Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sea Basses

Some fish change sex as they grow older, turning from female into male, or vice versa. In some species of sea basses, however, an individual may be male and female at the same time.

Sea Basses
The sea basses are a family of fish found all over the world.The smallest members of the family are not much bigger than your thumb, yet the biggest—the giant grouper—grows to 10 feet in length and can weigh over 880 pounds. Some of the smaller, more colorful species, such as the wreckfish, are popular aquarium fish. The juveniles (young) of some of the bigger species, such as the coral trout, are also
prized for their colors and interesting body patterns.

Sea basses are popular food fish and they are collected in large numbers, making several species extremely rare in the wild. The flesh of some species may be poisonous, however, and can cause an illness known as ciguatera poisoning in humans.

More Than One Sex
Sea Basses
Not only can sea basses change sex, but they can also be hermaphrodite (have both male and female sex organs at the same time). But a sea bass cannot fertilize its own eggs. Instead, sperm and eggs are exchanged between two hermaphrodite individuals. This ensures that genetic material from different animals combines together during spawning.The larger fish in a spawning pair usually acts as the male, releasing sperm rather than eggs. When this individual mates with a larger fish, though, it acts as a female and releases eggs. Switching between acting as male or female can happen several times a day and takes as little as 30 seconds.


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