13 Sea Creatures

by Deb on October 21, 2010

The gods of Twitter seem to be sending a lot of sea creatures my way at the moment, so here they are:

  1. Leafy Sea Dragon – Isn’t he gorgeous?  A close relative of seahorses, leafy sea dragons are found in the south-west of WA and float around in seaweed. Leafy Sea Dragon
  2. Snail fish – A brand new species found 7km down in a deep ocean trench.  Remember it’s pitch black down there, light doesn’t penetrate that much water. 
  3. Dumbo octopus – They’re not ears, they’re fins that make them really good swimmers (Note: this is a baby, the adults have longer tentacles).  Octopuses are extremely intelligent, problem solving animals, and check out the beautiful video here. baby dumbo octopus
  4. Tube worms – There are many different types of tube worms, basically they anchor themselves by their tail and then form a long tube shell around themselves that they can pull into if they need to.  The beautiful petal look is for filtering food from the water around them. Tube worms
  5. Priapulids – A completely different type of worm, priapulids are carnivores and often predators.  They have been around for almost as long as there have been animals but I just like the name – it means little penis. Priapulid
  6. King crabs – Are not actually crabs but a separate family that looks very similar.  They are extremely large and can have a leg span of 1.8m, but they probably evolved from an ancestor similar to hermit crabs, their closest relatives. King Crab
  7. Bioluminescent dinoflagellates – Dinoflagellates are a major type of plankton, they are single celled organisms that swim using a long whip-like flagellum.  Some of them produce light when they are disturbed, swimming with them is on my list of things to do before I die. Dinoflagellate_bioluminescence
  8. Whale sharks – The ocean’s biggest fish.  They are genuine sharks but look and act more like whales, they even filter plankton to eat like the baleen whales.  It’s called convergent evolution when unrelated species develop similar forms because of similar lifestyles. whale shark
  9. Barrel-eye fish – It’s head is transparent, those green things are the eyes!  The funny bumps on the front are like nostrils.  Another deep sea dweller, the eyes-inside-the-head thing seems to act like a windshield because it is a fast swimmer. barreleye fish
  10. Sea stars – The politically correct name for starfish.  Anything that can push its stomach out through its mouth or grow into two when it is chopped in half is interesting.  And they are very cute scurrying along on the sand.  starfish
  11. Goose barnacles – Shellfish that anchor themselves to the bottom of the ocean by a long fleshy stalk and then extend fronds to catch food as it washes by.  There are two weird culture references here.  Firstly they are called goose barnacles because in the middle ages people thought geese hatched out of them.  Secondly, I’ve been dying to use this photo of a log that washed ashore covered in them, it was described as a ‘Dr Who-like monster.’ goose barnacles
  12. Coral – The polyps themselves are related to jellyfish but tropical shallow-water corals are symbiotic with algae.  The algae live inside the coral and use photosynthesis to supply both polyp and algae with energy, although the polyps also filter feed. Coral
  13. Frilled shark – Yes, another deep-sea creature.  They look so bizarre because the ocean deeps are a brand-new world we are only just exploring.  You should also check out chimaeras or ghost sharks and goblin sharks.  This video is of a goblin shark with protrusible jaws!  My girls love trolling YouTube for these sorts of videos.frilled shark
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Adelle Laudan October 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm

That Dumbo Octopus is outrageous lol I started watching the video, but stopped. I don’t need that critter in my dreams tonight. Shudder.
Happy T13!

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Brenda October 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Wow, lots of really intriguing creatures. That goblin shark is scary. Not sure, I should have watched the video this late at night. 🙂

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Deb October 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm

The ‘attack’ was set up for the cameras, they are usually found only at great depths and don’t attack humans 🙂 Apparently the long rostrum has electro-sensitive organs to help them find prey in the dark.

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Xakara October 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I don’t want to get stuck dreaming about them, but I love coming here every week!

Happy TT,

~Xakara
13 Lesson If You Ever Find Yourself In A Horror Movie

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sandra (Dynamo) October 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm

fantastic!! and so gorgeous.

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harriet October 22, 2010 at 12:03 am
{S.T.U.F.F.} October 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

these pics are *magical.

Thanx for the post

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