Fun Remora Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
The aquatic shark and remora facts are quite interesting to read.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

Remora is a word that has its roots in Latin. The word means to hold back or to delay.

The name was given to the fish after a historical legend accusing the remoras of killing a Roman emperor named Caligula. The emperor's ship was kept at sea by the remora, which caused him and his men to be delayed in fighting the enemy ships.

Apart from the legendary tales, remoras are known to be interesting fishes due to their unique quality of sucking and attaching themselves to a host. They lack a swimming bladder and yet travel across huge water bodies with the help of their host without taking any effort themselves.

There are around eight different species in total across the world. These fishes are found around 110-380 ft (33.5-115.8 m) deep under the water.

Read on to know more interesting things about the remoras. For more insightful details about other animals do check arapaima and rays.

Remora Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a remora?

Remoras are types of fish that belong to the Echeneidae family of animals.

What class of animal does a remora belong to?

The remoras are Actinopterygii class of animals that are also categorized as ray-finned fish.

How many remora are there in the world?

Although the Echeneidae family-based remora species is considered to be not extinct and of Least Concern, the exact number of these fish being alive in the marine world today is not known.

Where does a remora live?

This fish species is found in the waters surrounding America, Asia, and Australia. They live off parasites and remains of food from their hosts. They have quite an understanding relationship with the animals that they are attached to as they help keep the animal's bodies clean and get food in return.

What is a remora's habitat?

Remoras are most commonly found in warm oceans, rivers, and seas. They usually attach themselves to a large creature in the sea, such as a shark, turtle, or manta ray. In coral reefs, sharksuckers, or Echeneis naucrates, are commonly spotted attached to sharks.

Who do remora live with?

Remora fish are known to stick to other animals in the water and live with that particular animal for survival. It is thus also named sucker-fish.

Their name also varies based on the animal that they are attached to. For instance, sharksucker and whalesucker are some common names that are referred to as the remora that is attached to a shark or a whale respectively.

How long does a remora live?

There has been no evidence of the exact lifespan of the remoras.

How do they reproduce?

When the remora fish has to breed, both the male and the female remora are known to attach themselves to the same host. Their mating season is supposed to follow around the warmer times, especially summer or springtime. In the Atlantic, this season occurs between June and July, and in the Mediterranean, it happens between August and September.

The male and the female release their sperms and eggs respectively. This is done at the same time and the eggs are fertilized in the free water bodies.

These eggs are enclosed in a hard shell to save them from any damage. The exact number of eggs laid after spawning is yet unknown. Once the young remoras hatch, they look like a big yolk sac with non-pigmented eyes.

In short, they look like they are incompletely developed bodies and slowly start to develop a sucking disc with a length of 0.4 in (1 cm). At the length of 1.2 in (3 cm), the young fish attaches itself to a host shark, or other animal and starts living its life.

What is their conservation status?

Remoras have eight different species and all of their species are considered to be of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Remora Fun Facts

What do remora look like?

Appearance facts about remora fish talk a lot about the skin, color, and shape of this marine animal.

Remora are either dark brown or blackish-gray in color. This sucker-fish has a long flattened head with a comparatively small body that is covered with smooth scales.

The flattened head will have an oval suction disk with 18-42 plates that are connected in pairs and a crosswise pattern. This suction cup or disk is also called the modified dorsal fin.

There might be 32-38 dorsal fins in the slender suckerfish and around 31-42 dorsal fins in the sharksucker fish. This sucker-fish also has small, vomer and many pointy villiform teeth curved inward with an upper jaw that is smaller than the lower jaw.

How cute are they?

Remoras are not parasites because they do not affect the host. Even still, these fish aren't considered cute.

How do they communicate?

Remora is a fish that uses its ability of touch to communicate. They are tactile in nature and are also said to use smells and other chemicals present in the water to communicate with others.

How big is a remora?

Remoras are small to medium-sized fish. This species can grow as big as 12 in (30.5 cm) to a maximum of 35 in (88.9 cm). They are 10 times bigger than other algae-eating fish like the Otocinclus Catfish.

How fast can a remora swim?

Remoras usually lack a swimming bladder which is the main reason why they attach themselves to a host. They use their suction disk on the head to connect to a shark or a turtle or any other being and travel across the sea and ocean with their help at their speed.

How much does a remora weigh?

These fish weigh no more than 2 lb (0.9 kg) in weight, with a maximum weight of 2.4 lb (1.1 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Although there are eight species of remora all around the world, there are no specific names for male and female remoras.

What would you call a baby remora?

There are no records of a specific name for a baby remora. The general term for these hatchlings is known as young remora.

What do they eat?

Remoras are sucker fishes usually known for their suction technique that they use for their survival. They attach to hosts such as manta rays, turtles, sharks, whales, and other big ocean animals and will feed off their large host.

Along with eating the scrap or remains of the host's food, like the small crustaceans, fish, squid, and algae, they make sure to keep the host that they have attached to clean off any parasites and dead skin too. They might also eat planktons.

Are they dangerous?

They are not that dangerous. There have been no cases of a human that was harmed by a remora. Although these fishes are known to ruin boats. They might even attach themselves to divers, the bigger ones with a strong grip might be a little painful for the diver.

Would they make a good pet?

Even though the remora is considered to be not-so-dangerous, having this fish as a pet is not possible. This is mainly because they attach themselves to big creatures like turtles or sharks, and keeping the big animals in a residential aquarium is not possible.

Did you know...

According to the remora fish facts, the fishermen usually use them to capture a fish or a sea turtle. The fishermen attach the remora's tail to the fishing line and release them into the water.

With enough patience finally, when the remora attaches itself to the large fish or on the shell of a sea turtle they pull in both of these animals as their catch of the day.

What is special about remora fish?

The fact that remoras can stick to a large fish like a shark and still stay alive is an interesting one. This is possible because of their unique suction cup which helps them to attach to the host and feed off on the host's remaining food.

Their sucking disk is a special feature that keeps them unique under the water.

What is the relationship between remoras and sharks?

There is an understanding between the remoras and the sharks under which the remoras attach themselves to the shark's body and travel across the water body without any effort of swimming as well as eating the remaining or scrap food of the shark.

Their relationship is that of give-and-take where the remora eats and travels depending on what and where the shark goes, and in return helps the shark be clean off any parasites, dead body cells, and flaky skin.

This is done by the suckerfish when it sucks all the unwanted bacteria out of the shark's way.

Keeping itself safe from any parasites is what makes the shark adhere to this understanding which is why it does not eat the remora.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including the nurse shark and the swai fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our remora coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

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Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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