It’s A Fact! Sea Creature Edition
Celebrating World Ocean Day
Weird and wonderful, iconic and incredible, bizarre and beautiful… the creatures of the sea and the things they can do are bamboozling! Here’s some fun facts about the freakiest ‘fish’ in the sea:
“Nowhere is more beautiful and endlessly fascinating than the ocean” – Sir David Attenborough
These amazing sea creatures stand out from the shoal!
- Immortal jellyfish have a remarkable ability to revert back to a juvenile stage after reaching maturity. This process is called transdifferentiation and allows it to restart its life cycle, effectively making it biologically immortal.
- The mantis shrimp has one of the most powerful punches in the animal kingdom. Its claw can strike with the speed of a bullet and has enough force to break glass or crack open a crab’s shell.
- Fangtooth fish are ghoulish-looking deep sea creatures that have the largest teeth compared to body size of all sea creatures. Its teeth are so long that they don’t fit inside its ‘mouth’ when closed… instead it has special pouches above the mouth to enclose the teeth and prevent them from accidently piercing the fish’s brain!
- The blue dragon sea slug, or nudibranch, is a striking creature that floats on the ocean’s surface. It has a vibrant blue coloration and feeds on venomous jellyfish, incorporating their toxins for it’s own self-defense.
- Gulper eels have an extremely large mouth that opens wide, a tunnel-like body and an expandable stomach, all of which allow them to to consume prey several times their own size!
- The giant sunfish, also known as the Mola mola, can weigh over 2,000kg and is the heaviest bony fish in the world. It has a flattened body and it can reach up to 3 meters in length.
- The mesmerising mimic octopus, along with changing its skin’s texture and colour, can also mimic the movements and behaviour of other animals to avoid predation.
- The small-sized cookie-cutter shark has a terrifying feeding behaviour… it attaches itself to marine animals larger than itself using its suction-like lips and BITES out a round, cookie-shaped piece of flesh. These cookie-cutter-like bites leave behind distinctive scars on the prey.
- Saltwater crocodiles are living dinosaurs that have learnt a trick or two. They exhibit ‘tool-use’, something rare in the animal kingdom: crocs balance sticks on their snouts while partially submerged in the water, creating a platform for birds to land on, luring them close enough to catch!
- The longest living mammal isn’t on land, it’s in the ocean. The bowhead whale can live to 200 years old and possibly longer! They also have the longest baleen plates of all whales (up to 4m long), giving rise to their large heads and namesake.