Sleeping Bag Cocoon

Several fish take shelter in the crevices and holes of coral reeves (sing: coral reef).Corals are found in shallow warm seas all over the world. In the Caribbean waters, lives a fish called, Parrot fish. It builds cocoons in the reef crevices.

Parrot fish is beautifully colored. Its mouth is drawn in the form of a beak that resembles the beak of a parrot. Hence, the name.

Parrot fish feeds on algae that are found growing on the coral reef surface. The fish scrapes the algae with its strong beak. By feeding on the algae, the Parrot fish protects the coral reef from algal attack. The coral reef is the home of the Parrot fish.

During day time, Parrot fish join other fishes and swim away from coral. When the night falls, the Parrot fish returns to the reef. It searches for a safe hiding, where it can sleep and spend the night…

After finding a suitable crevice, the Parrot fish builds a cocoon nest. It is a mucous cocoon. Mucous is a sticky substance secreted by the skin of the fish. The mucous cocoon of the Parrot fish is transparent. It masks the scent of the fish and protects from predators, while the fish is asleep.

If however any predator disturbs the cocoon, the Parrot fish will wake up from its sleep and move away in swift action. The mucous cocoon is shattered. It forms an opaque cloud in front of the predator which is left confused leaving enough time for the Parrot fish to escape…

In the morning when the sun rays light up the waters, the Parrot fish wakes up from its sleep. It leaves its cocoon nest.

The Parrot fish uses the mucous coon as its sleeping bag. Every night it builds a new sleeping bag cocoon. It sleeps at different places in the coral. It does not use the same bed or the same sleeping bag!!