By Rebecca Hogue Wojahn
Welcome to a Caribbean coral reef! As you snorkel simply offshore, you notice superb fish, waving sea anemones, diving turtles - perhaps even a prowling barracuda! The coral reef is filled with existence - from coral polyps snagging plankton to a moray eel gobbling up a goby fish. Day and evening at the coral reef, the search is directly to locate nutrition - and to prevent turning into a person else's subsequent meal. All residing issues are attached to each other in a meals chain, from animal to animal, animal to plant, and plant to animal. What direction will you're taking to persist with the meals chain during the coral reef? Will you . . . Tail a tiger shark because it sniffs out its subsequent sufferer? try out a stingray crushing clams? Watch a feathery fan trojan horse seize bits of leftovers? stick to all 3 chains and plenty of extra in this who-eats-what event!
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Additional info for A Coral Reef Food Chain: A Who-Eats-What Adventure in the Caribbean Sea
To see what another queen triggerfish is up to, tur n to page 42. . a dead southern stingray. To see what another stingray is up to, tur n to page 24. . a dead queen parrot fish. To see what another queen parrot fish is up to, tur n to page 34. . dead algae. To see what the plants of the coral reef are like, tur n to page 30. Spotted Moray Eel 40 (Gymnothorax moringa) As the sun fades from the reef, the spotted moray eel stirs in her lair. She may look like a snake, but she’s a fish—a long fish, as long and as thick as your leg.
Sponges. To see what another sponge is up to, turn to page 36. . a giant Caribbean sea anemone. To see what another sea anemone is up to, tur n to page 54 . . a fan worm. To see what another fan worm is up to, tur n to page 38. Coral Reef Plants 30 As you glide through the coral reef, you’ll notice there aren’t a lot of plants. But if you look closely, you’ll see plants tucked away among the lumps and bumps of coral. Those plants play an important role in the reef. Sea grass Sea grass grows along the ocean floor.
The triggerfish uses his long snout to aim a quick puff of water at the urchin. The puff spins the urchin off its perch. It lands on the coral below. Another puff flips the urchin over. Then the sharp spines don’t matter. The triggerfish dives for the soft parts on the exposed bottom of the urchin. He munches away—right around the spines. The light is fading from the reef. The triggerfish returns to the nest. He and his mate find narrow spaces in the coral nearby. They tuck themselves in for the night by wedging the spines on their upper fins into the coral.