When a Humpback whale is born, it can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and reach up to 15 feet in length. These young whales, called calves, stay with their mothers to nurse for anywhere between 6 to 10 months, until they are about 24 to 27 feet long.
Some rockfish can live to be 100 years or older. Most Rockfish grow very slowly and don’t reproduce until they are at least 10 years old. Believe it or not, rockfish are aged accurately by analyzing the bones in their ears! Some species of rockfish are very territorial and may stay at a ‘home site’ for years. Rockfish often extend their dorsal spines and lean towards an approaching threat. If this defensive posture fails to discourage an approaching threat, most rockfish will then head for nearby cover. Rockfish have air bladders which allow them to float motionless in the water column. This helps them to sneak up on prey very quietly to strike.
Living up to about 30 years, leopard sharks can be found in shallow muddy waters, particularly Northern California. Often times they are preyed upon by larger sharks, like the Great White, but they themselves eat relatively small animals like worms, crabs, octopus, and fish. Branching off from a species of houndshark in the Triakidae family, adult leopard sharks can grow up to 6 feet long, but typically average at about 5 feet.
Unlike their cousin, the stingray, manta rays are completely harmless with their tiny teeth and dormant tail. Additionally, they have the largest brain-to-body ratio of any fish, making them arguably one of the smartest in the sea!
Seahorses use camouflage to avoid predators and sneakily attack their prey, which includes a variety of small crustaceans. These animals have eyes that move independently from one another which also helps them to track and ambush prey. They do not have teeth or stomachs, so they must eat almost constantly to survive.
Starfish can live for up to 35 years in the wild. They vary in size from one centimeter to 65 centimeters depending on the species. There are 1,600 species of starfish throughout oceans around the world and different species live in habitats including tidal pools, rocky shores, sea grass, kelp beds, and coral reefs.
These jellyfish have 8 arms that surround their mouths and help them find food. Their diet consists of zooplankton, algae, shrimp, and invertebrate eggs. Although this species of jellyfish is the most venomous, they are not harmful to humans.
Butterfly fish can reach up to 8 inches in length, but typically range from around 3 to 6 inches. These fish got their name because of their coloring. They can be black, orange, yellow, silver, red, and white and have different patterns on their bodies. Many species of Butterfly fish have black stripes and spots that serve to confuse and distract their predators. Butterfly fish have elongated noses that help them reach in cracks and crevices of rocks to eat.
They have three hearts, two of which help move their blood beyond their gills. Their third heart’s function is to circulate blood to their organs. The third heart does not beat while an octopus swims, which is part of why swimming exhausts them so much and they prefer to crawl. Octopuses also have blue, copper-based blood, unlike a human’s iron-based blood. This difference in blood type helps octopuses survive in colder waters that have lower amounts of oxygen.
The Bluestripe snapper lives in tropical waters around the world. They live in coral reefs, often near caves, and in shallow lagoons. In the 1950s, the Bluestripe snapper was introduced to the waters of Hawaii as a potential food source, but their low economic value prevented them from being a continued food source.
Caribbean Reef Sharks are the first and only species of shark to rest or “sleep” on the ocean floors inside reef caves. Because of this, they have been given the nickname “sleeping sharks”.