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Disruptive Coloration

An Example of a Fish Showing Disruptive Coloration

Coral trout is an example of a fish that shows disruptive coloration, and belongs to sea basses family. Disruptive patterns, however, are found in coloration of fish, which form a school over a reef during daytime hours to protect themselves from predation. Whenever a predator draws near, the fish create a dense school in which each orient in one direction. Movement of several fish coupled with same disruptive coloration forms an extremely perplexing spectacle that makes it tricky for the predator to attack any one of them (Turner & Small, 2012).

Figure 1

Fins that parrotfish and wrasses use to swim

Both Parrotfish and Wrasses fish swim by rowing themselves along with their pectoral/side fins, and use their tail when they are swimming faster. They use the fins to make swift vertical movements and to propel forward. They swim in a different and pronounced manner by using side fins to rock their rear portion of their body up and down. They also have caudal fin, which they use for rapid speed bursts (Keith, Fleng & Jannik, 2010).

Operculum

The operculum refers to an elastic bony plate-like structure that covers and protects the gills, which plays a very significant role in the breathing system. When a fish is breathing, the operculum is used to help pass water through its gills by changing its internal pressure. The operculum is also meant for keeping water flowing towards the right direction on top of the gills. Not all fish have operculum, especially those that are not bony, such as Elasmobranchs family, which have separate gill splits for every gill. However, Ratfish is a boneless fish, but has skeletons made up of cartilage. In this case, their gills are covered by a spongy operculum. Such kinds of fish have to find other means of keeping water flowing over the gills for respiration purpose (Wells, 2013).

References

Keith, E., Fleng, J., & Jannik, H. (2010). Energetics of median and paired fin swimming, body and caudal fin swimming, and gait transition in parrotfish (Scarus schlegeli) and triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus). Retrieved 10 February, 2015 from http://jeb.biologists.org/content/205/9/1253.full

Turner, R., &  Small, J. (2012) Introduction to Marine Biology. United States: Cengage Learning

Wells, V. (2013). How Do Fish Breathe? Retrieved 10 February, 2015 from http://www.petplace.com/fish/how-do-fish-breathe/page1.aspx