up pieces of coral and excrete the indigestible sand. These unique features were likely part of the original parrotfish kind when they were created on Day 5 of Creation Week.

Features

  • Species vary in size from the 5 inch Bluelip Parrotfish to the 4 foot Rainbow Parrotfish.
  • Coloring ranges from reds to greens, blues and yellows, as well as grays, browns, and blacks.
  • The parrotfish swims by rowing itself along with its pectoral (side) fins.

Fun Facts

  • This family was named “parrotfishes” because the shape of the teeth resembles a bird’s beak, plus the fact that they are often brilliantly colored.
  • Some species of parrotfish secrete a mucous envelope to sleep in. This mucous is thought to give it some protection form predators.
  • In some species, if the dominant male in a harem should die, the dominant female fish will turn into a male to take his place.
  • The parrotfish plays an important role in the health of the coral reef—it feeds on algae that could smother the coral if left to grow.

CLASS: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
ORDER: Perciformes (perch-like fishes)
FAMILY: Scaridae (parrotfishes)
GENUS/SPECIES: 90 species in 10 genera

Size: 5 in–4 ft (0.13–1.2 m)
Diet: Algae
Habitat: Tropical coral reefs of the Caribbean, from the West Indies to Florida

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