Triggerfish and hogfish prove that food chains can be complicated
Today’s Video of the Day comes from a new Brown University study that proves that food chains aren’t always as straightforward as they may seem.
In the clip, a triggerfish goes to gobble up a sea urchin, when suddenly it is confronted by a hogfish who steals away some of the urchin’s remains. The study also points out that while humans may be depleting large predatory populations, other mid level predators still pose a threat.
“Triggerfish are ‘keystone’ predators in the subtidal food web, capable of controlling the abundance of pencil urchins and in turn, the abundance of algae,” said Jon Witman, professor at Brown University. “Triggerfish warrant special protection because of their strong effects on ecosystem function.”
Source: Brown University/Witman/PLOS ONE