If you were to peek under the waters of Santa Catalina Island and areas of the Southern California coast you might see a brilliant orange fish about a foot long, poised by a red algae-covered rocky outcropping, swooping and making loud "thumping" noises and putting on quite a show...for whom and why?
The garibaldi, or ocean goldfish, is the largest member of the damselfish family, and one of the few species that resides in the cooler temperate waters from central Baja California north to Monterey. Almost all other members of the damselfish family are found in tropical reefs around the world and are less than 8 inches long. The garibaldi is the state marine fish of California.
One of the most interesting things about garibaldis is their courtship and mating behavior. Males work hard to attract females and end up guarding the eggs and 'raising the kids' by themselves. There are many reasons that this behavior is helpful to this fish species.
The next level asks questions...take a moment and think about the answers that make sense to you, write them down, and then check your answers to see if you are right!