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The largest of the frogfish species, the Giant or Commerson frogfish can reach sizes up to 15 inches in length.
Warm tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as in the Red Sea.
Frogfish are masters of reef camouflage; they are found in a range of colors and have the ability to change their coloration (and texture) to match their environment.
Often mistaken for sponges, this bony fish has lumps and warts covering its scale-less skin. The dorsal fins (the fins on the back of the fish) and tail are rounded, which gives the frogfish a football like look. Frogfish are commonly seen resting in one spot among coral and sponges or can be seen “walking” along the ocean floor on their specially adapted pectoral fins.
Frequently found inshore among the coral reef ecosystems; in particular along the rocky bottom.
Frogfish prey includes smaller fishes (including other frogfish) and crustaceans (lobsters and crabs). Frogfish are expert ambush predators and will stay perfectly camouflaged while waiting for food. Classified as an anglerfish, their first dorsal fin has adapted into a small, fleshy rod that is used as a fishing rod to attract prey. The frogfish will wiggle this pole and lure until unsuspecting prey is close enough that the frogfish and suck it up. In fewer than 6 milliseconds, frog fish can expand their jaws more than 12 times its size to gulp prey. It is not uncommon for a frogfish to each prey items that are larger than it!
Larger frogfish and ocassionally, moray eels.
Male and female frogfish are usually the same size but during spawning, females will increase in size to accommodate their egg mass (40,000-180,000 eggs). Eggs are laid in large mucus covered masses close to the surface and there is no parental care given to the young. The egg raft will float over long distances and sinks short after the larvae hatch.
Scientific Name: Antennarius commersonii
Size: African penguins range from 18 to 25 inches tall and weigh up to 11 pounds
Range/Distribution: The only penguin to breed in Africa, the African penguin ranges from Namibia to South Africa. Young penguins have been known to migrate north and west along the coastline and are found between Southern Angola, Namibia, and sometimes found off Gabon, Congo, and Mozambique, but generally reside in South Africa.
Appearance: The African penguin has a robust, torpedo-shaped body with black feathers on their back, flippers, and head while white feathers cover their front with the exception of horseshoe-shaped black stripe on the chest. Following the penguin’s first few molts a white stripe will develop around its cheek and throat. These birds have a bare patch above their eyes to assist with regulating their body temperature.
Habitat: When not hunting for food in the water, African penguins are found along rocky shores or brushy coastal areas.
Prey: African penguins feed on 25 species of fish, such as sardine and anchovy but also prey on squid and krill. A penguin may eat up to one pound of food or up to 14% of their weight.
Predators: African penguins face predation by gulls, feral cats and mongoose while nesting on land, while sharks and fur seals hunt African penguins in the water.
Life Span: The African penguin may live up to late 30 years in an aquarium or zoo but averages of 15-20 years are seen in the wild populations.
Mating Behaviors: There are no set breeding seasons for African penguins, however, most penguin pairs are monogamous and will remain together over several breeding years. The male will prepare a nest by digging a shallow burrow in sand or in brush using guano (penguin waste) and any materials nearby to complete the nest for the female to lay two eggs. Both the male and female share the nesting and chick duties, keeping the young safe from predators and warm temperatures. The chicks will hatch between 38 and 42 days and will leave the nest when they are between 60 to 130 days of age.
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