Fact Friday


Which end is which? Many butterflyfish have dark stripes across their eyes and spots on their bodies, which are meant to confuse predators and allow the fish to escape. “Eyespots” are often found near the rear fin of the fish. The spot looks like an eye to the predator. This “fake eye” tricks the predator and costs it an opportunity to get food.

Photo Attribution: Bennett’s Butterflyfish by Klaus Stiefel [CC BY-NC 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/)] 10 June 2010 via Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/8c45wB

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Meet Renée Carlton, marine ecologist at the Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation. She has studied the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on coral reefs all over the world—from the Florida Keys to islands in the South Pacific. She is especially interested in sharing marine science with communities around the world so they can effectively conserve their marine resources. She loves scuba diving, and her favorite ocean animal is a hermit crab.