Category: Rocky Shore

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.

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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.

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Underwater Fact 133

Sand Tiger Sharks are the only sharks known to come to the surface and gulp air. They store the air in their stomachs, which allows them to float motionless in the water while hunting.

Sand Tiger Shark   © Mark Fox

This Shark is not related to the Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) however, it is a cousin of the Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias).
Despite its fearsome appearance and strong swimming ability, it is a relatively docile and slow-moving shark that will only attack a human when threatened.

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Underwater Fact 132

The Christmas Frigatebird is a highly endangered species of sea bird that only breeds on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

Male Christmas Frigatebird   © Save Nature Save Human

Male Christmas Frigatebirds begin their mating displays in late December, inflating their scarlet throat pouches during courtship.

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Underwater Fact 115

A species that is actually benefiting from climate change with its geographic range expanding: the Bigfin Reef Squid.

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A fish that is a rather untalented swimmer: Lumpsuckers use their pelvic fins to form a strong sucking disc that firmly holds the fish to the sea bottom.

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An invasive species of brittle star has the ability to reproduce asexually by self-division.

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Underwater Fact 88

The Epaulette Shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum) is a walking shark that can survive for one hour without any oxygen supply.

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Underwater Fact 84

Otters are the smallest of all marine mammals in the world.

An Otter can remain under water for up to 4 minutes with feeding dives up to 75m (250ft) deep.
These animals can consume up to 25% of their body weight daily. When a female is nursing she will consume even more than that. About 5 hours a day are spent in search of food.

 Sea Otter   © Sophia Volzke

Most species spend the majority of their time on land with one exception: the Sea Otter.

Sea otters have webbed feet, water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm, and nostrils and ears that close in the water.
They sleep while floating on their back, often gathered in groups. Sometimes they anchor themselves in sea weeds or kelp to protect them from floating in a current.
Sea Otters are the only species that have more than one pup at a time which they also give birth to in the water. They hold infants on their chests to nurse them, and quickly teach them to swim and hunt.

Underwater Fact 83

The average lifespan of a giant clam in the wild is over 100 years.

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