Mutualism Mini II: Parrotfish
Acrylic paint, artist gel pen on paper
One of many mini additions to the Mutualism series, Mini II focuses on the Parrotfish. This animal demonstrates the mutual dependence and benefit of the mangrove, seagrass beds, and coral reef ecosystems. Parrotfish eggs are laid in mangrove tree "nurseries" and the newly hatched babies stick around there where it is safer for awhile before moving out to the seagrass beds and eventually to the coral reef where they eat the algae off of coral reefs. In fact, this animal is one of the main reasons the three ecosystems depend on one another so much--without them the coral reef becomes covered in algae and it dies, leaving all the creatures of the reef to die or find a new reef. In places where mangrove trees are extensively removed, the parrotfish disappear from the area, and then the coral reef declines and dies. Without mangroves to hold sediment near the shore, seagrass beds become choked with sediment and also die. When each of the ecosystems and animals is healthy, the whole group thrives!
In the second picture, you can see the deckled edge (a sign of good paper!). I love a beautiful deckled edge, and most of the time in the art world, when paper must be cut down to smaller sizes, the sheet isn't cut, it is torn along a straight edge to mimic the deckled look! This border of bare paper makes the whole sheet of paper larger than 5"x7," so to frame it you'll want an 8"x10" frame and a mat with a 5x7" opening. Or you can trim the border off and frame it without a mat in a 5x7" frame.