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40.0 MB (3.3 MB compressed)
3125 x 4478 pixels
26.4 x 37.8 cm ⏐ 10.4 x 14.9 in (300dpi)
MATTHEW OLDFIELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MATTHEW OLDFIELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Yellow-edged moray eel (Gymnothorax flavimargin- atus) having its mouth cleaned by a cleaner shrimp. This is a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship. Cleaner shrimps pick and eat parasites from the skin of fish. Fish travel to specific areas of a coral reef, known as "cleaning stations" to obtain this service. At cleaning stations, fish which would normally attack or devour each other wait patiently for service, and shrimps which are prey for many fish are allowed even into the mouths of their "customers". This carnivorous eel may reach over 1m in length. Photographed in Mabul, Malaysia.
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