Herb the Hind in Bermuda

There are actually two regular resident Hinds on our undersea walk. One very small fellow that has not grown up enough to be in the mix with all the other big fish. In fact the one in these photos is no longer with us. He has either become a different part of the 'Circle of Life', or has decided that he had better stay away from Barack the Black grouper who is 23 inches long and can grow to five feet.
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When the snappers go off each summer to do their annual spawning aggregation(group sex for fish), Herb can be more bold and friendly. He has been known to pose for photos and even tolerate a gentle caress/hold. Hinds have a particular quirk of proping themselves firmly with their pectoral fins in your hands as you are holding them. They exibit the same behavior when on the reef and can be seen holding themselves steady against the reef or just the sandy bottom.
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If Herb the Red Speckled Hind gets fed too much he, like people, gets complacent, and will not do his duties. He will just sit there on the bottom, belly protruding, leaning over propped up by one fin, with a vacant look on his face, imobile and unwilling to do anything, just like a beer drinking couch potatoe.
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Fish and many other creatures appear so cute when they are small because their eyes are bigger in relation to the rest of their bodies. The hind on the left below is a good sized adult. The photo was taken out on the wreck of the Lartington, which is on the edge of the barrier reef that surrounds Bermuda. The photo on the right is a three inch long fellow I managed to take a photo of before he slipped in a sheltered hole.
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