Saturday, June 23, 2012

Life of Moray Eel

Life of Sea | Moray Eel | Moray eels are cosmopolitan eels of the family Muraenidae. The approximately 200 species in 15 genera are almost exclusively marine, but some species are regularly seen in brackish water and a few, such as freshwater eels can sometimes be found in fresh water. Moray eels are cosmopolitan, found in both tropical and temperate seas, although the greatest species diversity reefs in warm oceans. Very few species occur outside the tropics or subtropics, and those who do only marginally beyond these regions. They live at depths of up to several hundred meters, where they spend most of their time hidden in crevices and niches. While several species are regularly found in brackish water, very few species can be found in fresh water. 
The head of the Moray eels is great with small eyes set rather far forward, and a wide mouth with large teeth for tearing meat instead of grinding on the place. They have a secondary set of toothed jaws in the throat called pharyngeal jaws, that have been disposed to seize prey and drag down through their digestive system. They are the only creature known to use pharyngeal jaws to seize and hold prey. Moray eels vary considerably in size depending on the species, the ribbon eel of about 25 cm on the giant eels that can reach 4 meters in length. Also diversity skin color as many variations for each kind. You can see moray eels with skin that is speckled, striped, freckles or tattoos, and dyed in a variety of colors like brown, green, off white, yellow, black and blue. 
Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Actinopterygii
Superorder:     Elopomorpha
Order:     Anguilliformes
Family:     Muraenidae

Moray eels are carnivorous and feed primarily on other fish, cephalopods, molluscs and crustaceans. Groupers, barracudas and sea snakes are among the few predators. There is a commercial fishery for several species, but some cause ciguatera fish poisoning. Despite these variations, it is usually fairly easy to distinguish with other marine animals. Moray eels have a dorsal fin that almost the entire length of the body runs from the head to the anal and caudal fins, and are made to seem like a serpent by their absence of breast and pelvic fins. 
Moray eels secrete a mucus over their smooth skin in larger quantities than other eels, which they quickly swim around the reef without fear of wear. Also, sand-dwelling Moray eels can strengthen their hollow and permanent, as the grains themselves with mucus and attach to the sides of the burrows. There are often parasites on the surface of the skin, making them popular eel with cleaner shrimp and cleaner wrasses. Due to the small size of the gills, moray eels must be continuously open and close their mouths gaping in a fashion to maintain a flow of water and makes breathing easier. This is often mistaken as aggressive attitude of the unaware and is part of the reason for the fearsome reputation of the moray eels. Another is their inability, as a result of poor eyesight, in order to discern where the food ends and in which the human fingers to start. Besides the attack if threatened, Moray eels are known to bite off and the numbers of those feeding swallow. 
The main predators of Moray eels, but also his other large groupers, barracudas, and people. In reality this means very few predators, which explains why they have the confidence to live in burrows or crevices in the reef where rapid escape might be difficult. Moray eels are fished, but are not considered endangered. This is due to a large part of their toxicity. Ciguatoxin, the principal of ciguatera toxin, is produced by a toxic dinoflagellate and accumulated up the food chain that morays are top, making them dangerous for humans to eat.

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