Marine Talk: Goliath Grouper

It's hard to miss me, you know?
It’s hard to miss me, you know?

Look, the Goliath Grouper is a big and awesome fish alright? If you are looking for something dainty, go visit the clownfish.

Still here? Okay, so what do you want to know about the Goliath Grouper? What you see is what you get, all 2.5m long and 400kg of it. The Goliath Grouper is kind of like a giant, maybe only second to whales. And the saltwater fish is proud to inform you that it is almost as heavy as the average Harley Davidson motorcycle.

You know what? It’s really tiring talking in the third person but it’s vital to my survival. I’m practising to make myself sound really important, otherwise I will be subjected to spear-fishing for recreation and sport again.

And I’m also making myself look intimidating: I open my rather large mouth and quiver my body to ward off intruders who roam into my caves, shipwrecks and ledges. I believe that’s quite a freaky sight, as if I’m in a spasm, but it works so I’m not complaining. I can also darken or lighten my skin tone to hide from predators such as the dastardly Great Barracuda. Just some of the things I do to survive.

Marine biologists say I’m in the critically endangered category now because of overfishing, my slow growth rate and late sexual maturation. Another factor is the loss of habitats that I like to dwell in such as mangroves. No wonder I can’t find any of my mates whenever I make a rumbling sound, which is generated by the muscular contraction of my swim bladder. It is also a form of communication for fellow groupers. I guess you can liken this form of communication to your email or text; I’d like to call this ’rumble’.

How's this for a close up picture?
How’s this for a close up picture? Photo credit: @sehsation

Crustaceans, octopuses, young sea turtles and other fishes are the ’Davids’ to my Goliath. Actually, I eat almost anything and everything. To help me chew better, I have several rows of small teeth on my jaw and small pharyngeal teeth, which are teeth of the throat. But most of the time, I don’t chew; I prefer to engulf my prey and swallow it as a whole. Guess I’m too lazy to move my heavy jaws.

For a big guy, I don’t have a lot of things to say. Look for me at the Open Ocean Habitat at the S.E.A. Aquarium if you are still keen to chat, after all it’s quite hard to miss me.
Type: Fish
Diet: Crustaceans, young sea turtles
Size: 2.5m
Weight: 400kg

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