marineland dolphin adventure
conservation field station
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Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Conservation Field Station
Commonly Asked Questions
Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
Range / Habitat
Occurs in the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea to Algoa Bay, South Africa through the Hawaiian and Pitcairn islands and south to Australia.
Found in tropical shallow reefs, caves, wrecks and estuaries commonly to 164 feet (50 m) deep. Full depth range is 13-328 feet (4-100 m).
Largest of all coral reef-dwelling bony fish.
Common length up to 8 feet (2.5 m) and maximum weight of 660 lbs. (300 kg).
One of the largest recorded was 9.8 feet (3 m) and weighed more than 882 lbs. (400 kg).
Juvenile giant grouper are bright yellow with large, irregular black or dark brown bars.
As adult, irregular patterns break up and their coloring becomes a muted, mottled olive-gray.
Has a very large mouth that expands and protrudes to create a strong suction to draw in prey.
Mouth has at least seven rows of teeth on the middle of the lower jaw.
The giant grouper’s eyes function effectively in dim light, which gives it an advantage over its prey during dawn and dusk feeding times.
Eyes also rotate so grouper can see approaching prey without moving its head.
Diet / Feeding
Consists of fish, sharks, juvenile sea turtles and crustaceans, including spiny lobster and mud crabs.
Ambush predator that lies in wait while hiding in holes, crevices and reef overhangs.
Swallows food whole.
Occupies the upper end of the food chain:
Few reside in each area; few found on any one reef.
Reproduction / Growth
Protogynous hermaphrodite; starts out life as female and can later change gender to become male.
Does not reach sexual maturity until it is about 20 years old. Fishing usually removes the largest, and therefore oldest, fish first.
“Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.
Populations of this species have been drastically reduced worldwide due to overfishing.
Population thought to be declining 20 percent rate every ten years.
Slow-growing and lives up to or beyond 50 years.
Other common names for this species are “Queensland grouper” and “brindle bass."
Encyclopedia of Fishes
. 2nd Edition, pgs. 195 -199
Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef
. Randall, J. E., pg. 109
Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific
. Allen, G. R., pg. 106
. Thresher, R. E., pgs. 153 -155
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