Gobies

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Gobies are fishes of the family Gobiidae, one of the largest fish families comprising more than 2,000 species.  Most of them are relatively small, typically less than 10 cm (3.9 in) in length.

In the family Gobiidae, you will find a lot of very small fish species that do not grow larger than 10 centimetres (4 inches), but there exists several large goby species as well. A few of the smallest vertebrates in the world are Goby fish, e.g. the species found in the genera Pandaka, Tyson and Trimmaton. The goby species in these genera are smaller than 1 centimetre (3/8 inches) as adults. You can find large Goby fish as well, such as several species in the genera Gobioides and Periophthalmodon. These large Goby fish can grow up to 30 centimetres (1 foot) long.

Translucent Goby Photo By Tobias-Friedrich

These are typically elongated, sometimes scaleless fishes found along shores and among reefs in tropical and temperate seas. Among their characteristics are two dorsal fins, the first with several weak spines; lack of a lateral line (series of small sense organs along the head and sides); and, usually, a rounded tail. Many are brightly coloured, and some, such as the crystal goby (Crystallogobius nilssoni) of Europe, are transparent.

Gobies are carnivorous, usually small in size, and found throughout the world. Especially abundant in the tropics, they are primarily marine in habit. Most species are bottom-dwellers and have a weak suction cup formed by the fusion of their pelvic fins.

The typical habitat for a goby is shallow marine environments, such as coral reefs and seagrass meadows. They are also common in regions where rivers empty into the sea and in mangrove swamps. A few goby species are found in freshwater, such as the Australian desert goby (Chlamydogobius eremius),the Asian river goby (Rhinogobius spp.) and the European freshwater goby (Padogobius bonelli).

A common characteristic for the various goby species are a pelvic fin that has developed into a disc-shaped sucker. When you keep Goby fish in your aquarium, you will often see them attached to the glass or to rocks and wood. This sucker is similar to the suckers found on many other fishes, e.g. the lumpfish, but the Goby fish are not closely related to the rest of the sucking fishes. The fact that many different fish groups have suckers is an example of convergent evolution.

Reference: Wikipedia, BBC Nature wildlife

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December 28, 2016 |

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