Snapper & Grunt
Group 3 - Sloping Head / Tapered Body : This third group of “fish-like” fish, are common on most dives and are also highly sought after as food fish. It is especially important to monitor these fish to provide data for fisheries management. Snappers can be very difficult to tell apart from the similarly shaped grunts. One helpful hint is to look at their tails. Snappers tend to have straight, flat tails. They are also known for their habit of snapping their mouth open and shut when caught on hook and line. They have very sharp canine teeth that can provide a nasty bite to the unsuspecting angler. Look closely on your next dive and you may see the small teeth protruding from the side of the mouth. Grunts on the other hand, have slightly notched tails. They get their name from the grunting sounds they emit when threatened. These sounds are created by rubbing together bony teeth plates located in the back of the throat. Since the teeth are in the throat, a diver will never see protruding teeth on a grunt, only big blubbery fish lips.
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5 Fun Facts - Snappers
Snappers are a diverse family of fish known as Lutjanidae. There are over 100 different species of snappers found in warm waters around the world. Here's all you need to know about snappers, along with some fun facts:
Size Matters: Some snapper species can grow to impressive sizes. The red snapper, for example, can reach lengths of up to 40 inches (1 meter) and weigh as much as 50 pounds (23 kilograms).
Predator by Nature: Snappers are carnivorous predators. They have sharp teeth and powerful jaws that allow them to feed on a diet of smaller fish, crustaceans, and even cephalopods.
Habitat Variety: Snappers are incredibly adaptable and can be found in a wide range of habitats, from shallow coastal waters to deep ocean reefs. They are often associated with coral reefs and rocky outcrops.
Commercial and Recreational Fishing: Snappers are highly sought after by commercial and recreational fishermen due to their delicious flesh and sporty nature. However, overfishing has become a concern in some regions, leading to conservation efforts to protect their populations. Remember ocean lovers, fish are our friends, not food !
Mating Rituals: Snappers have interesting mating rituals. They often form large spawning aggregations during certain times of the year, where hundreds or even thousands of individuals gather to reproduce.