What is the difference between the Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish?

What is the difference between the Blacksaddle Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus) and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish (Canthigaster valentini)?

The Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish are both marine (saltwater) fish in the same family – the Monacahnthidae family of Leatherjackets.

The Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer are both the same size, about 11 centimetres (4 inches) long, and swim together in the same small schools in the tropical reefs of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

The Blacksaddle Filefish is a mimic of the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer, so it is extremely difficult to distinguish one from the other.

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Blacksaddle Filefish

The Blacksaddle Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Monacahnthidae family of Leatherjackets. It is related to Pufferfish. It mimics the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer (Canthigaster valentini).

The Blacksaddle Filefish is greyish with distinctive black ‘saddles’ and a protruding nose. It has a yellow tail. It has a blue-grey head, and a white speckled body with blue-grey spots. It has four black stripes (called saddles) on its back. 

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Panther Grouper

The Panther Grouper (Cromileptes altivelis) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Serranidae family of groupers and sea bass. It is also known as the Polka Dot Grouper, High-Finned Grouper, Humpback Grouper, and Barramundi Cod. 

The Panther Grouper has a laterally compressed, flat body. It has a greyish-yellowish-brown coloured background with small, darker spots all over its body. It is high at front of its back, which makes it look humpbacked. 

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Longspine Snipefish

The Longspine Snipefish (Macroramphosus scolopax) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Macroramphosidae family of snipefish. It is related to the Pipefish. It is also known as the Bellowfish, Spine Trumpet Fish, and Trumpetfish.

The Longspine Snipefish is reddish-pink with a silver underbelly. It has a moderately elongated body and head. It has a long snout (nose) and a tiny mouth without teeth. The snout curves slightly upward. It has scales on its body that are similar to the denticles of sharks because they have sharp ridges and spines. It has large, round eyes. 

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RESEARCH: Harbour Seals can change their voice to make them sound bigger

Scientific researchers have determined that Harbour Seals can learn to change their voice to make them sound bigger, and that the behaviour is not a result of their anatomy.

Bigger animals usually have deeper (lower pitched) voices than smaller animals, but the Harbour Seal (Phoca vitulina) seems to be different. The Harbour Seal seems to be able to learn to change its voice. 

The Harbour Seal, a marine (saltwater) mammal in the Phocidae family of seals is a pinniped (fin-footed, semi-aquatic mammal such as a seal, sea lion, and walrus) found in the Northern Hemisphere. It is found in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Baltic Sea, and the North Sea.

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Milky Jellyfish

The Milky Jellyfish (Chrysaora lactea) is a soft-bodied, invertebrate sea nettle in the Pelagiidae family of marine (saltwater) jellyfish. An invertebrate is an animal with no bones.

The Milky Jellyfish has a translucent (see-through) bell-shaped or umbrella-shaped dome body. It has short tentacles (limbs) with short arms. It has no bones, no brain, no heart, no blood, 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.

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Indian Yellowtail Angelfish

The Indian Yellowtail Angelfish (Apolemichthys xanthurus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Pomacanthidae family. It is also known as the Cream Angelfish, Smoke Angelfish, and Yellowtail Black Angelfish.

The Indian Yellowtail Angelfish has a large, round, flat body with thick lips and large, dark eyes. The scales are like a lattice design. The edges of its body are dark. It has a bright yellow tail and the other fins are dark-coloured. It has a yellow spot on the upper pre-operculum, near its eye. 

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Pacific Double Saddle Butterflyfish

The Pacific Double Saddle Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ulietensis) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish in the Chaetodontidae family of butterflyfish. It is also known as the False Falcula Butterflyfish. 

The Pacific Double Saddle Butterflyfish has a flat, compressed, oval-shaped body. It is white with vertical, thin, black lines down its body and two dark saddles on its back. The fins and tail are bright yellow with a black spot on the tail. It has a black eye band, like a mask over its eyes. Its protruding snout (nose) is usually white.

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European Conger Eel

The European Conger Eel (Conger conger) is a medium-sized marine (saltwater) fish in the Congridae family of conger eels. It is an anguilliform.

The European Conger Eel has a cylindrical, long, thin, grey to black body with a white underbelly. It has a row of small, white spots along the lateral line. It has a smooth body – it does not have scales (it is scaleless). There are gill openings on its side. Its head is conical, with a down-turned mouth and sharp, conical teeth. Its snout (nose) is rounded and prominent. It has nostrils. 

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Common Prawn

The Common Prawn (Palaemon serratus) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Palaemonidae family of invertebrate ten-footed shrimp (decapod). It is related to the crab and the lobster.

The Common Prawn is transparent (see-through) to pinkish-brown with reddish striped-liked markings and patterns. It has an exo-skeleton (outside skeleton) called a carapace or shell. Its forward extension of the carapace in front of its eyes, called the rostrum, curves upwards. The rostrum is also bifurcated at the tip, which means that it is split into two parts. It has long, white antennae. It has bulging eyes. It has ten legs.

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Do sea creatures eat grass?

Do sea creatures eat grass?

Many sea creatures eat grass. There are many species of aquatic and marine grasses that live underwater.

For example, Neptune Grass (Posidonia oceanica) is a flowering marine (saltwater) grass in the Posidoniaceae family of sea grasses. It is also known as  Ocean Grass Wrack and Mediterranean Tapeweed.

Neptune Grass forms a large underwater meadow. Each meadow can be 8 kilometres (5 miles) across. About 55,000 hectares (140,000 acres) of the meadows around the Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Formentera are registered as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Warty Gorgonian Coral

The Warty Gorgonian (Eunicella verrucosa) is a soft marine (saltwater) coral in the Gorgoniidae family of sea fans. It is also known as the Broad Sea Fan Coral and the Pink Sea Fan Coral. It is not a plant.

The Warty Gorgonian is a branching calcareous coral. It branches into slender, warty stems and branchlets. The warts are small growths. It can be red, pink, or white. It leans in the direction of the water flow or ocean current. The polyps emerge from the warty protrusions and spread their tentacles to feed on organisms in the sea. The polyps are retractable with eight tentacles.

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Knobby Finger Coral

The Knobby Finger Coral (Porites duerdeni) is a marine (saltwater) coral in the Poritidae family of polyp stony corals.

The Knobby Finger Coral looks like short, stubby, branching fingers in small, mound-shaped colonies. The top of each finger is spherical. It has widely spaced calices with retracted polyps. It has a well-developed wall reticulum. It can be varied in colour from light grey to yellowish-green and pinkish-red. It is sessile (not moving), with a mouth in each polyp.

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Golden King Crab

The Golden King Crab (Lithodes longispina) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Lithodoidea family of crabs. However, many scientists think it should be classified in the Paguroidea superfamily of hermit crabs. It is a decapod because it has 10 limbs.

The Golden King Crab has five pairs of spiny limbs – 10 limbs. The front pair of legs has claws, or nippers. Its rounded-triangular exoskeleton shell (carapace) is pale orange with spines. 

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Coral Reef Found Off Tahiti in the Twilight Zone

A coral reef has been found in deep water off the coast of Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean. The coral reef was found to be pristine, undamaged, and in good environmental health. 

The coral reef is rose-shaped. It is part of a larger reef that stretches for more than 3 kilometres long and 70 metres wide at its widest point.  

Laetitia Hédouin and her colleagues at the National Centre for Scientific Research in France undertook diving expeditions off the coast of Tahiti and found the reef. Hédouin said it was a very healthy reef, ‘like a dream come true.’

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Yellow-Banded Pipefish

The Yellow-Banded Pipefish (Dunckerocampus pessuliferus) is a small marine (saltwater) fish in the Syngnathidae family of seahorses, pipefish, and seadragons. 

The Yellow-Banded Pipefish looks like a thin, straight seahorse or a small sea snake. It is a long, tube-like, cyclindrical fish with a small mouth. It has alternating reddish-brown and yellow bands along its body. Its snout (nose) is a long tube ending in a narrow mouth which opens upwards and is toothless. It has a dorsal (back) fin, which is always moving because it helps the Pipefish to swim. It has small gill openings, called slits, which enable it to breathe underwater. It has a paddle-shaped tail.

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What is a Penguin Tester?

A Penguin Tester was installed at the Zoological Park in Paris, France. What is a Penguin Tester?

A Penguin Tester is a robot for use in the Humboldt Penguin enclosure at the zoo. The Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is a marine (saltwater) bird. It is also known as the Peruvian Penguin. 

But the robot is not testing the penguins. The penguins are testing the robot. The penguins are helping zoologisits test that the machine works.

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RESEARCH: Albatrosses divorce more often when ocean waters are warm

Research scientists think that albatrosses divorce and seek new partners when conditions are harsher than usual, reported Science News in November 2021. The research was documented in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B.

The albatross is a large seabird in the Diomedeidae family. The albatross is a monogamous bird, which means that it stays with the same partner for life. However, when ocean waters are warmer than average, more of the albatross birds break up and look for a new partner, says a recent study.

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What is a lagoon?

What is a lagoon?

A lagoon is marine water or freshwater that is near to, but separated from, a larger body of water by a natural barrier or several natural barriers. It occurs in oceans and near the coast. Some lagoons have brackish water, which is a mixture of sea water and freshwater from a river mouth at the coast.

The natural barrier between the small and large body of water can be a reef or a sandbar.

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Can animals live beneath the Antarctic ice?

Can animals live beneath the Antarctic ice? 

An article in the New Scientist magazine in December 2021 reports that a variety of marine (saltwater) animal species has been found below the Antarctic ice shelf, and that they can live there for thousands of years. They can live in the harsh freezing ice, with limited food, and in the darkness. These animals include corals, clams, sea mosses, snails, and worms.

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