‘CURIOUS GEORGE’ THE INQUISITIVE BLACK GROUPER
Fish, like humans, have a wide variety of temperaments, or so it seems. Resorting to anthropomorphic analysis of animal behaviour is a favourite pastime for humans. Who really knows if a creature is actually feeling shy or confident or playful or aggressive or indeed inquisitive. Often it just seems that way and we are happy to categorise dolphins as playful, sharks as vicious, angelfish as serene, small darting fish as timid and so on.
Occasionally a creature displays a ‘human’ characteristic that seems undeniable. One such is Curious George. He has become used to the divers around the reef where he lives, and greets them. He enjoys the photography sessions and the equipment, even though they may be for recording other fish. He demonstrates inquisitiveness for the strange-looking black-suited creatures that visit his patch. Like many groupers, he likes to be gently patted and stroked.
All this curiosity and friendliness evidences a benign interspecies relationship of symbiotic mutualism, through which both species (man and fish) benefit from the interaction. The mutually beneficial feeling might in broad terms be described as ‘pleasure’.
Or maybe I am just indulging in a bit of over-anthropomorphisation (if there is such a word)…
All photos by one half of the symbiotic mutualism here, Melinda Riger (Grand Bahama Scuba)
Gorgeous photos, Curious George is adorable! I love this story of their friendliness and the benefits for them and humans’ interaction. How wonderful!! 🙂
Thanks Donna! It’s a strange world down there on the reefs – with creatures you might want to avoid becoming interested in a friendly way, up to and including large sharks… (that one’s definitely not for me, though – I’m sure they can smell fear from 3 miles away)… RH
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We were introduced to a similar inquisitive grouper on the Great Barrier Reef once. I found it curious that he was so comfortable with us and skeptically thought someone was feeding him. I’m glad to know it’s a grouper thing, RH, and how lovely for all of us. Melinda’s photos are supreme.
It does seem to be in their nature, rather than from seeing humans as a source of food (I mean as providers, not prey). I rather like the interest in the camera equipment to! RH
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