Sunday, May 15, 2011


Most fish use their fins to swim from place to place. But the remoras have found another way—they cling onto other sea creatures with a special sucker and then hitch a ride.

Remoras are hunters and scavengers. However, they do not actively look for prey or meaty scraps. Instead, they allow themselves to be carried to food sources by clinging onto larger fish such as sharks, swordfish, and rays, sea-going mammals like dolphins and whales, sea turtles, and boats. Some remoras, such as the spearfish remora, have even been found riding inside the gill chambers and mouths of

RemorasAmazing Back Fin
Remoras attach themselves to their host with a highly unusual first dorsal (back) fin. This is located directly on top of the remora’s head and does not look like a fin at all. Instead, it is an oval-shaped sucker. The spines of the first dorsal fin—which are hard, pointed, and unbranched in most other fish—have split sideways to form a series of ridges, called lamina. The remora makes the ridges slide in one direction to create suction, and in the other to release the suction.

When the remora wants to attach itself, it simply swims up and presses the sucker against the host.The remora is then carried wherever the host goes. It does not matter whether the remora attaches itself to the back, side, or belly of its host. It is just as comfortable traveling upside down or the right way up. When the host finds and eats a meal, the remora releases its hold and swims about, feeding on any scraps of food that may be scattered in the water.


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