Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.
What Is a Lionfish?
Imagine you are swimming in beautiful, warm blue ocean water. There are many fish darting all around, but one really stands out! It has stripes running up and down its body and several razor-sharp, pointy fins that spread out like a fan all around it. You float closer to get a better look, but something tells you that you probably shouldn't touch, which is smart on your part. That is a lionfish!
A lionfish is a venomous fish that has a brownish-red and white-striped body and sharp, spiny fins. The venom is a poisonous liquid that comes out from a lionfish's spines. Although it is venomous, the lionfish only uses its poisonous fins to protect itself from enemies. In fact, the poison can kill larger fish that try to eat it.
They are usually between 12 and 15 inches long and can weigh over two and a half pounds.
Lionfish are cranky, but they don't go after people. Painful stings still do happen by accident, however. Although they hurt a lot, and you would need a doctor right away, they aren't usually deadly to humans.
Where Do Lionfish Live?
In the wild, they were originally found only in the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. They have now spread to warm oceans all over the world. Some people also keep them in aquariums as pets.
Because lionfish are now in ocean waters where they don't belong, the number of lionfish has grown very fast. There aren't many fish in their new neighborhoods that want to chow down on a poisonous fish, so the number of lionfish keeps getting bigger.
A lionfish eats a lot, which is another problem for other fish in their new ocean homes. There are now fewer fish to eat where there used to be plenty. It's like going to the grocery store for bread so you can make a grilled cheese, but there is no bread left on the shelf because everyone else already bought a loaf.
What Does a Lionfish Eat?
Lionfish are carnivores, which means they only eat meat. Just like people, they enjoy a tasty meal of many kinds of fish and shrimp. When it's time for dinner, the lionfish blends in to its surroundings, surprises its food and gobbles it down.
Sometimes, it will even spread its fins out and steer the fish, like its leading sheep, to a place where they can't escape so they are easier to eat in one bite.
Lionfish are fish that have a brownish-red and white-striped body and sharp, spiny fins. Their fins have venom, a poisonous liquid, which the lionfish uses to protect itself from its enemies. Lionfish are carnivores, and only eat meat, but they don't use their venom to kill their food.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack