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The Remora of Tragedy

Remora front dorsal fins have evolved to enable them to adhere by suction to smooth surfaces, and they spend most of their lives clinging to a host animal such as a whale, turtle, shark or ray. It is probably a mutualistic arrangement as the remora can move around on the host, removing ectoparasites and loose flakes of skin, while benefiting from the protection provided by the host and the constant flow of water across its gills. Although it was initially believed that remoras fed off particulate matter from the host’s meals, this has been shown to be false; in reality, their diets are composed primarily of host feces.

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