Eccentric Marine Life

Explore the expanse of the deep blue sea

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(Above) The mantis shrimp from the Chesapeke Bay have 16 color-receptor sites in their eyes, allowing them to see all colors including ultraviolet. Humans, in comparison, only have three (red, green, blue). Its second ability is that it can snap its claws at about 30-50 mph. Talk about keeping the beat!

Intro

There you are! Where have you been scuba buddy?! I've been waiting in this ocean all day! Come on, dive in with me! Three, Two, One! Splash!


You are a scuba diver, swimming in the vast, and stunning sea. You see the sun glittering in the sky from under the foam capped waves. You watch as bubbles rise from the depths, and you see fish of all colors shapes and sizes, you catch a glance of a sea turtle, and swim along side a coral reef. There is so much to see in the land down under, and there are so many seas to explore! You can dive deep down, or observe from atop the sea, but you never know what you will find! Your mission, look for the weirdest and wildest marine life you can. Are you up for the challenge?

Things are Looking a Little Weird

The Axolotl

We start out with a strange looking little guy. Many think this tiny creature is adorable and who is one to argue? Out he swims right now. Don't be shy. This is the Axolotl!

Time to learn

Scientific name; Ambystoma mexicanum

So you might be asking what is it? The axolotl is an amphibian. But for even bore information, the Axolotl is metamorphosed larvae of the Mexican salamander. So basically a "baby" Mexican sea lizard, when put into more understandable terms. Phonetically, it’s “An X-oh-lot-ul.” Atl means "water" and xolotl means "dog," after the Axolotl, the canine Aztec deity. The Axolotl is most commonly a greenish black but can be white. Pink "gill frills" for white axolotls; black ones for greenish black colored. And just in case you didn't under stand the frills on the head are the gills (hence, me calling them "gill frills"!). Axolotls can also be a muttled brown. Naturally the axolotl is only found in canals and lakes in Xochimilco, Mexico, but axolotls are mot of the time found in laboratories and aquariums all over the world. It is quite rare to find them in natural places. The Axolotl eats small fish, worms, and basically anything that will fit in its mouth! The sad thing is though, these cute little salamanders will become exctinct if we don't help them! Habitat loss, pollution, and species of invasive fish like carp and tilapia are the main contributors. Help our quirky adorable friend the Axolotl!

The Squidworm

Next up... a rather tubular little guy! This tube-like specimen sure is strange looking and its name suits its appearance. Round of applause for... the squidworm!

Learn

Scientific name; Teuthidodrilus

So yet again I know that you are just dying to know what this strange sea creature actually is. And here is the answer. It's a polychaete worm. And don't worry I'll tell you about polychaetes . Polychaetes move around using fleshy, ”legs” that stick out of each body segment. That is it, a big word that is really simple. The squidworm looks like a worm with small, almost transparent, legs that stick out around its body. It has 10 tentacles that it uses for different things, 8 for breathing and 2 for eating. Squidworms are typically a tan or white color. It the Celebes Sea between Indonesia and the Phillipines at 9,200 feet down, and it eats marine snow. Marine snow is the little scraps and crumbs of organic matter that drift down from the upper sea levels. To catch their prey scientists believe they use 2 of their 10 tentacles to pluck food from their surroundings. Squidworms also taste and smell using nuchal organs, which are described as ciliated cavity or grooves. Or put more simply nuchal organs are like hairy dents or grooves.

The Yeti Crab

Look who decided to show up! This furry fellow sure is strange. I wonder how much this curious crab sweats in the summer! Lets welcome... the yeti crab!

The Abominable Crustaceon

When you are exploring the deep you see something furry, but its not the abominable snowman or yeti you know, its the yeti crab!


Scientific name; Kiwa hirsuta

The yeti crab is so unusual that a whole new family of animal had to be created to classify it. Wowza! A whole new spaces for a wacky crab!

The yeti crabs claws are completely covered in tan or white hair and its body is also tan or white. The furry fellow has two long antennae that stick out of its head.

It was found on the floor of the 7,540-foot-deep Pacific Ocean some 900 miles south of Easter Island. Many yeti crabs live in “black smokers” which are types of ocean vents that blow out fumes and hot gasses. When it comes to food this hairy crab eats what humans hate. Bacteria. The bacteria that gathers on its claws is its food source. Scientist have said it's like they grow their own food in other 'bacteria gardens'. Smart but gross!

Sea Creatures with Superpowers

The Frogfish

Next we have a fish who enjoys blending into the background! His superpower can make him seem like he isn't even there. Drum roll please... its the frogfish!

Blending in

I you are ever looking for this bright little buddy don't be discouraged you cant find him! Like a chameleon the frogfish can blend in with its surroundings. So if you see a piece of coral trying to grab some grub, just know you aren't insane!


Superpowers (special skills);

  • Camouflages with it surroundings
  • Waddles with its pectoral fins rather than swimming
  • Catches prey with "fishing rod"


The frog fish is from the anglerfish family. Anglerfish are bony fish named for their characteristic mode of predation, where they use a fleshy growth from the fish's head that acts as a lure. So angler fish are like fisherman who use fishing rods to catch their food! Cool! The frogfish comes in many colors including yellow,brown, orange, pink etc. Their color depends of their surroundings, for they can blend in with whatever color their surroundings are. They can change texture and color much like hunter will use camouflage to blend in with the hunting area. This camouflaging fish lives in tropical and subtropical parts of the Red Sea, Atlantic Ocean , Pacific Ocean, and the Indian ocean and it eats crustaceans such as shrimp and crab and it eats other fish. The frogfish can eat prey twice its size. Wow! But the way to cath their prey, I think, is cooler. They blend in with coral and rocks and lure their prey in by a flesh “fishing rod” complete with a worm like lure. It dangles the “fishing rod” and waits for a meal to come to it! Talk about a resourceful rodman!

Glaucus Atlanticus (or Blue Glaucus)

Here is a peculiar pal. Who can blend in from atop and below the water. Also, he can take on the Portuguese Man-o-War! He is bright blue, up to 3 centimeters long, with a bright attitude, lets give it up for... the Glaucus Atlanticus!

So just like before, you are wondering, what in the world are these, these... things! They may look like aliens from mars but they are shell-less gastropod mollusks in the family Glaucidae. So, small blue sea slugs. Glaucus atlanticus can be up to 3 centimeters in length. It is silvery grey on its dorsal side and dark and pale blue on its top side. It has dark blue stripes on its head. It has a tapering body which is flattened, and has six appendages which branch out into rayed, finger-like cerata. They are found throughout the tropical Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Glaucus live a pelagic life - this means they go where the winds and currents take them. The Glaucus Atlanticus feeds on hydrozoans especially the highly poisonous Portuguese Man-O’-War. Although a sting by a Portuguese Man-O’-War( A creature that can be compared best to a jellyfish) is very painful to a human this special guy can swallow its poision, and then store it with in him! Like a poision sponge. The Glaucus Atlanticusś special skill is that it can use camouflage called countershading that protects it from both flying and swimming predators while it floats. The underside of the blue glaucus, which faces upward, is blue, helping it blend into the water’s surface when seen from above, while its back, which faces downward, is a more grayish color, and it blends in with the ocean from below. Keeping air in their stomachs helps them to stay afloat on the surface of the oceans

A Pat on the Back

Well if you ask me you did a spectacular job, spectator of seas. You found creatures with some wacky looks and amazing skills. You have swam the mighty depths and even branched off into some rivers and bays. There still is so much more out there, though. Keep exploring. Keep swimming. Because in the end the deep blue sea if full of beauty and treasures, and you always can find something new.