Tuesday, November 11, 2014
It looks like a talking, cartoon fish. I stumbled upon something very weird on the Internet (not that that is difficult, but even so, this is surprising). Somewhere was posted several "weird" animals, animals being anything that can move independently. I then learned there is a very unusual fish in the Caribbean (though they also have a variety of this fish in the Pacific as well). And it's called the parrot fish, this one being the blue parrot fish.
This "blue" fish has a bump on its face making it look like a beak, and also a fused set of teeth (instead of 32 individual teeth, like people have). And THAT, makes it look a bit like maybe a "Finding Nemo" kind of fish!
Many fish don't have any real teeth, as they feed on tiny insects or algae. The blue parrot fish does feed on algae on rock and coral, and bites off the rock in the process! It also has pharyngeal or throat teeth to further grind up the coral -- to tiny bits. It's then expelled out the other end: fish poop. If you were to swim by this three foot long fish it would leave you in a cloud of underwater dust!
These remains help form the Caribbean beaches and islands. So maybe those "white" sands aren't as pure as you think! They say the parrot fish produces about 200 pounds of sand this way. It's certainly given me a new interest in the colorful fish of the Caribbean-- gee, did Captain Sparrow ever seek out any of these blue fish?
Near our front door, just besides our somewhat prolific red bush (now fading out), is a compound leaf of what looks like a "mini- tree", that's come out of nowhere. This means it could be the volunteer, invasive "Tree of Heaven". But it has leaves with serrated edges, which the Tree of Heaven doesn't have. It seems to be, more likely, mountain ash or maybe a type of sumac.