LACCADIVE SEA (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     17th April 2024        
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Context: Three new fish species were recently discovered utilizing tools in the Laccadive Sea.

Laccadive Sea

  • About: It  also referred to as the Lakshadweep Sea, is a significant body of water situated in the Indian Ocean region, encompassing several coastal areas of India, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.
  • Bordering Countries: The Laccadive Sea borders India, including its Lakshadweep islands, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.
  • Bordering States: Positioned southwest of Karnataka, west of Kerala, and south of Tamil Nadu, the Laccadive Sea holds a strategic location in the Indian Ocean.
  • Climate and Marine Life:

oStable Water Temperature: This warm sea maintains a stable water temperature throughout the year, contributing to its biodiversity.

oRich Marine Life: The Laccadive Sea boasts a diverse range of marine species, with the Gulf of Mannar alone accommodating approximately 3,600 species.

  • Major Urban Centers: Several major cities dot the coastline of the Laccadive Sea, including Mangaluru, Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Ponnani, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Tuticorin, Colombo, and Malé.
  • Southern Border: Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of peninsular India, also shares its border with the Laccadive Sea, enhancing its geographical significance.

Discovery of Tool-Using Fish in the Laccadive Sea

  • Introduction to the Species: Three fish species residing in the Laccadive Sea, off the southwest coast of India, exhibit tool-using behavior, as recently uncovered.
  • Tool Usage Behavior: All three species utilize live or deceased coral structures as anvils, employing them to crack open sea urchin shells to access the edible portions within.
  • Anvil Use Among Fish Species: Prior observations of anvil use in fish were limited to approximately 18 species worldwide, all within the Labridae family to which the three wrasses belong.