Green Sea Anemone

The Green Sea Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) is a marine (saltwater) anemone in the Actiniidae family. It is also known as the Giant Green Anemone, the Giant Tidepool Anemone, or the Rough Anemone. It is an animal, not a plant. 

The Green Sea Anemone is a broad, flat, disc with its mouth in the centre. It is bright green when exposed to sunlight, and dark-green or brown when not exposed to sunlight. It has short, conical tentacles arranged in rows of six or more, which is called the crown of tentacles. The crown surrounds its oral disc (mouth). The tips of the tentacles can be pointed or blunt. 

Continue reading “Green Sea Anemone”

European Crayfish

The European Crayfish (Astacus astacus) is a freshwater crustacean. It is also known as the Noble Crayfish, the Broad-Fingered Crayfish, the European Crawfish, or the European Freshwater Lobster. Crustaceans include shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. 

The European Crayfish has a hard, reddish-orange exo-skeleton or outer shell, called a carapace. It is a decapod because it has 10 clawed limbs, with two large front claws called nippers. It has eye stalks. It has gills to breathe oxygen from the water. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a fan-shaped tail called a telson. 

Continue reading “European Crayfish”

Spotted Ray

The Spotted Ray (Raja montagui) is a marine (saltwater) ray in the Rajidae family of stingrays. It is also known as the Sweet Ray. It is related to the Skate. 

The Spotted Ray is a rhomboid shape – like a kite – with rounded wing-tips. It is brownish-grey with numerous small dark spots. Its upper surface is smooth when young and prickly when it matures. Its underbelly is smooth and white. It has two equal-sized dorsal fins at the end of its tail. 

Continue reading “Spotted Ray”

Red Knob Sea Star

The Red Knob Sea Star (Protoreaster linckii) is a starfish. It is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. It is also known as the Red Knob Starfish, the Red Spine Star, or the African Red Knob Sea Star. It is not a fish, so scientists prefer to say that it is a sea star.

The Red Knob Sea Star has five elongated tube limbs, called arms or feet. It has several bright red tubercules on its arms. It has a grey body with red stripes that connect the tubercules. 

Continue reading “Red Knob Sea Star”

What is the difference between a barbel and a whisker on a fish?

What is the difference between a barbel and a whisker on a fish?

Catfish and carp have barbels. 

Some people call the barbels whiskers, but they are not whiskers.

A barbel is a structure at each edge of the mouth of a carp and catfish. It can be long or short.

A carp has two barbels – one on each side of its mouth.

A catfish has several pairs of barbels – on each side of its face. 

Each barbel has taste buds on it, as well as smell sensors.  

Continue reading “What is the difference between a barbel and a whisker on a fish?”

Copperband Butterflyfish

The Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Chaetodontidae family of long-beaked fish. It is also known as the Beaked Coral Fish. 

The Copperband Butterflyfish is laterally compressed, with yellow banding and a long, thin snout (nose). It has vertical yellow stripes on a white background. It has a large black eye-spot on its dorsal fin. It also has long yellow posterior fins. The base of its white tail has a dark band.

Continue reading “Copperband Butterflyfish”

Mediterranean Moray Eel

The Mediterranean Moray Eel (Muraena helena) is a marine (saltwater) fish. It is also known as the Roman Eel.

The Mediterranean Moray Eel has an elongated body, which can be dark-grey or dark-brown with small dark spots. Unlike fish, it does not have scales on its body. Its dorsal (back) fin runs along the top of its body. It does not have pectoral (side) fins. It has a long mouth with sharp teeth. It has gills to breath. 

Continue reading “Mediterranean Moray Eel”

Common Spider Crab

The Common Spider Crab (Libinia emarginata) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean. It is also known as the Portly Spider Crab or the Nine-Spined Spider Crab. 

The Common Spider Crab is almost triangular in shape with an olive-khaki-green exo-skeleton (shell) called a carapace. The carapace is covered in spines called tubercles. It has 10 orange legs. 

The Common Spider Crab walks forward – unlike most crabs that walk sideways.

Continue reading “Common Spider Crab”

Purple-Striped Jellyfish

The Purple-Striped Jellyfish (Chrysaora colorata) is a soft-bodied invertebrate marine (saltwater) animal. An invertebrate is an animal with no bones. It is also known as the Purple-Striped Sea Nettle. 

The Purple-Striped Jellyfish has a translucent (see-through) bell-shaped or umbrella-shaped dome body with purple stripes. It has long tentacles (limbs) with eight long dark purple arms and four ‘frilly’ arms. It has no brain, no heart, no blood, no bones, no excretory system, and no gills or lungs. It has nerve receptors in its body that enables it to detect smell, light, pressure, and touch. It is about 98% water.

Continue reading “Purple-Striped Jellyfish”

Desjardini Sailfin Tang

The Desjardini Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma desjardini) is a marine (saltwater) tropical fish. It is also known as the Indian Ocean Sailfin Tang.

The Desjardini Sailfin Tang is a flat-bodied rounded fish. It is dark to very light-grey with light small spots on its nose, and yellow small spots on its abdomen. It has several thick vertical yellow stripes on its body, with a white-spotted blue tail. 

Continue reading “Desjardini Sailfin Tang”

Deep-Sea Decapod Crustacean

The Deep-Sea Decapod Crustacean (Polycheles enthrix) is a blind, ten-limbed lobster-like crustacean. Polycheles means ‘many-clawed.’ It is often known as a ‘living fossil.’

The Deep-Sea Decapod Crustacean looks like a lobster or a shrimp, with a reddish-orange exo-skeleton. It has ten elongated chelate (clawed) limbs and a segmented tail. Because it lives in very deep oceans, where there is little or no light, its eyes are not functional, and therefore it is blind. 

Continue reading “Deep-Sea Decapod Crustacean”