Wednesday 30 September 2015

That's a Moray!!

Often seen here on most Scuba Dives here in Cyprus, the Moray Eel is a great spot with a bad rap.

Yellow  moray eel in cyprus

Well, it is no wonder with those big teeth, is it? However, the moray is pretty content to hang out in rocky holes and crevices, minding his own business.

The reason for his menacing look is actually a result of his small gills. To compensate for this, he must continuously open and close his mouth, maintaining a flow of water which aids respiration but shows off those big sharp teeth!!

As carnivores, Morays are usually the dominant predators, feeding on a diet of fish, molluscs and crustaceans. They have notoriously bad eyesight but more than make up for it with their great sense of smell. 

Lurking in their holes and crevices, Moray Eels are able to ambush their prey, thrusting out of the hiding place to snatch a bite. They actually have 2 sets of Jaws but the second is only used for grabbing and dragging prey down into and through their digstive system.

The Moray Eel does have some predators though and these include: large grouper, barracuda and even other Morays.

There are over 200 species of Moray Eels and they can vary greatly in size and colour but all are easily identifiable by the snake like shape of their bodies. Scuba Divers can usually find them worldwide in warm and temperate waters.

The parasites on their bodies usually make them pretty popular with cleaner shrimp!

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