Coral reef’s most wanted

A lineup of five of the top predators found on a coral reef

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blue ringed octopus, reef, coral, predator

1. Blue-ringed octopus
Found on western Pacific reefs, this tiny octopus measures only 20cm (8in). It’s highly poisonous and uses toxins to immobilise and devour its prey.

2. Moray eel
A key reef predator, moray eels hide in crevices and lie in wait for their next meal. They have two strong sets of jaws: one for grabbing and another for eating their prey.

3. Crown-of-thorns starfish
This starfish has a huge appetite for coral. It feeds by extending its stomach over the polyps to liquefy and digest the tissue, leaving only skeletons behind.

4. Tiger shark
This shark species is a voracious predator and scavenger. They have excellent senses of sight and smell and seem to eat anything and everything they come across.

5. Reef stonefish
As a master of camouflage, the stonefish resembles an algae-encrusted rock. That is until it ambushes its victim by brandishing spines laced with deadly toxins.

Image credit: Sylke Rohrlach

To learn more about all the incredible animals on our planet, why not visit our AnimalAnswers website – from the makers of How It Works.

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