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Credit: John Maraventano/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY


Caption: Lion Fish (Pterois volitans). Invasive species in the Caribbean/Atlantic, they have no natural predators in this region. The lionfish catches its prey by hiding in a crevice in the rock or coral and then ambushing it as it swims past. The lionfish then corners its prey with its large fins before swallowing it whole. Can grow up to 14 inches (35 cm). Lionfish prey on a wide variety of small fish and crustaceans that inhabit the tropical reefs. The lionfish is prey to few predators due to its large size and intimidating appearance. The spikes that protrude from its body contain venom that it uses to defend itself if being pursued. The main predators of the lionfish are large fish, eels and humans in the aquarium trade.

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Keywords: animal, aquarium trade, atlantic, caribbean, cayman fauna, caymanian sea life, environmental problem, fish, indo-pacific, introduced species, invasive species, lion fish, lionfish, marine biology, marine life, marinelife, ocean, pest species, pterois, pterois volitans, reef fish, spines, spiny, toxic, tropical fish, venomous, vertebrate, wildlife

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