This week we’re switching up our Wisdom Wednesday blog to be more of an update about a popular topic in ocean pollution: Sea Turtles. Sea turtles are affected by plastic during every stage of their life. They crawl through plastic on the way to the ocean as hatchlings, swim through it while migrating, confuse it for jellyfish (one of their favorite foods), and then crawl back through it as adults. Researchers estimate that over half of all sea turtles in the world have ingested plastic. And a single piece of plastic has a 20% chance of killing them. If sea turtles disappear from the ocean, it wouldn’t only be a huge loss for future human generations but it would also threaten the longevity of other marine life. Scientists believe that sea turtle species are essential to the health of marine ecosystems.
Also known as the paiche or the pirarucu, the arapaima is an air-breathing fish that plies the rainforest rivers of South America's Amazon Basin and nearby lakes and swamps. They have primitive lungs which allows them to breathe air from the surface and gills that allow them to breathe underwater. Their bodies have adapted due to the low oxygen levels in their habitat.
Generally, adult barracudas are considered to be solitary when it comes to hunting, though young barracudas tend to gather in large ‘schools’, sometimes in hundreds or even thousands. Schooling offers the young fish protection from predators on the basis of safety in numbers. Often, when a predator attacks a school, the school will form a confusing ‘tornado’, preventing any one barracuda being fixed upon as prey in the eyes of the predator.
This extraordinary invertebrate has a mass of twisting and turning arms that can measure a meter long. The middle is a five-pointed body that’s up to a few inches across. An arm extends from each point. Each arm may have two main branches, with many smaller ones extending from each of the bigger ones. Each branch has tiny sharp hooks, allowing the creature to capture prey.
Pineapple fish have very unusual feeding habits. They have thin, tiny teeth and feed at night with a small green patch on their lower jaw that is covered in small bacteria that glow in the dark. This glow attracts small shrimp. This patch turns from green to red as they get older.
Barrier reefs help to protect lagoons and other shallow waters. It is essentially a coral reef running parallel to the shore but separated from it by a channel of deep water. A barrier reef is usually pierced by several channels that give access to the lagoon and the island or continent beyond it.
Not much is known about this cichlid due to it being endemic to Lake Malawi, meaning they are only found in this particular lake. There are a total of 12 genera of very active and aggressive personalities in this group. Regardless of the drastically different personalities in a group, a single group won't swim much more than about 3 feet away from the particular rock island they have designated as their home.
Ocean Sunfish lay more eggs than any other vertebrate animal...roughly 300,000,000, and they are voracious predators feeding mostly on jellyfish. In German, they are called “swimming heads”, but they may or may not be plankton. Despite its massive size, the sunfish has been classified for years as a type of plankton,
“While the fish in this photo appears to be sitting there allowing me to take his photo it was quite the contrary. He came up at me from the sandy bottom with such intent and speed that I couldn't believe I managed to get him in the frame, let alone having him and is grumpy face in focus!”
Tiger Tail Sea Cucumbers are the largest sea cucumber in the Western Atlantic. They feed on algae and detritus. Juveniles often mimic sea slugs by crawling around on the bottom slowly filtering sand through their tentacles to gather food.