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Photographer's Note

One of the strangest encounter of this cruise occurred in the afternoon of our last day at sea, when Janette noticed something strange on the port side of the hull: a brownish thing, a bit like a slug, stuck to the steel plate at the level of the sea line.
The strange thing was a remora ("sticking fish") who had mistaken our hull for a very big fish.
I tried to take several picture of the fish, but most of them very wasted because the fish was just at the flotation line, thus mostly submerged and partly out of the water at brief moment only. And the camera could not accurately focuss.
Of these pictures I saved only two:
- the main post here, with very strange colors, where the remora can be seen outside the water as a brown cigar stuck to the side,
- and the one in workshop, where the fish is the black shape visible just below the sea surface.

Really bad shots, but a very strange fish!

PS Elements 6.0

And an extract of Wikipedia to learn more about it.

Remora

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Percoidei
Superfamily: Percoidea
Family: Echeneidae
Genera
Echeneis
Phtheirichthys
Remora
Remorina

Synonyms
Echeneididae

A remora (pronounced /ˈrɛmərə/), sometimes called a suckerfish or sharksucker, is an elongated, brown fish in the order Perciformes and family Echeneidae. They grow to 30–90 centimetres long (1–3 ft), and their distinctive first dorsal fin takes the form of a modified oval sucker-like organ with slat-like structures that open and close to create suction and take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals. By sliding backward, the remora can increase the suction, or it can release itself by swimming forward. Remoras sometimes attach to small boats. They swim well on their own, with a sinuous, or curved, motion.

Remoras are primarily tropical open-ocean dwellers, occasionally found in temperate or coastal waters if they have attached to large fish that have wandered into these areas. In the mid-Atlantic, spawning usually takes place in June and July; in the Mediterranean, in August and September. The sucking disc begins to show when the young fish are about 1 centimetre long. When the remora reaches about 3 centimetres, the disc is fully formed and the remora is then able to hitch a ride. The remora's lower jaw projects beyond the upper, and there is no swim bladder.

Some remoras associate primarily with specific host species. Remoras are commonly found attached to sharks, manta rays, whales, turtles, and dugong (hence the common names sharksucker and whalesucker). Smaller remoras also fasten onto fish like tuna and swordfish, and some small remoras travel in the mouths or gills of large manta rays, ocean sunfish, swordfish, and sailfish.

The relationship between remoras and their perfect hosts is most often taken to be one of commensalism, specifically phoresy. The host they attach to for transport gains nothing from the relationship, but also loses little. The remora benefits by using the host as transport and protection and also feeds on materials dropped by the host. There is controversy whether a remora's diet is primarily leftover fragments, or the feces of the host. In some species (Echeneis naucrates and E. neucratoides) consumption of host feces is strongly indicated in gut dissections. For other species, such as those found in a host's mouth, scavenging of leftovers is more likely. For some remora and host pairings the relationship is closer to mutualism, with the remora cleaning bacteria and other parasites from the host.

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Additional Photos by Emmanuel LE CLERCQ (emjleclercq) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2017 W: 62 N: 3115] (15780)
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