Fact Friday

Goby and coral

Sometimes being the smallest has its advantages. That is true for the genus of gobies called Bryaninops. These tiny fish have a commensal relationship with corals and other immobile animals. That means that the gobies do not harm the coral, but they benefit from the relationship. For example, many of the Bryaninops gobies are able to match the color of the coral to blend in with their environment. This camouflage helps the gobies to use their host as a place to hide from predators.

Photo Credit: ©ILCP/Jugen Freund

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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.