Rosette-Scaled Brittle Star

The Rosette-Scaled Brittle Star (Ophiolepis elegans) is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate in the Ophiuridae family of brittle sea stars (starfish). 

The Rosette-Scaled Brittle Star has a round disc with five narrow arms radiating from the disc. Its arms are brownish with dark bands. The upperside of the disc has scales in a rosette pattern. There are two large scales on each side of its arms and a column of scales between each pair of arms. It has spines on its arms. The underside disc is where the mouth is located. It is light-beige in colour. Its mouth has jaws. 

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Magnificent Sea Anemone

The Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica) is a marine (saltwater) anemone in the Stichodactylidae family. It is also known as the Ritteri Anemone.

The Magnificent Sea Anemone has a flared oral (mouth) disc with tentacles around it in concentric circles. It is light-beige to white in colour. The tips of the tentacles look like fingers. The column, which is usually hidden, can be bright pink, blue, green, red, purple, or brown.

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Sleepy Sponge Crab

The Sleepy Sponge Crab (Dromia dormia) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Dromiidae family of sponge crabs. It is also known as the Common Sponge Crab.

The Sleepy Sponge Crab is narrow at the mouth and widens at the base of its shell, called a carapace.  The carapace is an exo-skeleton (an outside skeleton). It has ten appendices, with two large nippers (claws) and eight smaller legs. The last two pairs of legs are shorter than the other legs. It walks sideways. It is beige-brown. It carries a sponge on its back, and sometimes other materials, such as wood. 

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Foxface Rabbitfish

 

The Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus vulpinus) is a tropical marine (saltwater) reef fish in the Siganidae family. It is also known as the Black-Face Rabbitfish or Common Foxface.

The Foxface Rabbitfish has a compressed vivid yellow body with a yellow tail. It has white on the head and front part of the body. There is a black band running backwards from its mouth, through its eye, and to the start of its dorsal (back) fin. It has a nose that looks like the nose of a fox. 

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What are the differences between the Common Sea Urchin, Green Sea Urchin, and Purple Sea Urchin?

What are the similarities and differences between the Common Sea Urchin (Echinus esculentus), the Green Sea Urchin (Psammechinus miliaris or Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis), and the Purple Sea Urchin (Paracentrotus lividus or Strongylocentrotus purpuratus)? 

The Common Sea Urchin, Green Sea Urchin, and Purple Sea Urchin are all spiny marine (saltwater) echinoderms in the Parechinidae family. Echinoderm means hedgehog skin.

The Common Sea Urchin, Green Sea Urchin, and Purple Sea Urchin are all spherical with short spines. They all have a hard shell called a test.

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Green Sea Urchin

The Green Sea Urchin (Psammechinus miliaris) is a marine (saltwater) echinoderm in the Parechinidae family. It is also known as the Shore Sea Urchin.

The Green Sea Urchin is spherical-shaped (ball-shaped). Its rounded “body” is called a test. The test is covered with short, thick spines of about the same length. It is purple-brown in shallow water and greenish in deeper water. The spines are a paler colour with purple tips. It has tubed feet in groups of five or six in a small arc shape. It has a small mouth. It does not have eyes. It is sensitive to touch, light, and chemicals due to the numerous sensitive cells in its spines, tube feet, and around its mouth.

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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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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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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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What are the similarities and differences between the Giant Clam and the Maxima Clam?

What are the similarities and differences between the Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosa) and the Maxima Clam (Tridacna maxima)?

The Giant Clam and the Maxima Clam are both marine (saltwater), bivalve molluscs in the Cardiidae family. Bivalve means two valves (or two shells). They both prefer to live on the bottom of the ocean in shallow coral reefs.

The Giant Clam and the Maxima Clam both have a thick, ridged calcium carbonate shell, called a mantle. Their shells, which can open and close, have two equal-sized calcareous valves connected with a flexible adductor muscle. 

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