Friend or foe?

Images: 
green moray, 72ppi.jpg

So many things are not as they appear under water. Viscious-looking barracudas are puppies.

Here is a photo of a green moray with its mouth open wide. I think morays normally breathe by opening and closing their mouths. Two separate friends have told me the photo indicates the moray is threatening. Which is it?

Thank You,
Marty

Friend?

As far as I know, if it was opening and closing its mouth in a biting or yawning motion (they pretty much do this all the time) it is just the way they breathe. When threatened a moray will most often than not simply disappear into its hole.

It it feels threatened or annoyed, however, it will arch it's back up slightly and keep the mouth open.

Moray

Thank you.

Marty

Just don't get in striking range

I was on a night dive with my brother in the Phils.  He wanted to get a close picture of a moray but got a bit too close.  I saw the moray strike at him (glancing off his camera) at a range of about 12-16 inches.  You don't want that thing clamped on your fingers.

Breathing

That is a beautiful picture.

All moreys have to constantly open and close their mouths in order to pump oxygen filled water over their gills to breath.  Its not a threating manerism.

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