One of the most beloved characters in recent animated film history is Dory from Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo and its sequel, Finding Dory. Voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, this blue tang fish with short-term memory loss captured the hearts of audiences around the world.
But have you ever wondered what kind of fish Dory actually is? Many people assume that she is a made-up species, but the truth is that Dory is based on a real-life type of fish.
“The fish we know as ‘Dory’ is officially called a Pacific Blue Tang,” says Dr. Heather Spence, a marine biologist and science communicator.
So why did the filmmakers choose to use a Pacific Blue Tang as the inspiration for their lovable character? And what can we learn about these fascinating fish by looking at the traits of our favorite forgetful fish?
In this article, we’ll explore the truth behind Dory’s species and delve into some interesting facts about Pacific Blue Tangs. Whether you’re a fan of the movies or simply curious about marine life, we invite you to join us on this underwater adventure.
The Blue Tang Fish
What fish is Dory? The answer is a blue tang fish. This type of fish has become very popular due to Disney’s famous character, Dory, from the movie “Finding Nemo” and its sequel, “Finding Dory”. However, there is much more to this beautiful marine creature aside from being an adorable animated figure.
Habitat and Distribution
Blue tang fish are usually found in shallow waters near coral reefs or rocky areas with plenty of hiding places. They are commonly seen in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and along the eastern coast of South America, but they can also be found in other parts of the world including the western Indian Ocean, western Atlantic Ocean, and the Red Sea.
A report published by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) states that although blue tang fish have a wide distribution range, their populations have shown decreasing trends in some regions such as the Gulf of California, where overfishing has been reported.
Blue tang fish are known for their electric blue color which covers their entire body, along with black markings around their eyes, tail fin, and dorsal fin. Their shape is very distinctive due to their oval-shaped elongate body and pointed snout. Adult blue tangs can grow up to 12 inches (30cm) long.
National Geographic explains that juvenile blue tangs look different from their adult counterparts. During their early life stages, these fish exhibit what is called “sequential hermaphroditism”, meaning that they change their sex from female to male as they mature. As juveniles, they possess a yellowish-green coloration with a few blue spots on their sides.
Diet and Behavior
Blue tangs are omnivorous, which means that they feed on both plants and animals. Their diet consists mainly of plankton, algae, and small crustaceans such as shrimp or crabs. These fish can be seen grazing on the coral surface in search of food.
In terms of their behavior, blue tangs are known for their schooling habits. They swim together in groups during daytime and disperse at night to find a hiding place. These fish are also considered gentle creatures and rarely exhibit aggression towards other species.
Reproduction and Life Cycle
Blue tangs reproduce via external fertilization, where males release sperm onto the eggs laid by females. After hatching, juvenile blue tangs spend most of their time hiding among the roots of red mangroves until they reach 2-3 inches (5-7cm) in length.
Their life span is estimated to be up to 15 years in the wild, depending on various factors such as water temperature, availability of food sources, and predation risk. During their lifetime, blue tang fish play an important role in maintaining marine biodiversity through their predatory and herbivorous activities.
“…blue tangs are active swimmers both day and night, seeking out crevices between rocks and coral heads where they hide from predators or rest.” – Encyclopedia Britannica
The blue tang fish has captured the hearts of many due to its lively personality and unique physical appearance. However, it’s important to remember that these fish are real marine creatures with specific habitat requirements and ecological roles in our oceans. As Dory would say, “just keep swimming” towards preserving marine diversity!
Dory’s Real-Life Inspiration
If you’re a fan of the beloved Pixar movie, “Finding Nemo,” then you surely remember Dory – the bright blue tang fish with short-term memory loss. But have you ever wondered what type of fish Dory actually is and if her species reflects real-life characteristics?
Species and Characteristics
The character of Dory was inspired by a specific type of fish – the Pacific blue tang also known as Paracanthurus hepatus. These vibrant blue-colored tropical fish are found in reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific region. In terms of physical appearance, they have a distinctive bright neon blue body with black markings around their eyes and tail fin.
The Pacific blue tang typically grows to be about 12 inches long and has sharp spines along its dorsal (top) fin for protection against predators. They primarily eat algae and can live up to 30 years. However, unlike Dory in the film, these fish aren’t known for having short-term memory loss.
Impact on Pop Culture
“After finding a niche in Hollywood thanks to animation powerhouse Pixar’s Finding Nemo franchise, the stocky little fish swam off pet store shelves” -National Geographic
Since the release of “Finding Nemo” in 2003, there has been an increase in demand for Pacific blue tangs as pets. Unfortunately, this has led to issues surrounding sustainability and the ethical treatment of marine life. The trend even caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced Dory in both “Finding Nemo” and its sequel, “Finding Dory.” During an interview on her talk show, she acknowledged the impact the films may have had on promoting the purchase of Pacific blue tangs and encouraged viewers to not support the industry by buying them as pets.
Despite the concerns surrounding the purchase of Pacific blue tangs, there’s no denying the impact Dory has had on pop culture. Her infectious optimism and humor have made her a fan favorite character for both children and adults alike. Additionally, “Finding Nemo” and its sequel continue to be beloved films that are praised for their heartwarming messages about family and perseverance.
- Dory was named after a street in California’s Burbank where Pixar is headquartered
- In reality, clownfish like Marlin and Nemo live varied lives with one exception – they don’t change gender. In Finding Nemo, Marlin changes from male to female after his mate dies suddenly while laying eggs, which wasn’t accurate but lent some complexity to what could have been just an adventure story.
So next time you watch “Finding Nemo” or “Finding Dory,” you can feel more knowledgeable about the real-life inspiration behind our favorite forgetful fish, Dory!
Characteristics of Blue Tang Fish
Coloration and Markings
The blue tang fish, known for its striking blue coloration, is often recognized as the fish character in the movie “Finding Nemo” named Dory. The body of a blue tang is flat and round, with bold black markings on its fins and face. These fish can also change their skin colors to communicate or as a defense mechanism. They are typically bright blue in color, but can turn darker when stressed.
According to marine biologists, the main reason why Blue Tang looks so bright has to do with the way they reflect light. Their scales contain many tiny pigment-filled cells that scatter incoming light into different directions, which makes them look even more vibrant under sunlight. This doesn’t just happen by chance! In fact, it seems that there is an evolutionary advantage for this color: it allows prey to recognize and avoid predators from afar.
Size and Weight
Adult blue tangs are usually between 6-12 inches long and weigh about 1-2 pounds. Though they may not be big in size, these fish have particularly sharp “scalpels” called spines on their tails that can cause painful stab wounds if handled improperly.
Blue tangs start off as tiny, transparent larvae that gradually grow over time into adults. During the first two weeks of their life they feed mostly on microalgae, then switch to zooplankton after that time period and continue feeding on this food source through adulthood.
Unique Features and Adaptations
One adaptation that sets blue tangs apart from other fish species is their ability to produce slime that protects them from diseases. When a predator tries to bite a blue tang, the slime coats its mouth and makes it difficult for the predator to hold on. Additionally, Blue Tangs have a symmetrical body shape that gives them good agility in water, allowing them to escape predators like hawksbill turtles.
Blue Tangs also possess a special mechanism called “duffy antigen system,” which helps them resist certain genetic disorders associated with high levels of blood iron. This adaptation has been studied by scientists interested in human health as well, because mutations in our own Duffy genes can affect susceptibility to malaria.
“The blue tang is more than just an adorable fish in a popular movie,” says Dr. Adam Summers, Professor at University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratory. “It’s also one of many marine species facing threats from overfishing, pollution, and climate change.”
The conservation of marine life such as blue tangs is crucial not only to preserve natural ecosystems but also for scientific research purposes. As we continue to learn more about their unique characteristics and adaptations, we may gain valuable knowledge applicable to other areas of study as well.
How Blue Tang Fish Became Popular as a Pet
The blue tang fish, also known as the regal tang, has become increasingly popular as a pet, thanks to its appearances in various movies and television shows. However, there are certain factors that should be taken into consideration before deciding to bring one home.
Availability and Price
Blue tang fish are native to the Indo-Pacific region and can typically be found in reefs at depths of 6-131 feet. Due to their popularity, they are now bred commercially and readily available through aquarium stores or online vendors. The price for a juvenile blue tang fish can range from $30-$60, while an adult can cost upwards of $100.
Challenges of Keeping Blue Tang Fish as Pets
One of the primary challenges when keeping blue tangs as pets is their susceptibility to stress during transportation. Blue tangs are known to produce mucus cocoons around themselves when shipping and may arrive in poor health due to this stressful experience. Additionally, they require very specific water conditions – including high pH levels and warm temperatures – that may be difficult to maintain in captivity if proper equipment is not utilized.
“These fish might look like medicine cabinets on fins; lots of marine animal toxins accumulate in their flesh since there are few creatures willing to take them on.” -Jacqueline Savitz (Senior Scientist and Director at Oceana)
Best Practices for Caring for Blue Tang Fish in Captivity
If you are considering bringing a blue tang fish into your home aquarium, it’s important to understand their needs and how to properly care for them. Here are some best practices:
- Provide a tank large enough for the mature size of the fish (up to 12 inches in length).
- Keep the water temperature between 75-80°F (24-27°C) and maintain a pH level of 8.1-8.4.
- Use high-quality salt mixes and ensure proper water circulation with a suitable filtration system.
- Offer a varied diet that includes both plant-based and meaty foods, such as algae sheets, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, or krill.
- Provide plenty of hiding places for your blue tang fish, as they require shelter when feeling threatened or stressed.
- Monitor your fish regularly for signs of illnesses like ich, marine velvet, or fin rot, which can quickly spread throughout your tank if left untreated.
“Scarcely any other nation has so tender regard for its fish as Japan, seeing that those caught by it are generally put alive into tanks fitted up with rocky cells, on reaching the floor of the market, where there is every convenience for their care and feeding until sold; nor does this apply only to edible sorts, but also to a great number known exclusively as curiosities.” -Isabella L. Bird
Keeping a blue tang fish as a pet requires careful consideration and dedication. While their appearance may be appealing, understanding the challenges of caring for them is essential before making a commitment. With proper knowledge and equipment, however, providing a suitable home for these beautiful creatures can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Conservation Efforts for Blue Tang Fish
The character Dory from the animated film “Finding Nemo” and its sequel “Finding Dory” has made the Blue Tang fish a popular household name. However, in real life, these vibrant blue fish face numerous threats to their existence. Fortunately, various conservation organizations are working towards protecting them, ensuring that they continue to thrive in our oceans.
Threats to Blue Tang Fish Populations
Blue Tang fish, scientific name Paracanthurus hepatus, inhabit coral reefs around the world, including in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Like many other marine species, habitat destruction caused by climate change and overfishing pose significant threats to this fish’s population. Climate change leads to ocean acidification, which affects the growth and survival rate of coral reefs. These habitats provide food and shelter for not only Blue Tang fish but also many other marine species. As a result, their destruction can lead to a domino effect on our ecosystems.
Furthermore, overfishing has taken place not just in modern-day society but throughout history. From 200 million sharks annually hunted down by Chinese companies to Japanese fishing vessels killing whales, we have reached the point where about 90% of all large fishes – swordfish, tuna, marlin etc. – present in the world’s oceans today had been fished out since nineteen-fifties and sixties, reports New York Times9. The “Finding Dory Effect” brought new dangers to the blue tangs; there was a sudden increase in demand for these fish as pets leading to both catching wild fish and breeding them in captivity solely for the purpose of meeting consumer demands. Wild-caught blue tangs often suffer from physiological stress during transportation, while captive-bred ones may be released in inappropriate areas, causing them to struggle in their new environment.
Conservation Organizations and Initiatives
It is not all doom and gloom. Many conservation organizations aim to address the threats facing Blue Tang fish populations, including The Ocean Foundation, Coral Restoration Foundation, Reef Check Foundation, among others. These non-profit organizations conduct research on marine ecosystems and implement programs to protect coral reefs, which will benefit numerous fish species that call them home. They also seek to raise awareness through public outreach campaigns and education programs targeting both individuals and policymakers.
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY, has also established a blue tang breeding program. SCUBAnauts International, an organization dedicated to engaging youths with opportunities in marine science, has partnered with this zoo and contributes to its ongoing research as well.
Regulations and Policies for Protecting Blue Tang Fish
To confront illegal trading of wildlife products under Article 13 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, many countries have implemented domestic laws called CITES implementing regulations. In August 2016, CITES set restrictions and guidelines for exporting live specimens of at least five commonly traded Indo-Pacific reef fish — particularly blue tangs. Countries such as Australia and Indonesia are taking action by regulating exports and managing fisheries to protect local populations. Additionally, several states across the United States have banned the capture or sale of wild-caught blue tangs; these measures help reduce demand for wild caught fish while promoting responsible pet ownership, but enforceability can be questionable.
Success Stories in Blue Tang Fish Conservation
In recent years, there has been hope regarding blue tang conservation efforts. Marine Biologists discovered that several types of Labroides cleaner fishes helped Paracanthurus hepatus improve their survival rates by eating seabird feathers off the backs of turtles and even pet eels. By doing so, they help reduce the risks of infection from harmful parasites while attracting prey such as Blue Tang fish with their cleaner’s services.
Another success story: The Coral Restoration Foundation works to restore coral reefs in Florida and around the world. In addition to hosting events that invite attendees to participate in restoring habitats by helping attach corals onto secure structures, this organization has also provided homes for blue tangs on multiple occasions. During Season 2 – Episode 6 of the Netflix series, “Fish My City”, host Mike Iaconelli dives alongside a professional dive-cage wrangler Donnell Tate who breaks down how manta rays move, where whales like to feed, how mullet (a type of small silverfish) react to different lures and finally says referring to his work at the foundation: “but the coolest thing we do is this; take the dead Elkhorn coral, cover it with baby coral and stick it back into sea,” he smiles revealing rows of gold teeth.
“The ocean is everybody’s business, and nobody’s responsibility.” -Edgar Mitchell
The quote above speaks volumes about the importance of environmental conservation. We all have a part to play in protecting our planet’s ecosystems and the species that inhabit them. By supporting organizations that aim to protect marine life like Blue Tang fish, together, we can make a positive impact for generations to come.
Other Famous Fish in Pop Culture
Besides Dory, there have been many memorable fish characters in pop culture over the years. Here are a few that stand out:
Nemo from Finding Nemo
Nemo is another beloved character from Pixar’s first foray into aquatic animation. In Finding Nemo, Nemo is a young clownfish who gets separated from his father and ends up in a dentist’s aquarium. Along with his new friends, he plots his escape while learning important lessons about friendship and bravery along the way.
“Fish are friends, not food!” -Bruce, Finding Nemo
Jaws from Jaws
Jaws is the infamous great white shark that wreaks havoc on the small town of Amity Island in Steven Spielberg’s classic film Jaws. Although the movie may have caused some people to develop an irrational fear of sharks (a phobia known as “galeophobia”), it also helped raise awareness about the importance of preserving these magnificent creatures.
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” -Chief Brody, Jaws
These are just two examples of how fish have played vital roles in popular culture. Whether they make us laugh or scream, they remind us of the amazing diversity of life beneath the ocean’s surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of fish is Dory?
Dory is a blue tang fish, also known as a regal tang. They are brightly colored with a blue body and yellow tail.
Is Dory a real species of fish?
Yes, Dory is a real species of fish. The blue tang fish, or regal tang, is found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and is commonly kept in aquariums around the world.
What are the characteristics of a Dory fish?
Dory fish have a blue body with a yellow tail and black markings. They have a sharp spine on their tail that they use for protection. They are known for their friendly and curious personalities and can grow up to 12 inches in length.
Where can you find Dory fish in the wild?
Dory fish are typically found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, specifically around coral reefs and rocky areas. They can also be found in aquariums around the world.
What is the scientific name for Dory fish?
The scientific name for Dory fish is Paracanthurus hepatus.
Are there any other fictional fish characters like Dory?
Yes, there are many fictional fish characters in popular culture such as Nemo from Finding Nemo, Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, and Flounder from the same movie.