Grunts are a very wide-spread family of fish with about 133 species found in tropical fresh, brackish, and salt waters around the world. Grunts get their name from the sound they produce by grinding their teeth. They are bottom-feeding predators that are distinguishable from Snappers by their thick, prominent lips. The Grunts most commonly seen on Key West scuba diving trips are the Blue Striped Grunt and the French Grunt. Both are small fish, usually in the 8-12 inch range, and the two species often school together, sometimes forming schools of around 1,000 fish. The French Grunt is yellow, with yellow fins and horizontal silver stripes on its back changing to diagonal stripes on its sides. The Blue Striped Grunt has iridescent blue stripes running from nose to tail. Schools of Grunts cruise near coral, hunting mainly for shrimp and small crustaceans. Blue Striped and French Grunts are often seen in public aquariums.
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