It is easy to see where the Atlantic goliath grouper gets its name. Reaching lengths of at least 8 feet (2.5 m) and weights up to 700 pounds (320 kg), this species is one of the largest predators on coral reefs and along mangrove forests in the Atlantic Ocean and one of the largest groupers in the world.
The Atlantic goliath grouper, like most groupers, is an ambush predator and eats fairly large fishes and invertebrates and even small sharks.
Reefs with large numbers of predators, like Atlantic goliath groupers, are known to be healthier than reefs with no predators, so this species may represent an important part of the reef food web.
Atlantic goliath groupers feed by swallowing their prey whole; they do not chew. They use their very large mouths to create enough negative pressure to suck in whole fishes or large invertebrates, and they swallow them quickly and efficiently.