Another thing that I like about Devil’s Grotto are the tarpons that usually hang out on the reef.
I have seen many tarpon over they years and enjoy diving with them. The Florida Museum website tells us, “tarpon can also tolerate oxygen-poor environments due to a modified air bladder that allows them to inhale atmospheric oxygen.” They go on to explain,
This swim bladder contains spongy alveolar tissue and has a duct leading to the esophagus that the tarpon may fill directly with air gulped from the surface. This feature allows the tarpon to take oxygen directly from the atmosphere and increases its tolerance of oxygen-poor waters. In fact, studies have shown that tarpon must have access to atmospheric oxygen in order to survive, and that juvenile tarpon are obligatory air-breathers. Adults living in oxygen-rich waters still roll and gulp air, probably as an imitative pattern based on visual perception of other tarpon.https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/megalops-atlanticus/
I was able to slowly swim into a small school of them during the Devil’s Grotto dive.
I must admit that I would like to catch some with a rod and reel at some point.