Remora at Maho Bay

Remora at Maho Bay

I always love snorkeling Maho Bay, especially over the seagrass beds. There just about always something interesting to see. This time there was this remora that just swam back and forth along the hull of a big motor cat. Maybe it thought the boat was a whale.

Remoras, sometimes called shark suckers or whale suckers, have special fins near the top of their heads that they use to create suction and they like to use this feature to stick on larger marine animals like wales, sharks, rays and turtles or may even attach to divers or small boats.

Once their attached to something, they can control the amount of suction by sliding either forward or backwards. Backwards increases the suction and forwards releases it. So if one ever attaches itself to you, push it forwards to get it off you.

There is some debate as to the reason that the remora exhibits this behavior. Some say it is to get at leftover pieces of their host’s prey, and others say it is to have a prime location to eat their hosts feces. Both items have been found in remoras stomachs.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Read a cool article about Tony Snell who many might remember from his establishment “The Last Resort” on Belamy Cay.

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