Remora: why do sharks tolerate and never eat stuck? (9 photos)

Category: Animals, PEGI 0+
17 June 2024

The common stickfish, remora, or shark remora, is a rather unusual fish, but absolutely harmless. You've most likely seen them in programs about sharks - these are the same fish that swim right under the belly of toothy predators. Let's say right away: remora is not a parasite!

God, what kind of monster stepped on the poor fish?!

Yes, animals love to swim across the ocean like a hare, clinging to a great white, whale, tiger or other larger sea creature. But they are not parasites! Free riders bring only one benefit to their transport.

My relatives are looking for something to cling to in my life.

Having attached themselves to the shark, the stickies carefully gnaw out all sorts of small crustaceans and other skin parasites from its carcass. Fierce predators only look so impregnable. And look at them - they don’t even have anything to scratch with! Therefore, the toothy ones are very happy with the escort stuck and happily ride them all over the ocean.

These are not teeth. Everything you see in the mouth of a large whale shark is a remora. In such numbers they can already bring some discomfort and inconvenience to their owner.

Caring remoras receive triple benefits from such cooperation. Firstly, there is a constant availability of food. If you run out of crustaceans on the skin, there will be scraps from the shark table. As a last resort, you can catch plankton. Secondly, as long as you hang out with sharks, you have no enemies in the whole ocean! When your security guards are the apex predators of the seas, the carcass is 100% safe!

Show me who offended you?

Thirdly, remoras vitally need rides with the breeze. Unlike some other fish, clams cannot pump water from their mouths to their gills. This means that they need a constant flow of water to breathe.

Remoras don't just stick to marine life. A boat is also an excellent transport for them!

By the way, fish reproduce without getting off their transport. The shark swims, the female stickers spawn, the male stickers fertilize it - everyone is busy with their own business. Newborn fry initially swim on their own, but already from 4 centimeters in length they look for a ride and hitchhike around the world.

If the transport is not chosen according to size, the remora will greatly interfere with movement, as it disrupts the natural hydrodynamics of the animal.

And to prevent remoras from falling off their vehicles during non-stop movement, evolution came up with a special suction cup for them. The dorsal fin of the fish became like the sole of a sneaker and moved to the head. Now this flat and ribbed something provides maximum suction traction.

They stick to me like that!

During fixation, the fin ribs move back - this creates a vacuum. Remora clings so tightly that it is easier to rip her head off than to throw her off a toothy taxi against her will. This fact is sometimes used by people during specific fishing.

Sticky does not worry about being dangerously close to the mouth of a predator. Remoras are never found in the stomachs of sharks. This means they don’t feed on them. Although the food is literally right under their noses!

First, they catch the remora itself and tie a fishing line to it. Then they throw the fish back into the water and wait for it to stick to something larger. Sharks, of course, are not caught this way, but turtles are easily caught!

The same slime that you threw against the wall throughout your apartment as a child.

One stuck “lifts” about 13 kilograms of weight with its head. This is simply an incredibly huge load, because the remora itself weighs only 1 kilogram! By the way, yes, remora can also attach itself to a person. They say it hardly hurts. But the fish are not interested in people - where they sit is where they stand.

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