Painted Comber Fish

The Painted Comber (Serranus scriba) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Serranidae family of sea bass, groupers, and anthias. 

The Painted Comber has a laterally compressed, elongated body with a pointed snout (nose). It is grey, purplish, or reddish with 5-7 dark-brown bars on its sides. Its head has narrow blue lines and red blotches. Its fins have red dots, and its pectoral fins are pale-yellow. It has a large mouth with sharp teeth. 

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Dwarf Lanternshark

The Dwarf Lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Etmopteridae family of dogfish sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton.

The Dwarf Lanternshark is dark-brown with a long, flattened head and black markings along its back. It has large eyes. It has several rows of teeth. It has small gill slits, where it takes in water and extracts oxygen to breathe. 

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Sand Tiger Shark

The Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Odontaspididae family of sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton. It is also known as the Grey Nurse Shark, Spotted Ragged-Tooth Shark, and Blue-Nurse Sand Tiger.

The Sand Tiger Shark has a sharp, pointy head, and a large, bulky body. It is grey with reddish-brown spots on its back. Its eyes are small and lack eyelids. It swims with its mouth always open so that it can breathe oxygen from the water. Its teeth are always showing. Its teeth are smooth, ragged, and sharp-pointed. 

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Leucistic Zebra Shark

The Zebra Shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Stegostomatidae family of carpet sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton.

A leucistic Zebra Shark has reduced colouring, but not complete albinism. An albino lacks colour (it looks white) and has pink eyes. A leucistic animal is light or white, but does not have pink eyes. It has brown, blue, or green eyes.

The Zebra Shark has a slim, cylindrical body with a slightly flattened head, and a short, blunt snout (nose). A regular Zebra Shark is pale with a pattern of dark spots. It has five ridges along its body. It eyes are small and its nose has short barbels (like whiskers) from each nostril. Its mouth is almost straight with rows of sharp teeth. It has gill slits on the sides of its body to breathe underwater. 

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Whitespotted Bamboo Shark

The Whitespotted Bamboo Shark (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Hemiscyllidae family of carpet sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton.

The Whitespotted Bamboo Shark has a pale body with dark bands and purple and pink spots. It has a distinct dorsal (back) fin. It rests on the bottom of the sea on its bent pectoral fins. It has small teeth. 

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Behind the Scenes at the New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in America. Established in 1896, it is located on the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. It was first in Castle Garden in Manhattan and relocated to Coney Island in 1957. The water for its aquarium exhibitions is taken directly from the sea.

In 2018, the New York Aquarium built a new enclosure called “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” that took ten years to construct. The delay was caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 which flooded the facility.

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Giant Carpet Anemone

The Giant Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) is a marine (saltwater) anthozoan cnidarian in the Stichodactylidae family of sea anemones. It is an animal, not a plant. 

The Giant Carpet Anemone is a polyp with folds of many tentacles around an oral (mouth) disc. It is dense with short, sticky tentacles. It can be various colours, such as brown, green, purple, pink, or blue. It is sessile –  it stays in one location on the sea floor; it does not move. 

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RESEARCH: The bulging eyes of a stingray make it swim fast

The more streamlined an animal, the faster it is. To be streamlined means that the shape of the animal has smooth, flowing lines that enable it to reduce resistance to movement (called drag), such as through water or air. 

Research scientists have found that the bulging eyes and mouth of a stingray makes it a faster swimmer. This seems impossible, because any part of a body that is protruding (sticking out) usually makes an animal slower.

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Capillaria Nematode

The Capillaria Nematode (Capillaria pterophylli) is a freshwater aquatic parasitic roundworm in the Trichosomoididae family of nematodes. It is found in and attached to Goldfish and other freshwater fish. It is a disease in the fish, and eventually kills the fish. It is a capillarid. 

The Capillaria Nematode is very small and difficult to see. It is transparent (clear or see-through). It is long and cyclindrical like a worm (but not flat like a flatworm). It is smooth. It has a thorny head at one end. 

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Elegant Unicornfish

The Elegant Unicornfish (Naso elegans) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Acanthuridae family of surgeonfish and tangs. It is also known as the Indian Orange-Spine and the Smoothheaded Unicornfish.

The Elegant Unicornfish has a flat, oval-shaped body. It is purple-blue with a yellow dorsal (back) fin and forehead, a white tail with a blue margin, and orange spots on its tail. As it ages, it grows long, elegant filamentous lobes on its tail. It has big eyes and protruding orange lips. It does not have a sharp retractile blade on its caudal fin, like some surgeonfish have. Instead, it has a couple of sharp claws on its caudal fish that face towards its head.

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Yellowspot Surgeon

The Yellowspot Surgeon (Acanthurus pyroferus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Acanthuridae family of unicornfish and tangs. It is also known as the Chocolate Surgeonfish, the Orange-Gilled Surgeonfish, and the Pacific Mimic Surgeonfish.

The Yellowspot Surgeon has a yellow-brown, flat, oval-shaped body. It has a pale face with a dark marking over its eye, and an orange or dark marking on its front belly. Its tail fin has an orange margin. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Redtail Catfish

The Redtail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus) is a freshwater fish in the Pimedodidae family of long-whiskered catfish. It is a pimelodid. 

The Redtail Catfish has a brownish spotted back with yellow sides and underbelly, and a red tail. Its body is elongated with a broad, flattened head. It has a pair of barbels (long fleshy, string structures) on the upper jaw and two pairs of barbels on the lower jaw.

Fish have scales, but the Redtail Catfish does not have scales. Instead of scales, it has slippery mucous-covered skin with bony plates called scutes.

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Bristle-Tail Filefish

The Bristle-Tail Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Monacanthidae family of Leatherjackets. It is related to Pufferfish.

The Bristle-Tail Filefish has a laterally-compressed, rhomboid-shaped body and rough skin like sandpaper. It has many spines. It can rapidly change colour, skin texture, and even skin patterns to avoid predators. It has a tapered snout (nose) and its orange-brown eyes are located high on its head. It has small fins, so it is not a good swimmer.

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What is an Octopus’s Garden?

The British band, The Beatles, sang about an Octopus’s Garden in 1969. Is an octopus’s garden real?

The song lyrics mention that the octopus’s garden is under the sea, in the shade, in a lttle hideaway near a cave, and near coral. 

It is true that an octopus lives under the sea near coral. It likes to live in marine (saltwater) oceans in shallow lagoons and coral reefs. It is benthic, because it lives on the bottom of the ocean, on the seabed. 

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