Today we continued our adventures on the coral reef by learning about the curious cleaner wrasse, the toothbrush of the sea! First, we practiced our animal sign language using our sign language song and then we learnt all about how these clever little fish get their food by cleaning all the other fish! We then made our very own cleaner wrasse puppets using upcycled decorating scraps and went off to our Great Barrier Reef exhibit to see if we could spot the real thing! Whilst we were there we played lots of games and read a story written by our Host Lizzie about one of our fish called Samson who loves being cleaned by the cleaner wrasse. We then went back up to the café to finish off our session with a dance and a sing-along to our Coral Reef song. A fintastic time was had by all!
Cleaner Wrasse are small fish, about the size of your finger, which get all their food by cleaning the teeth, skin and gills of other fish! They are a bit like a toothbrush for fish, sharks and turtles! They will even clean your teeth if you go diving too! Would you let a fish clean your teeth?
Cleaner wrasse set up special places called cleaning stations where animals come to be cleaned. The cleaner wrasse do a special dance to tell fish that they are ready to clean them! Even though they are so small and swim inside the mouths of big fish and sharks the cleaner wrasse will never get eaten! They are just too important!
Cleaner wrasse love to live on coral reefs where there are lots of fish for them to clean! We can explore coral reefs by visiting them on boats, diving or snorkelling, but we need to be very careful because coral is very delicate, and we could break it! By looking after coral we can look after the cleaner wrasses’ home!