Red Snapper vs. Grouper

Difference Between Red Snapper And Grouper

Red Snapper

The red snapper is named for the way it suddenly and forcibly opens and shuts its jaws when dying. In this way, it has often seriously wounded unwary fishermen. The red snapper is a lovely rose color. Its mouth is large, and its teeth slope toward the corners. This gives the fish a grouchy look.

Red snappers are euryphagous. This means that they will try to swallow just about anything that moves. They prefer to eat smaller fish. But they will settle for crabs, squid, worms, mollusks, and algae. Snappers hunt mainly at night. They stalk their prey slowly, sneaking very close. Then suddenly they bite ferociously.

Snappers travel in large schools. They inhabit coral reefs and shallow waters. They usually remain near the coast during the summer and move offshore as fall arrives. They are thought to spawn in deep water during the fall.

The red snapper is a favorite seafood item. Unfortunately, this creature is one of about 300 species that can cause a painful type of food poisoning, called ciguatera. Scientists think ciguatera is caused when the red snapper eats a type of poisonous blue-green algae. The algae doesn’t seem to hurt the fish. But people who eat a contaminated fish can suffer from extreme cramping, diarrhea, and, in extreme cases, paralysis. Experts still don’t know when or where a rare outbreak of ciguatera will strike.

Grouper

Grouper, any of the large family of fish also commonly known as sea bass. They include many important food and game fish. Groupers occur in temperate and, especially, tropical waters. Some species enter brackish water; several are confined to fresh water.

Although the approximately 400 species of groupers vary greatly, most have several features in common. They usually have robust bodies covered with ctenoid, or toothed, scales. The lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw and the large mouth is equipped with bands of sharply conical, depressible teeth, some of which appear as canines. Groupers have a dorsal fin with a well-developed anterior spinous portion. The pelvic fins, which have a spine and five soft rays, are well forward on the belly.

Adult groupers vary from a few inches in length and several ounces in weight to gigantic proportions. The largest species is probably the Queensland grouper (Promicrops lanceolatus) of Australia; the biggest on record was 12 feet (3.5 meters) long and weighed 1,000 pounds (454 kg). Larger groupers tend to be drab; smaller ones are often brightly colored and patterned.

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