Goliath Grouper Georgia Aquarium

Christina Perez
• Saturday, 07 November, 2020
• 7 min read

The Goliath grouper reaches a length of 8 feet (240 cm) and the largest published weight is 1003 lbs. The base of the soft dorsal and anal fins are covered with scales and thick skin.

grouper goliath georgia aquarium animal
(Source: www.georgiaaquarium.org)


The juvenile Goliath grouper, which is less than 39 inches (100 cm), is tawny or yellowish-brown in color with irregular darker brown vertical bands. The larger adult fish is gray or greenish with pale blotches and smaller dark brown or blackish spots scattered over the upper part of its head, body and pectoral fins.

The goliathgrouper is capable of producing a loud booming noise, which may be used to defend territory or during courtship. The Goliath grouper feeds primarily on crustaceans, especially spiny lobsters, as well as turtles, fish and stingrays.

This species is an ambush hunter that feeds during the day, with increased activity during the low-light periods of dawn and dusk. This is accompanied by rapidly expansion of its jaws and flaring of the gill covers which create a vacuum that sucks the prey into its mouth.

The Goliath grouper occurs in the western Atlantic from Florida to southern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Populations began to decline in the 1960s when recreational SCUBA divers would swim up to the fearless fish and spear it at close range.

This consists of a “threat display” to intruders by opening its mouth wide and shaking its body or producing a loud booming sound (see below). The Goliath grouper will travel many miles during one or two months each year to mate in huge spawning aggregations at traditional breeding grounds.

aquarium georgia grouper atlanta goliath pound fish aquariums ages come face fin experience visit underwater
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

As the male approaches the female, its entire forebode, from the pectoral fins forward, turns pale, contrasting sharply with its dark rest of the body. The eggs hatch into transparent larvae that quickly develop long spines and a large mouth.

After drifting with the current for 25 to 45 days, the one-inch larvae settle to the bottom in shallow-water mangrove habitats where they hide while completing metamorphosis into juveniles. Little is known about juvenile growth rates, feeding behaviors, or habitat shifts as this grouper matures.

Due to short dive times at depths of 100 feet or more, there have been few recorded observations of the courtship of the Goliath grouper. The giant grouper is the largest of all reef-dwelling bony fish, growing up to 8.9 feet (2.7 m) in length and weighing up to 660 pounds (300 kg).

This massive fish can be found among reefs, caves and wrecks in shallow Indo-Pacific waters. A highly adapted ambush predator, the giant grouper will hide in holes, crevices or reef overhangs, and remain nearly motionless while waiting for unsuspecting prey to come close enough to strike.

Its eyes see well in the dark, and can rotate, allowing the grouper to spot approaching prey without even moving its head. When the grouper opens its large mouth, it creates a powerful suction and draws in its target, which it swallows whole.

grouper goliath georgia aquarium atlanta
(Source: www.flickr.com)

Has a very large mouth that expands and protrudes to create a strong suction to draw in prey. The giant grouper ’s eyes function effectively in dim light, which gives it an advantage over its prey during dawn and dusk feeding times.

Juvenile giant grouper are bright yellow with large, irregular black or dark brown bars. Consists of fish, sharks, juvenile sea turtles and crustaceans, including spiny lobster and mud crabs.

Ambush predator that lies in wait while hiding in holes, crevices and reef overhangs. Found in tropical shallow reefs, caves, wrecks and estuaries commonly to 164 feet (50 m) deep.

Protogynous hermaphrodite; starts out life as female and can later change gender to become male. Populations of this species have been drastically reduced worldwide due to overfishing.

GeorgiaAquarium is proud to care for nine different endangered species from poison dart frogs to whale sharks. Jump to navigationJump to search I haven't nominated anything in a while but it seems like the standard of picture candidates has been slipping a little.

grouper goliath shark atlantic fish georgia aquarium saltwater swallowed pouted giant trout planetsave swallowing
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

;) Here's a photo I took earlier this year of a Giant Grouper. Its quite high resolution and detailed considering it was shot through a ~1 inch thick sheet of glass.

It also shows both the grouper itself and the smaller fish that tend to follow it for safety. I don't like the identification confusion anymore that iron, but the image is strong enough anyway.

(and by the way, I don't think the fish hideous at all, on the contrary he's very regal looking) -- Pharaoh Hound 13:01, 31 May 2006 (UTC) Let me just emphasize though that I don't think anyone should be nominating or supporting known erroneous images, after all this is an encyclopaedia, not just a photo gallery.

That's a slick-looking edit Fir, but I don't think the rock hurts the composition and I'm a bit uneasy about adding fake fish to the picture. Red quark 19:06, 30 May 2006 (UTC) Switch to Support Mad Max's edit as the colors are much nicer.

Although Fir's edit was pretty clever, I also didn't think the rock hurt the composition. Tang 00:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC) Support original or Mad Max's edit.

grouper goliath fish
(Source: www.youtube.com)

-- Life is like a box of chocolates 00:42, 31 May 2006 (UTC) Support Fir0002's edit. I think the blue water goes better with the yellow fish; they stand out more, as opposed to the original's teal color.

Also, it may be just me, but the teal color seems to give the water a “murky” look, which I'm just not liking. The grouper has also been slightly sharpened in Mad Max's edit so that's good.

-- Life is like a box of chocolates 09:09, 31 May 2006 (UTC) We have been through the argument of aesthetics vs accuracy in the past, but as the original photographer I can confirm that the water WAS a little murky in reality and the original color is quite accurate. I run all the photos I take through a raw processor and colour-correct if I feel it is necessary.

I can understand this is a subjective thing and I can see how the edit by mad max looks 'cleaner' but I don't think that sanitizing an image for aesthetics is always as important as people seem to believe. Cliff | (Talk)(Cont ribs) 09:31, 31 May 2006 (UTC) I'll change my vote in response to this new information, but it really doesn't matter that much.

All that has changed is a slight variation in the waters color, what's the big deal? -- Life is like a box of chocolates 10:10, 31 May 2006 (UTC) Well, I agree that the difference is minimal, but the accuracy is still important IMHO.

aquarium georgia grouper goliath atlanta michele babcock visiting nice blogbymichele son july
(Source: blogbymichele.wordpress.com)

On a lighter note I have to commend you on your other photo, very cool shot man-- Life is like a box of chocolates 10:27, 31 May 2006 (UTC) Support original or Madman's edit. -- Dante Alighieri | Talk 22:07, 31 May 2006 (UTC) Support the Original 07:50, 1 June 2006 (UTC) Oppose agree with Dante, it's a cool pic, just not the best pic of that subject.

Agree with Screen, rock is cool and the darker blue is a bit weird. The tallish is what makes it unique and the rock sets the environment.

-- FBI 65 e Del (discuss | cont ribs) 03:48, 4 June 2006 (UTC) Oppose like with the snapper I prefer shots of animals taken in their natural environment. Cliff | (Talk) (Cont ribs) 06:37, 5 June 2006 (UTC) From my time spend free-diving and scuba diving the Caribbean, the Indian and Pacific oceans the first two look too green and Mad Max edit way too blue.

Don't get me wrong, it is still a good shot, but to be featured: the colors should be more realistic of a natural environment; the subject a bit more from the side; a bit of natural environment (like a coral reef) should show up and at least some small fish should be in focus. The good news is that it will probably get promoted despite my opinion ;) Sanders 10:51, 5 June 2006 (UTC) I edited the picture on an old(er) monitor which doesn't show colors as good as some newer models with colonial technology.

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1 www.nationalgeographic.com - https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/phenomena/2013/04/24/groupers-use-gestures-to-recruit-morays-for-hunting-team-ups/
2 www.newscientist.com - https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10730-eels-and-groupers-hunt-better-together/
3 www.youtube.com - https://www.youtube.com/watch
4 www.sciencedaily.com - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061206095317.htm
5 journals.plos.org - https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article
6 panamadivecenter.com - https://panamadivecenter.com/moral-eels-groupers-teamwork-marine-environment/
7 www.scienceandthesea.org - https://www.scienceandthesea.org/articles/200902/partners-crime
8 www.mesa.edu.au - http://www.mesa.edu.au/AtoZ/Yellow_moray_eel.asp