Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. The green moray eel averages about six feet in length, but sometimes reaches more than eight feet. It's found in shallow tropical and sub-tropical ocean waters of the Americas. In the Gulf of Mexico, it sometimes makes its home among the roots of mangroves and in the Keys, it's intimately associated with coral reefs. Its green color is a result of the yellowish mucus that covers its blue skin. This mucus is continuously produced and protects the moray from parasites and disease. The green moray is a predator that feeds on a diversity of fishes, shrimp, octopuses, and other creatures that pass its hiding place. The green moray is nocturnal and has poor eyesight; it finds food primarily by smell, but movement near its hiding place can trigger a quick reaction. While morays do not usually attack human divers, a hand in the wrong place at the wrong time can result in a serious bite. From July into September, female green morays release eggs into the water and males release sperm over them. The fertilized eggs float to the surface where the young eels hatch and are dispersed by the currents and wind to new areas.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center at the College of Arts Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.