Sunday, January 07, 2007

The ocean's oldest profession

Fish cleaning, who does it, how, and why?

A new study says there is a hard core of "professional" cleaners and regular clients, and many part-time cleaners and clients that hang around cleaning neighborhoods.

Fish cleaning is more common in the tropics, and provides cleaner fish with food while ridding clinet fish of parasites, broken scales, or other debris. Fish seem to watch cleaners at work before choosing their favorite cleaner.

What happens after a too-vigorous bite? Cleaner fish will stroke the fins of offended clients to appoligize and get back to business.

Client fish typically pose in an unnatural way to promise no eating of cleaners, which can sometimes be shrimp as well as fish.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you did not mention that some fish are more common cleaners than others. the gobiosoma oceanops is the most common one i could find, both in articles and apperantly in the wild. there are a number of shrimp who do this as well, though i don't know which. this is a tough topic to research, i have a pocket guide to fish and it had one side of one page given to the topic. so you may have to dig deep on this one.