[Coral-List] Lionfish stomach analysis

Rudy Bonn rudy_bonn at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 25 12:20:37 EDT 2011

An interesting and very fun thing occured the other day when I was comparing a bony fish to a shark using a lionfish and a dogfish for a group of six through twelve year old ocean explorers attending Reef Relief's Coral Camp for Kids.  We decided to open the stomach of the lionfish and to the kids astonishment and to my surprise we found a fully formed juvenile lionfish in the adults stomach.  Now, I know that lionfish do cannabalize younger individuals but the kids were really amazed and it led into an entire discussion on cannabalism in marine fishes.  The kids recieved a great education out of the stomach of a lionfish, what could be better and of course we then got to talk about invasives.  This is how to get kids interested in marine science at an early age-- that is have some fun while at the same time learning something about marine ecology!  Perhaps the lionfish will keep their populations somewhat controlled by the practice of
 cannabalisim.  I know that would be great, but probably not very likely when we consider their fecundity.  

Rudy S Bonn
Director of Marine Projects
Reef Relief
631 Greene Street
Key West, FL 33040

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