The Shielder Fish, first of all, lives in the Pelagic Zone, because it lives in the ocean. The Shielder Fish also lives in the Benthic Zone, because it's habitat, which is a Coral Reef, is on the ocean floor. My fish lives in The Great Barrier Reef, which is a coral reef off the coast of Australia. The Great Barrier Reef has great sunlight, warm temperatures, low pressure, higher salinity, a substrate of sand and coral, and a pH of about 8.5. The Shielder fish lives also in the Neritic Zone, which has plenty of sunlight, and lots of nutrients. Looking at light, the fish lives in the Euphotic Zone, an area of high sunlight, high oxygen levels, warm temperatures, and low pressure. Finally, when looking at depth, the Shielder fish lives in the Epipelagic Zone, which is between 0-200 meters deep and has the same characteristics of the Euphotic Zone.
Physical Traits & Adaptations to Environment
The Shielder fish is a bright blue color with orange accents that will blend in with the coral surroundings. The fish also has big fins that it can use to scare off predators, and hide its face in order to better fit in with the coral. The red color on top of the fish's orange fins help it to alert predators to stay away from the Shielder fish.The Shielder fish is also very flat which can help it to fit into smaller areas and even hide on the bottom of the seafloor.
The Shielder fish is constantly moving around to find food and stay away from predators. Like other common fish, it moves by flexing its body and tail back and forth. The muscles on one side of its body expand and stretch while the muscles on the other side relax, which pushes the fish forward. The caudal fin on the Shielder fish helps it to steer, and when the Pectoral fins are not being used as a defense mechanism, they are also used to help steer.
The Shielder fish breathes oxygen from the ocean water through the gills. Gills by definition are feathery organs filled with blood vessels by which oxygen is extracted from water flowing over surfaces within or attached to the walls of the pharynx. The Shielder fish breathes by taking water into its mouth and forcing it out of its gills. As water passes over the thin walls of the gills, dissolved oxygen moves into the blood and travels to the fish's cells. So, the Shielder fish never needs to go to the surface to breathe oxygen because it can just extract oxygen from the water.
The Shielder fish eats smaller fish that live in the coral reef. It uses its quick swimming and camouflage to sneak up on smaller fish. Some of the fish that it might eat include: clownfish, mandarinfish, and gobies. The Shielder fish also uses its big fins to scare its prey.
The Shielder Fish reproduces sexually. A male Shielder Fish attracts a female Shielder Fish with the designs on his big fins. The only difference between a male and female Shielder Fish is that the male has designs on its fins, while the female doesn't. The female lays eggs in the sand by the coral reef, and the male swims down to fertilize the eggs. Both of the fish work together to guard the eggs and they look after the young fish until they are old enough to go off on their own.
One of the Shielder Fish's defense strategies is that it uses its large fins to scare off predators. The fins are a brightly colored orange with red patterns on them. When the Shielder fish encounters a predator, it moves the fins towards its face. This makes the Shielder fish look bigger, and the bright colors of the fin scare off the predators. The Shielder fish, because of its colors, can blend into the coral. Also, because of the thinness of the fish, it can fit into small spaces and hide away from predators.
Examples of Nektonic Organisms
The lifestyle of the Shielder Fish is Nektonic. My fish can actively maneuver through the water column and is a swimmer.