Moray Eel (Muraenidae)
Many fear the moray eel, a fish with a snakelike and scaleless body, and specie of the Anguilliformes family. In effect, it is widely known to be aggressive, dangerous and above all, real ugly! All the same, the diversity of its coat is at times worth comparing with the most beautiful printed fabrics: speckled, tattooed, freckled, stripped… and complete with a large range of colours: chocolate brown, off white, black, sandy yellow and even, scarlet blue. As for its size, it varies considerably from 25 centimetres for the ribbon moray to approximately 3 metres for the giant moray! picture of moray eel
Indeed, its huge head, dark eyes and concave teeth are enough to make it look menacing, yet the moray eel attacks only if it feels threatened. If it tries to bite an imprudent diver, it is only as a self-defense attack. Its bites are not venomous even if made to believe otherwise at times. However, some species can inoculate a toxin secreted by the buccal mucous membrane. In spite of all this, the moray eel has also some loyal friends: it maintains a commensal relationship with small shrimps and wrasses known as "cleaners". These guests, like a lively toothbrush, will clean off, and at the same time feed on, parasites and scraps of food from the moray’s mouth. picture of giant moray eel with diver.
Discreet and secret, the moray eel lives in tropical and warm seas, hidden in the rocky crevices and coral concretions, or within the various hideaways of a shipwreck, leaving only its pointed snout visible, with its mouth wide open, indeed not a very welcoming sight… picture of giant moray eel in a wreck
It goes hunting especially at night, targeting with its keen sense of smell - which compensates for its poor eyesight - some weakened or dead fish, octopus, cuttlefish, squids and various other crustaceans; the importance of this necrophagous function is utmost, and, as such, our sea animal unknowingly plays a genuine ecological role in the proper balance of marine depths.
Scheduled for individual release between September 2009 and May 2010, each coin is struck by The Perth Mint from 1/2oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality.
All coins in the series:
- 2009 Lionfish
- 2009 Leafy Sea Dragon
- 2010 Clownfish
- 2010 Seahorse
- 2010 Moray Eel