Large tropical Ocean fish species

Why are there more species of coral and fish in tropical Indo-Pacific area than the Atlantic?

Historical reasons:

During the last ice age, sea levels and temperatures dropped, and previously underwater ledges were exposed to erosion, both by the wind and water currents. This typically creates features that, once the Ice age ends and sea levels rise, are ideal settlement regions for warm water corals. These corals become reefs that attract a large number of different marine life, creating simple but unique trophic interactions that ultimately result in speciation via geographic and ecological isolation. The longer it took for the Atlantic to warm, along with the smaller area and the shallower depths, led to the Indo-Pacific gaining a leg up on coral speciation and ultimately led to a greater biodiversity in that region. n

Geographic location

The interconnection of the Malaysian, Indonesian, and Philippine archipelagos on the continental shelf provides a mechanism for the isolation and reconnection of Indo-Pacific populations as sea levels change. Populations in Indo-Pacific oceanic archipelagos also undergo isolation and reconnection as current patterns change with changes in sea level. he rate of extinction by protecting populations from disease and predation. Therefore, the bigger size of the tropical Indo-Pacific, relative to the Atlantic, gives it an advantage for achieving high species richness. Geographic isolation prevents gene flow, so populations develop genetic differences. This independent evolution leads to speciation.

Besides size, the Pacific Ocean is older than the Atlantic. The Pacific has many more islands than the Atlantic does – and these islands provide opportunities for isolation and speciation. Also, they provide for the development of more coral reefs in the shallow waters surrounding the islands.

Temperature and salinity are also huge factors in the diversity of corals and fish because with a higher salt content in the Atlantic, fish and coral have a tougher time adapting to such waters.


TFH Publications A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Fishes: 500+ Essential-To-Know Aquarium Species
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Shark Week: Oceanic whitetip shark

by Fish_of_the_hour


Jacques Cousteau called them "the most dangerous of all sharks. The only species of shark that is never frightened by the approach of a diver".
The oceanic whitetip shark is found worldwide in epipelagic (the upper 200 m of the open sea) tropical and subtropical waters around the world. The whitetip is the most common shark in its size range, and perhaps the most abundant large animal in the world. Up to 4 m total length; maximum weight: 168 kg.
The oceanic whitetip is usually solitary and slow-moving, and tends to cruise near the top...

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