Of Parrots and Parrot Fish

Did you know that Parrot Fish have a bunch of unusual characteristics?

For instance, the Parrot Fish Diet consists primarily of algae extracted from chunks of coral ripped from a reef with their beak like mouth. The strange thing is that the Parrot Fish pulverizes the coral with grinding teeth in it’s throat to get to the algae-filled polyps inside. But, it’s front teeth are shaped somewhat like a parrot beak.  And, the sand in the Parrot Fishes environment is actually the ground-up, undigested coral they excrete.  A study in Bermuda estimated that parrot fish create a ton of sand per acre of coral reef per year.

Then, there is a weird gender issue.  A Parrot  Fish can actually change its gender repeatedly throughout its life.  Some male parrot fish maintain harems of females. Then, if the dominant male dies, one of the females will change gender and color to become the dominant male.  Not only that.  Parrot fish can change their coloration and patterns varying greatly, even between the males, females, and juveniles of the same species.

Parrot Fish are omnivores.  They range from 1′ – 4′ depending on the species.  Because of their ability to change colors and patterns throughout their life, scientist are unsure about how many sub-species of parrot fish there are.

Funny Parrot Fish Picture

Funny Parrot Fish Picture

Perhaps the fact that Parrot Fish have pajama’s is the weirdest thing of all.  Every night, certain species of parrot fish secrete an unusual mucus from an organ in thei head to clothe themselves in a transparent cocoon made of mucous. Scientists hypothesize that the cocoon masks their scent, making them harder for nocturnal predators, such as moray eels.

So, what does this Chirp have to do with parrots?  Ummm.  Well, they are both colorful creatures from tropical areas that have beautiful coloration.

About Diane Burroughs

Diane Burroughs, founded BirdSupplies.com in 1998. A bird lover who is owned by African Grey's, a Moluccan, a Parrotlet and a Red-Bellied Parrot, Diane is dedicated to improving the lives of pet birds with vet-approved parrot tested supplies and expert bird care articles.
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