Dolphins are incredibly intelligent animals. They have been seen using tools, in the form of sponges, to protect their snouts while looking for food. They are also able to identify each other based on their signature whistle sounds. Just as each dolphin has a signature sound, they also each have unique dorsal fins which can be helpful in identifying them.
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.
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.
Garden Eels live in colonies of up to 700 individuals and burrow in the sand of the ocean floor, using mucus from their bodies to prevent the sand around them from collapsing. These eels tend to stay in their individual burrows, rarely leaving to catch their prey, zooplankton, that floats by them.
Hawaiian Monk Seals got their name because the folds on their skin look similar a monk’s cowl. Additionally, like a monk, these seals tend to live in solitary. When these seals are born, they are black in color. They turn to shades of gray and brown as they mature.
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.
Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish, reaching up to 40 feet and weighing an average of 20,000 pounds. These gentle giants can neither bite nor chew and are filter feeders. Their mouths contain hundreds of rows of tiny teeth and can open up to 4 feet wide.
The largest sea turtle, the Leatherback, can reach up to 2,200 pounds. Unlike other species of sea turtles, Leatherback turtles have a rubbery shell composed of cartilage-like tissues rather than a hard, bony shell. Leatherback turtles also live in waters of more of the world than any other sea turtle.
Both Stingrays and Manta Rays have flat body shapes and wide pectoral fins. Unlike Stingrays, Manta Rays do not have a barb, or stinger, on their tails. Additionally, Stingrays live on the floors of the ocean while Manta Rays inhabit the open ocean. The mouths of Manta Rays are on the front edge of their bodies while mouths of Stingrays are on the undersides of their bodies.
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