Thursday, March 06, 2008


Our friend Michael Patrick O'Neill has just won the Science/Natural History section of the 65th Pictures of the Year International contest.

The stunning winning picture depicts a Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara).
Formerly known as Jewfish , it is recognized as a critically endangered species by the World Conservation Union owing to its relentless pursuit by fishermen and trophy hunters. After the USA and the Carribean began protecting it in the 90s, it is staging a tenuous comeback, however with the fish's slow growth rate it will take some time for those populations to return to their previous levels.
After our Giant, or Queensland Grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus), this is one of the largest Bony Fish found in Coral Reefs (the largest Bony Fish being the Ocean Sunfish and the largest Fish being the Whale Shark). Of interest, both Groupers are believed to be protogynous hermaphrodites, with all young starting out as females and only a few large individuals becoming males.

Congratulations Michael!

No comments: