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Remora Facts

Size 12-35 inch (30-90 cm)
Speed Unknown
Weight Unknown
Lifespan Unknown
Food Parasites, waste
Predators Unknown
Habitat Worldwide, most warm oceans
Order Carangiformes
Family Remora
Scientific name Echeneidae
Characteristics Uses its headplate to suck onto other creatures

Main Characteristics

Remoras are slender fish related to jacks. They're also known as suckerfish, because they exhibit a behavior similar to "stowaways" by attaching themselves to marine animals like sharks, rays, and turtles.

Remora Remora - Photo: Shane Gross/Shutterstock


How Do Remoras Attach to Other Animals?

Remoras have suction plates to hold on to things. This is located on their flat heads and looks like the bottom of a walking boot. Remoras sometimes accidentally attach themselves to boats and ride along with them for a while. But as this strange, big “animal” doesn’t have any food on offer, the remora lets go in disappointment. They also sometimes attach to divers by mistake.


Why Do Remoras Attach to other Marine Animals?

Remoras suck onto other marine animals like sharks, manta rays and turtles. They use them like taxis to travel through the water, and eat food that falls out of and past their mouths. In return, they rid their taxis of parasites (which are quite tasty for them, too).


Remoras and marine animals live togehter in symbiosis. In biology, this means that two different species that beneft from each other.

Remora Remora - Photo: kaschibo/Shutterstock


Where Does the Name Remora Come From?

People have known about remoras since ancient times. They were believed to stop ships from sailing. That’s why it’s called the remora, which means “delay” in Latin.

Remora Remora - Photo: Rich Carey/Shutterstock


Fun Facts

The Remora as Bait

Take a remora and attach a rope or cord to its tail. If you see a turtle, put your remora in the water. It will swim over to the turtle and suction on. Now you can just pull in the rope and pull the turtle on board. This method was actually used in eastern Africa (near Zanzibar and Mozambique) and in northern Australia.

Remora Remora - Photo: VisionDive/Shutterstock

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