Category: UNDERWATER FACTS


Underwater Fact 155

During its lifespan, the beautifully coloured parrotfish is known to change its shape, colour and even gender.

Parrotfish sleeping   © Nikki van Veelen

Parrotfish are abundant in and around the tropical reefs of all the world’s oceans. There are about 80 identified species, ranging in size from less than 30 to 120 cm (1 to 4 ft) in length. All species vary in their colour and shape and each fish repeatedly changes throughout their lives, making it difficult for researchers to identify and classify the individuals.
View full article »

Underwater Fact 154

Female platypuses produce milk, but their mammary glands don’t protrude as nipples. Instead, they secrete milk much like our skin secretes sweat.

Baby Platypus   © Faye Bedford via LandLearn NSW

The Platypus is a unique Australian species. Along with echidnas, Platypuses are grouped in a separate order of mammals known as Monotremes, which are distinguished from all other mammals because they lay eggs.

View full article »

Underwater Fact 153

Despite its name the ‘Common Skate’ is nowadays extremely rare.

Common SkateCommon Skate   © Oceana.org

Skates are found in most parts of the world, from the shallow waters on the coast to depths of 2700 metres. They are flattened fish that look very similar to their well-known relatives: the rays.
The major difference between rays and skates is their reproductive strategy. Rays are live bearing (viviparous) while skates are egg-laying (oviparous).

The Common Skate or Blue Skate (Dipturus batis) is the largest skate in the world attaining a length of more than 250cm.
View full article »

Underwater Fact 152

The Veined Octopus or Coconut Octopus is the only invertebrate known to use tools, and one of only two octopuses known to exhibit bipedal behaviour by “walking” on two of its legs.

Coconut octopus in Lembeh   © Marco Carnovale

Originally discovered in 1964, Amphioctopus marginatus lives in the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean.
The species is commonly known as Veined Octopus, named after the distinct dark brown lines that branch over the mantle and down the arms of the animal. The edges of their arms are often darkened in contrast to the white-blue suckers.

Coconut Octopus   © franklin tom

Another common name for these molluscs is Coconut Octopus, which relates to a very peculiar and interesting behaviour of the species: it carries coconut shells and clam shells across the ocean floor and uses them to build fortresses.

View full article »

Underwater Fact 151

Spiny Gurnards feature large colourful fins and venomous spines that help searching for food.

Eastern Spiny GuarnardEastern Spiny Gurnard   © Klaus Stiefel

Gurnards, also called Sea Robins, are recognised by their beautiful large pectoral fins which they flap like wings, opening and closing them while swimming. This colourful display is mainly intended to distract predators.
View full article »

Underwater Fact 150

Lionfish are venomous, not poisonous – there is a difference.

Pterois640Lionfish   © Sophia Volzke

Although both venomous and poisonous animals produce a toxin that can be harmful to other organisms, the method of delivery is different. Venomous organisms use a specific apparatus like spines or teeth to inject their toxin. Poisonous organisms, on the other hand, require their victim to ingest or absorb the toxin.

View full article »

Underwater Fact 149

The tusks of a Walrus can reach up to 1 metre in length.

Pacific Walrus   © Jason Everett

Walruses are distinguished by their long white tusks, grizzly looking whiskers and large bodies which are filled with blubber. Their habitat around the Arctic Circle requires special equipment for survival.

View full article »

Underwater Fact 148

Innovative technology allows researchers to learn more about the fascinating world of Emperor Penguins.

Brooding emperor penguin with its chick approached by a rover…   © Nature Methods

Investigating wild animals has always been a challenge to researchers. Especially when dealing with shy animals like penguins. When humans approach, Emperor Penguins normally back away and their heart rate goes up. That’s not what the scientists need when they want to check heart rate, health and other penguin parameters.
Consequently, a group of international scientists have created a remote control rover disguised as a chick to snuggle up to penguins in Adelie Land, Antarctica – the same place where the 2005 documentary March of the Penguins, was filmed.

View full article »

Underwater Fact 147

One look at a vampire squid, and you’d think it was the product of a cheesy horror/sci-fi movie. Vampyroteuthis infernalis (meaning “vampire squid from hell”) is the sole living member in the Order Vampyromorphida, and shares characteristics of both octopuses (Order Octopoda) and squids (Order Teuthida).

Vampire Squid   © National Geographic

This species first appeared around 300 million years ago and has changed very little since then, making it a living fossil that may represent an ancestral line between octopuses and squids.
View full article »

Underwater Fact 146

Octopuses have the largest brains of any invertebrate.

Common Octopus   © ARKive

The fact that these creatures, whose ancestors diverged from the lineage that would lead to ours roughly 500 to 700 million years ago, have developed intelligence, emotions, and individual personalities is challenging our understanding of consciousness itself.

View full article »

Copyright 2011 - 2015 Aqua Marine Life