Friday, March 23, 2012

Don't Let Looks Distract You....the Venomous Lionfish

The lionfish is one of the most venomous fish in the ocean.  It can have up to eighteen dorsal pins that are needle like. These numerous dorsal fins contain the harmful venom.  This venom is used as a defense against predators, but is not used to capture pray; it has very few predators.  Instead the lionfish uses its red and white zebra stripped pattern to blend into the surrounding habitat and has very fast motions when hunting.  Lionfish swallow their prey all in one motion.  
Although the spiky fins are not a threat to its prey, the venom of the lion fish can be lethal to predators and dangerous to humans.  Lionfish come in second for the greatest number of stings annually.  In a year, there are 40,000-50,000 people who report getting stung by a lionfish throughout the world.  The sting of a lion fish lasts for fifteen to twenty minutes and has a firing burn.  In some cases the sting of a lionfish may hospitalize victims or even result in death.  There is currently no anti-venom to this sting. 

 Lionfish are native to the Indian Ocean and the tropical Pacific Ocean.  This fish finds its habitat in coral reefs and shallow bays.  They have a life span of five to ten years and on average grow to be about a foot in length.  Lionfish use external fertilization to reproduce.  The eggs that are released by the females are then fertilized by the male as soon as the female releases them.  For twenty five to thirty days the eggs float in the ocean currents and as they hatch the larvae make their way back to the coral reefs to take refuge.  It takes a lionfish one to two years to fully mature.


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Source 4 (Picture)
Source 5 (Video)

2 comments:

  1. Very cool. I have heard of the lion fish before but did not know that it ate its prey in one bite. The video was interesting. Also, I would not really like to be stung with the venom of one of these. Do you know if its venom is more than that of a sting of an adult jelly fish. I know there are numerous species of jelly fish but just a normal jelly.

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  2. From what I have read, I have gotten the impression that it is stronger than a jelly fish. But there are some jelly fish, such as the box jelly that has very strong venom, and I'm not sure how it compares to that. I haven't been able to find a good accurate listing of top marine venomous creatures, but I'm still looking. I did however find out more about the sting of a lionfish. It says that the sting can cause nausea, difficulty of breathing, paralysis, convulsions and collapse. Also, that these affects could last a couple of days and it could possibly take a month to recover if it goes untreated.
    (http://library.thinkquest.org/C007974/2_1box.htm)

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