In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question, “What fish stick to sharks?” We will also talk about why remoras stick themselves to sharks, how remoras stick themselves to sharks, if sharks benefit from remoras in any way, and if sharks are receptive to remoras.
What fish stick to sharks?
Remora, also known as sharksucker or suckerfish, stick themselves to sharks. Remora fish belongs to the family of echeneidae and is famous for attaching itself to sharks and other huge marine animals. Remoras have a flat oval-shaped disk on top of their head which they use to attach themselves to other fish as well as ships.
This oval-shaped disk is derived from the spiny portion of the dorsal fin and contains a number of paired crosswise plates. These fish are thin, elongated, dark in color, and often live in tropical and sub-tropical oceans and seas.
They can grow up to 30-90 cm in length depending on their species. These fish usually eat their leftover host meals and also act as cleaners in some cases by eating the external parasites of the fish they attach themselves.
Why do remora fish stick themselves to sharks?
Remoras stick themselves to sharks due to a number of reasons. Some of the reasons wy remoras stick themselves to sharks are given below:
- The shark becomes a source of food for remoras because it can feed on scraps of food left behind by the shark.
- Sharks protect remoras from potential predators because many predators are intimidated by the size and power of sharks.
- The shark’s skin provides a smooth surface for remora to cling to. This makes it easier for them to move through long distances in water and to conserve their energy.
How do remora fish stick themselves to sharks?
Remoras stick themselves to sharks using their specially adapted dorsal fins located on top of their head. These fins are large, flat, and have a strong sucker-like structure. Remoras swim close to sharks and use their dorsal fins to grip onto the shark’s skin.
Their specially adapted dorsal fin is strong enough to hold remoras in place for long periods of time but it is not strong enough to harm the sharks. Once attached, remoras can remain in place for long periods of time even when the shark goes through rough water or changes its direction.
Do sharks benefit from remora fish when they stick to them?
Yes, sharks benefit from remoras in various ways. Some of the potential benefits ae given below:
- Remos play an effective role in keeping sharks clean and healthy by feeding on the parasites attached to them and their dead skin.
- Remoras can also help sharks to hunt their prey because they are sensitive to the scent of sharks’ potential prey.
- Remoras can also help sharks in escaping potential predators because sharks can detect the movement of remoras and use it as an early warning system to protect themselves.
Are all sharks receptive when remoras stick themselves to them?
No, Even though remoras are beneficial for sharks, some shark species do not appreciate remoras and are not amused with their symbiotic relationship with them. Sandbar and lemon sharks have been known to act aggressively towards remoras; some might even consume them.
However, most sharks are receptive toward them and greatly benefit from their relationship with remoras. Some sharks are even documented to have changed behavior around remoras.
This includes slowing down and sometimes even risking their own lives to let remoras attach themselves to their skin.
We answered the question, “What fish stick to sharks?” We also talked about why remoras stick themselves to sharks, how remoras stick themselves to sharks, if sharks benefit from remoras in any way, and if all sharks are receptive to remoras.