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STARFISH – All starfish resemble stars, and though the most common have only five arms, some of these animals can grow up to 40 arms. The amazing sea creatures—part of a group of animals known as echinoderms—travel using their tube feet. They can regenerate lost limbs and swallow large prey using their unusual stomachs. There are around 1,600 different species of starfish living in the world’s oceans, where they occupy every type of habitat.
OCTOPUS – The common octopus is thought to be the most intelligent of all invertebrate animals, has highly developed pigment-bearing cells and can change its skin colors to an astonishing degree with great rapidity. Octopuses are ocean creatures that are most famous for having eight arms and bulbous heads. Some other fun facts: They have three hearts and blue blood; they squirt ink to deter predators; and being boneless, they can squeeze into (or out of) tight spaces. They are quite intelligent and have been observed using tools.
CALAMARO – Calamaro, plural for calamari, is squid, a type of cuttlefish. Its name comes from Latin calamarius, literally "pertaining to a pen," from calamus "a writing pen," referencing as such because of the cuttlefish's pen-shaped internal shell and perhaps also from its being full of ink. Squid are rapid swimmers, moving by jet propulsion, and largely locate their prey by sight. They are among the most intelligent invertebrates.
RAY – Stingrays inhabit warm, temperate and tropical waters, sometimes in great abundance. They are bottom dwellers and often lie partially buried in the shallows. Stingrays eat worms, mollusks, and other invertebrates, sometimes severely damaging valuable shellfish beds. They lash their tails when stepped on, and large stingrays can exert enough force to drive their tail spines into a wooden boat. The spines cause serious, extremely painful wounds that, if abdominal, may result in death.
TUNA – Also called tunny, any of seven species of oceanic fishes that constitute one of the great commercial value as food. They are related to mackerels. Tunas are elongated, robust, and streamlined fishes; they have a rounded body that tapers to a slender tail base and a forked or crescent-shaped tail. In color, tunas are generally dark above and silvery below, often with an iridescent shine. They have a conspicuous keel on either side of the tail base, a row of small finlets behind dorsal and anal fins, and a corselet of enlarged scales in the shoulder region.
LOBSTER – Lobster is one of numerous marine crustaceans. All are marine and bottom-dwelling, and most are nocturnal. Lobsters scavenge for dead animals but also eat live fish, small mollusks and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates, and seaweed. Some species, especially of true and spiny lobsters, are commercially important to humans as food. The lobster has a rigid, segmented body covering (exoskeleton) and five pairs of legs, one or more pairs of which are often modified into pincers (chelae) with the chela on one side usually larger than that on the other. Lobsters have compound eyes on movable stalks, two pairs of long antennae, and several pairs of swimming legs (swimmerets) on the elongated abdomen. A flipper like muscular tail is used for swimming; flexure of the tail and abdomen propel the animal backward.
SNAPPY – Red snapper in deeper waters tend to be redder than those caught in shallower waters. Some of their distinguishing characteristics include a long triangular face with the upper part sloping more strongly than the lower, equal jaws, with the lower one sometimes slightly projecting. They have enlarged canine teeth, which is why they are called “snappers.” Red snapper grow at a moderate rate and may reach 40 inches long and 50 pounds. Males and females spawn from May to October, depending on their location. Red snapper feed on fish, shrimp, crab, worms, cephalopods (octopus or squid), and some plankton (tiny floating plants and animals). Young red snapper is food for the large carnivorous fish that share their habitat, such as jacks, groupers, sharks, barracudas, and morays. Large marine mammals and turtles also eat snapper.
JELLY – Jellyfish are probably some of the most unusual and mysterious creatures that you'll ever encounter. If you can get past the weirdness -- and the fact that getting too close to one can result in a nasty sting -- you'll discover that jellyfish are pretty fascinating. They've been around for more than 650 million years, and there are thousands of different species, with more species discovered all the time. Jellyfish live mainly in the ocean, but they aren't actually fish -- they're plankton. These plants and animals either float in the water or possess such limited swimming powers that currents control their horizontal movements. Jellyfish can range in size from less than an inch to nearly 7 feet long, with tentacles up to 100 feet long.
CRABBY – Sea crabs are a type of crustacean, meaning they have no backbone and are covered with a hard shell. Sea crabs live in the seas and oceans around the world but can occasionally walk onto the shore. Although they may look a little like creepy-crawly spiders, sea crabs actually have more legs than spiders do. These crustaceans have five pairs of legs - the back four are used for walking, and the front is where their claws are located. The claws, also known as pincers, are used as weapons they use to fight off predators or catch their prey when it's time to eat.
DORY – Sea bream are part of the marine sparid fishes. The Sparidae family is also known as porgies. These fish have certain distinctive features that make them easily identifiable. Their bodies are relatively flat. The line from the dorsal area to the front of the fish descends very rapidly giving the face a flattened appearance, especially when viewed in profile. Color varies widely from species to species, mainly depending on water type and environment. In brackish waters, for example, sea bream tend to be darker, with shades of blacks and grays to help the fish blend in with its environment. Some fish, in other areas, even have a bright red appearance, showing how diverse members of the family can be. The front teeth of many sea bream are broad and flat, ideally suited for crushing small crabs and clams.
SHARKY – With fossil records dating back 400 million years, sharks have outlived the dinosaurs and many other forms of life currently on earth. There are more than 1,000 species of sharks and rays, with new species discovered every year. These majestic top predators that are so essential to the natural order of marine ecosystems now face their most severe threat from overfishing. With our oceans severely degraded, restoring sharks is key to improving the resilience of these water bodies to climate change. While sharks' diverse range of species adds complexity to our conservation efforts, the dwindling numbers of these amazing creatures from overfishing and demand for their fins and meat increases the urgency of the task.
St. PETER – Typically and universally referred to as tilapia, St. Peter typically have laterally compressed, deep bodies. A complex set of muscles allows the upper and lower pharyngeal bones to be used as a second set of jaws for processing food like morays, allowing a division of labor between the "true jaws" (mandibles) and the "pharyngeal jaws." Their mouths are protractible, usually bordered with wide and often swollen lips and their jaws have conical teeth. Other than their temperature sensitivity, St. Peter exist in or can adapt to a very wide range of conditions. St. Peter are also known to be a mouth-brooding species, which means they carry the fertilized eggs and young fish in their mouths for several days after the yolk sac is absorbed.
SARPA SALPA – Sarpa salpa, known commonly as the dreamfish, salema, salema porgy, cow bream or gold line, is a species of sea bream, recognizable by the golden stripes that run down the length of its body, and which can cause what is called hallucinogenic fish inebriation when eaten. It is found in the Mediterranean and is generally common and found from near the surface to a depth of 70 m (230 ft). Sarpa salpa became widely known for its hallucinogenic effects following widely publicized articles when two men ingested it at a Mediterranean restaurant and began to experience many auditory and visual hallucinogenic effects. These hallucinations, described as frightening, were reported to have occurred two hours after the fish was ingested and had a total duration of 36 hours.
SHRIMPY – Shrimp are among 2,000 species of the suborder Natantia (order Decapoda of the class Crustacea). Close relatives include crabs, crayfish, and lobsters. Shrimp are characterized by a semitransparent body flattened from side to side and a flexible abdomen terminating in a fanlike tail. The appendages are modified for swimming, and the antennae are long and whip like. Shrimp occur in all oceans—in shallow and deep water—and in freshwater lakes and streams. Shrimp swim backward by rapidly flexing the abdomen and tail. Their food consists mostly of small plants and animals. The female shrimp may lay from 1,500 to 14,000 eggs, which are attached to the swimming legs. The swimming larvae pass through five developmental stages before becoming juveniles.
PETTY – The pearly razorfish’s name may be slightly misleading since it is neither as rare as a pearl nor as dangerous as a razor. It is a common fish that tends to live in clear shallow areas near seagrass beds and coral reefs, where it collects coral debris to build its nests. However, even having a home may not be enough to put this skittish fish at ease. When startled, the pearly razorfish will sometimes dive head first into the sand where it can hide from threats.
TURTY – The green turtle is the largest species in the family of hard-shelled sea turtles and second largest to the leatherback turtle among all sea turtles. Its common name comes not from the color of its skin or shell, which is common among most sea turtle species, but from the greenish color of its fat. The green turtle is the only sea turtle that is a strict herbivore, and its diet of seagrass and algae may contribute to the green fatty tissue. Similar to other sea turtles, green turtles are known to travel incredibly long distances during their lifetimes. In some cases, individuals may travel across entire ocean basins from their feeding areas to nesting beaches in the tropics and sub-tropics. Green turtles use the earth's magnetic field like an invisible map to navigate throughout their migrations. Like other marine turtles, female green turtles return to the same beach where they hatched to nest.
ORCA – An orca is a marine mammal. They are often confused for being a whale because of their name ‘killer whale’, but did you know that orcas are actually dolphins? In fact, they are the largest member of the dolphin family! Orcas are incredibly popular as they are the most widely distributed of all whales and dolphins, found in every single ocean! They are very recognizable with their black and white coloring but, depending on where they live, have vastly different appearances, behavior, ways of communicating and diet! Did you know? Orcas are highly intelligent, highly adaptable and able to communicate and coordinate hunting tactics. They are extremely fast swimmers and have been recorded at speeds of up to 54kph! A wild orca pod can cover over 160 kilometers a day, foraging and socializing.
DOLPHY – Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals and are part of the family of toothed whales that includes orcas and pilot whales. They are found worldwide, mostly in shallow seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating fish and squid. Dolphin coloration varies, but they are generally gray in color with darker backs than the rest of their bodies. As climate change causes the seas and oceans to warm, dolphins are being seen more frequently in colder waters outside their historic ranges. Due to rapidly rising ocean temperatures, dolphins’ primary food sources are seeking deeper, cooler waters. Scientists are concerned that dolphins will have difficulty adapting as quickly as necessary to find new feeding grounds to sustain their populations. Some dolphins that live in areas where rivers and oceans meet, known as brackish waters, are also losing habitat as ocean levels rise due to global warming.
CAPO – Sperm whale are also called cachalot, the largest of the toothed whales, easily recognized by its enormous square head and narrow lower jaw. The sperm whale is dark blue-gray or brownish, with white patches on the belly. It is thickset and has small paddlelike flippers and a series of rounded humps on its back. Males attain a maximum length of about 19 meters (62 feet) and females about 12 meters (39 feet). Sperm whales are deep divers, commonly reaching a depth of about 350 meters (1,150 feet) and have been found tangled in cables more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) below the surface. It is not uncommon for sperm whales to dive for an hour or more and then spend about 10 minutes at the surface breathing once every 10 seconds. They can cruise at a speed of 4 knots (7.4 km/hr; 4.6 mph) and swim in spurts at up to 20 knots (37 km/hr; 23 mph).
MARLIN – Marlin also called swordfish are one of many species of large, long-nosed marine fishes by an elongated body, a long dorsal fin, and a rounded spear extending from the snout. They are wanderers, found worldwide near the surface of the sea, and are carnivorous, feeding largely on other fishes. They are consumed as food and are highly prized by sport fishermen. Marlin fishing is one of the most exciting challenges facing any angler. Marlin are fast, they’re athletic, and they can be darn huge. The Striped Marlin is the second fastest fish in the world, swimming at up to 50 miles per hour. The speed of Black and Blue Marlins also leaves most other fish trailing in their wake. Once hooked, all species display an acrobatic ability worthy of a ballerina – or perhaps it would be more accurate to compare them to a bull fighter.