(Last Updated on : 23/01/2014)
Sucker Fish, also known as Remora are fishes which are about thirty centimetres long when fully grown. These fishes are capable of swimming but are generally found attached to sharks, turtles, dolphins, and even to ships. The first dorsal fin is modified into a suction apparatus; its rays become divided into two halves and are modified into transverse plates which are surrounded by a membranous fringe. Erection of the plates after the fish joins its host creates a vacuum which enables the fish to remain attached. The sucker fish cannot be dislodged until it wishes to get detached.
The fish is not a parasite and does not suck the blood of the host. It uses its hold only for transportation, and uses its own agility to avoid being caught and eaten by the shark. The sucker fish also helps itself to fragments of fish escaping out of the shark's mouth when the latter is feeding. Recently it has been suspected that the sucker fish may also be feeding on fish lice or other parasites living on the host's body and gills, as it is found to enter the mouth and gill-cavities of sword-fish, sailfish and sunfish (Mola mola). Sucker fish are solitary in habit except during the breeding season and are oviparous.
Sucker fishes have been used to catch turtles. A long line is tied to the tail, and when a turtle is sighted, the sucker fish is released into the sea where its instinct makes it attach itself firmly to the turtle. The sucker fish together with the turtle is then pulled into the fishing boat by the line.
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