SCUBAZOO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCUBAZOO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) passing white sand as it swims away. This large parrotfish feeds by crunching off coral branches with its strong beak, or by headbutting the corals until they break. It then eats the broken branches, grinding them up and digesting any organic matter within them, including polyps and algae. The indigestible rocky part of the coral is later passed as sand, as seen here. This is responsible for a large amount of the white sand found in coral reef ecosystems. Filmed in East Timor.
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