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Snorkeling Sea Life: Humuhumunukunukuapuaa

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The Humuhumunukunukuapuaa (hoo-moo-hoo-moo-noo-koo-noo-koo-ah-poo-ah-ah), or the shortened Humhumu, is the official state fish of Hawaiian and is also known as the reef or wedge-tail triggerfish. The Humuhumunukunukuapuaa’s name, translated to mean “the triggerfish with a pig snout”, is earned from its oddly shaped face and sound it makes. Along with having an odd name, this little fish has many interesting characteristics to go along with it. The humuhumu’s oddly shaped snout and teeth are the reason it can make its strange grunting “pig-like” noises, which are believed to help alert other humus to predators. Humuhumus are slow swimmers compared to most fish and have developed unique strategies to compensate for this. A humuhumu’s main defense mechanism is to wedge itself between close rocks and raises its large dorsal fins to lock itself in place within the rocks, which keep predators from being able to dislodge them. Another fascinating defense strategy of the humuhumu is its ability to rapidly change colors and camouflage itself if it feels threatened ever. Seeing this beautiful, unique little fish swimming around while you snorkel is a true Hawaiian treasure.

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