Greater Spiny Crab

The Greater Spiny Crab (Maja brachydactyla) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Majidae family of crabs. It is a majid crab. It is also called a Sea Spider.

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

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Red and Black Anemonefish

The Red and Black Anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish in the Pomacentridae family of clownfish and damselfish. It is also known as the Cinnamon Clownfish or Dusky Clownfish.

The Red and Black Anemonefish has an oval-shaped, flat, compressed body. It is dark-red to orange with orangish-mahonany-brown sides. The juvenile has a wide, white head band. Its dorsal (back) and caudal (tail) fins are lighter than the rest of its body, often with a cinnamon colour.

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Upside-Down Jellyfish

The Upside-Down Jellyfish (Cassiopea ornata) is a marine (saltwater) planktonic scyphozoan in the Cassiopeidae family of upside-down jellyfish. It is a cnidarian. It is also known as the Sunbathing Jellyfish. 

It is a photosynthetic jellyfish. It is the only jellyfish that rests with its bell or umbrella on the ocean floor and its tentacles pointing upwards. It does this to receive light so that the symbiotic algae living on it can produce carbohydrates for the jellyfish to use as food for energy. 

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White-Spotted Jellyfish

The White-Spotted Jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata) is a marine (saltwater) planktonic scyphozoan in the Mastigiidae family of jellyfish. It is a cnidarian. It is also known as the Floating Bell, the Australian Spotted Jellyfish, or the Brown Jellyfish.

The White-Spotted Jellyfish has a deep-brown colour due to the algae living on the tissue. It has a bell-shaped dome with little spots. It does not have stinging tentacles. It does not have eyes. Instead, it has light-sensing organs called ocelli. It is composed of 95% of water, which enables it to float.

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Sea Fan Coral

The Sea Fan Coral (Pinnigorgia sp.) is a marine (saltwater) soft coral in the Gorgoniidae family of sea fans. It is not a plant. 

The Sea Fan Coral has calcareous spicules (horny nodules) on branchlets. The branchlets are usually slender. It can be whiplike, bushy, or spread out like a fan. The polyps are retractable with eight tentacles. It can be purple, red, or yellowish.

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Atlantic Wolffish

The Atlantic Wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Anarhichadidae family of wolffish. It is also known as the Seawolf, Atlantic Catfish, Ocean Catfish, Devil Fish, or Wolf Eel.

The Atlantic Wolffish has a long eel-like, smooth, slippery body. It can vary in colour, from purplish-brown to dull olive-brown, olive-green, or grey. It has a dorsal (back) fin and side fins. It has rounded caudal fin. Its teeth are strong, conical, and fang-like. Behind the conical teeth in the upper jaw, there are three rows of crushing teeth. The central row has four pairs of molars and the outer rows of teeth are blunted and conical. The lower jaw has two rows of molars behind the conical teeth. The wolffish’s throat is also scattered with serrated teeth.

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Plate Coral

The Plate Coral (Lithophyllon repandaor Fungia repanda) is a large marine (saltwater) polyp stony coral in the Fungiidae family of mushroom, disc, or plate coral. It is not a plant.

The Plate Coral is a colony of organisms, each with a separate mouth. It is shaped like a plate with a round, flat body, which is raised a little in the centre where the mouth is. It is covered with short tentacles, less than 2 centimetres (less than an inch) in height. It can be a variety of colours, from brownish to yellow, red, blue, or orange.

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Black Sea Scad

The Black Sea Scad (Trachurus mediterraneus ponticus) is a small marine (saltwater) fish in the Carangidae family of mackerel. It is also known as the Mediterranean Horse Mackerel, the Black Sea Horse Mackerel, or the Mediterranean Scad.

The Black Sea Scad has an elongated, flat body with a large head and a projected lower jaw. It is blue, grey or black on the upper part of its body and white to silver on the lower part of its body. Its caudal (tail) fin is yellow and forked. It has small nostrils and big eyes.

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Giant Bladder Kelp

The Giant Bladder Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is a marine (saltwater) heterokont in the Laminariales family of algae. It is not a plant. A heterokont includes algae, such as kelp, diatoms, and plankton.

The Giant Bladder Kelp grows in a diagonal direction due to the ocean current pushing against it. It has stalks that grows from a holdfast and branches out three or four times. Each blade has a single gas bladder, called a pneumatocyst. 

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Red Coral

The Red Coral (Corallium rubrum formally Gorgonia nobilis) is a marine (saltwater) coral in the Corallidae family of branched limestone coral. It is also called Precious Coral. Coral is an animal, not a plant.

The Red Coral is red or pink-orange. It has branches, made from calcium carbonate, that are tree-like. It has retractable transparent white polyps with a round mouth disc surrounded by eight hollow tentacles. The tentacles have mild venom (poison). It is sessile (it does not move). 

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Yellow Cluster Anemone

The Yellow Cluster Anemone (Parazoanthus axinellae) is a marine (saltwater) zoanthid coral in the Parazoanthidae family. It is also known as the Sea Mimosa. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Yellow Cluster Anemone is yellow or orange.  It is a cluster of individual polyps connected by a tissue called coenenchyme. Each polyp has 24-36 tentacles in two whorls. The polyps retract into their tube when threatened.

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Barrier Reef Chromis

The Barrier Reef Chromis (Chromis nitida) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Pomacentridae family of damselfish. It is also called the Yellowback Puller or the Shining Puller.

The Barrier Reef Chromis has a yellowish-brown back, a separating dark stripe, and silvery sides and underbelly. The dark stripe is diagonal, starting at the eye and ending at the tail. It has one dorsal (back) fin. 

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Dog Whelk Sea Snail

The Dog Whelk Sea Snail (Nucella lapillus) is a marine (saltwater) mollusc gastropod in the Muricidae family of rock sea snails. It is also called the Atlantic Dogwinkle. 

The Dog Whelk is usually whitish-grey, but it can be a variety of colours, such as orange, yellow, brown, black, or banded. It has a hard, external shell, called an exo-skeleton, that is smooth with a pointed spire. It has a short, straight siphon canal. The shell shape varies, depending upon the tidal waves, but it is usually rounded and spirally corded. Most of its body is made of whorls. The aperture (hole or lip) is quite wide.

The Dog Whelk, like other Sea Snails, has a single auricle (chamber) in its heart, and a single pair of gill slits for breathing. 

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Common Octopus

The Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate (soft-bodied) mollusc in the Octopodidae family. Octopod means eight limbs. It is a cephalopod, related to the squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus. 

The Common Octopus has a soft hollow body called a mantle. Its body can change shape and squeeze into small gaps. The mantle has gills (to breath), a brain, and a parrot-beaked mouth. Surrounding the mouth is eight limbs with suckers. It has two large eyes with excellent sight. It has three hearts.

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Elegance Coral

The Elegance Coral (Catalaphyllia jardinei) is a marine (saltwater) photosynthetic coral in the Euphyllidae family of stony coral. It is also known as the Wonder Coral or the Ridge Coral. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Elegance Coral has large polyps with a large, branching coralite skeleton. The polyps have long tendrils and a large, fleshy, disc-shaped (round) mouth. It can be fluorescent green, lime green, and brown.

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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.

The Zebra Shark has a slim, cylindrical body with a slightly flattened head, and a short, blunt snout (nose). It is pale with a pattern of dark spots that is different for each shark. It has five ridges along its body. It eyes are small. 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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CREATURE FEATURE: Atlantic Mudskipper

The Atlantic Mudskipper (Periophthalmus barbarus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Oxudercidae family. It is similar to the Goby. It is also found in freshwater and brackish water. It is amphibious – it can live in the water and on land – but it is not an amphibian (like a frog or toad) because it does not have lungs. 

The Atlantic Mudskipper has a long brown or greenish body. During the mating season it develops coloured spots, such as red, green or blue. It has close-set, bulging eyes. It has forward fins that are similar to legs that enable it to walk, or skip, along the surface of the mud. It can even climb trees. 

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