World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2 February annually. With 35% of the world’s wetlands having disappeared in the last 50 years, and nearly 90% degraded since the 1700s, the theme for the 2023 World Wetlands Day is Wetland Restoration – ‘revive and restore degraded wetlands.’ Wetlands are important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, and freshwater availability.Continue reading “World Wetlands Day: wetland animals”
The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine (saltwater) mammal, and the largest animal known on the planet.
The Blue Whale can grow to 30 metres (98 feet) in length. The female is larger than the male.Continue reading “Blue Whale heart and tongue “
A new Zebra Shark has joined the large pool in the Paris Aquarium in the capital of France. The Zebra Shark has been named Rôti, which is French for Roast. It joins other Zebra Sharks but Rôti is easily recognized because it is the smallest of the Zebra Sharks.
Rôti comes from the Skegness Aquarium in England, as part of an exchange for the preservation of species. Skegness is a seaside town in Lincolnshire on the east coast of England. The Skegness Aquarium opened in 2015.Continue reading “Rôti the Zebra Shark joins the Paris Aquarium”
Happy as a clam is a colloquial expression – a simile to describe a happy person. If a person is said to be ‘as happy as a clam at high water’ it means that they are content and satisfied.
What is the origin of this expression? The website The Phrase Finder believes that it may have originated in America in 1833 in the book The Harpe’s Head – A Legend of Kentucky – “It never occurred to him to be discontented … He was as happy as a clam.” General Robert E Lee used the phrase too in the 1830s.Continue reading “Happy as a Clam”
The Yellowback Anthias (Pseudanthias evansi) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Serranidae family of sea basses and groupers. It is also known as the Goldback Anthias, Goldback Basslet, and Purple Wreckfish.
The female Yellowback Anthias is mainly violet with a yellow back and yellow caudal fin. The caudal fin is deeply forked with long thin edges. It has a light purple line through its eyes. The male has yellow dots on its upper body.Continue reading “Yellowback Anthias”
The Decorator Crab, or Collector Crab, is a marine saltwater crustacean in the Majoidea super-family with several different species.
The Decorator Crab is difficult to see in its natural habitat in tropical reefs and lagoons because it covers itself with aquatic plants and materials from its environment.
About 75% of crabs in the Majoidea super-family decorate themselves for camouflage. Some cover themselves completely and some cover themselves a little bit.Continue reading “Decorator Crab”
What is the difference between hard coral and soft coral?
Corals are marine (saltwater) invertebrate animals that usually form colonies of individual polyps, mainly in tropical reefs.
Hard coral is also called stony coral.
Hard coral is in the sub-class Hexacorallia (hexa means six), whereas bue coral and soft coral are in the sub-class Octocorallia (octo means eight).
Hard coral is in the Scleractinia order, whereas soft coral is in the Alyconacea order.Continue reading “What is the difference between hard coral and soft coral?”
The Red Reef Hermit Crab (Dardanus arrosor) is a decapod crustacean in the Diogenidae family of crabs. It is also known as the Mediterranean Hermit Crab.
The Red Reef Hermit Crab has a beige-coloured shell, called a carapace. The body of the Hermit Crab is hidden in the shell. The colour of its body varies from bright red to bright orange. Its eyes are at the tips of two eyestalks. The eyestalks are streaked red and white, and the eyes are bluish. It is a decapod, which means that it has ten appendages (two claws and eight legs). Its two red claws have a black or yellow tip. The claws have hair-like spines and warty tubercules. The left claw is larger than the right claw.Continue reading “Red Reef Hermit Crab”
The European Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) is a marine (saltwater) bony fish in the Moronidae family of temperate basses. It is also known as Sea Bass and Mullet.
The European Bass is silvery-grey, sometimes with dark-blue scales on its back. It has a slightly compressed body, a medium-sized head, and prominent jaws. It has teeth and fleshy lips. It has gills to breathe underwater. There are two dorsal (back) fins – the first one has thorny rays. The fins appear yellowish.Continue reading “European Bass”
The Common Spider Crab is a master at camouflage, using algae to cover itself.
The Common Spider Crab (Libinia emarginata) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Epialtidae family of stenohaline crabs. It is also known as the Portly Spider Crab or the Nine-Spined Spider Crab. It is native to the Atlantic coastal waters of North America.Continue reading “Camouflaged Common Spider Crab”
What animals can be found in a rock pool?
A rock pool is a small body of tidal sea water among or near the coastal rocks on the shore. A rock pool is not a permanent body of water. Instead, it depends on the tide coming in and out. Rock pools are visible at low tide.
Marine animals are found in a rock pool – in the water, in between the rock crevices, on the rocks, and under the rocks.Continue reading “What animals can be found in a rock pool?”
The Broadnosed Pipefish (Syngnathus typhle) is a small marine (saltwater) fish in the Syngnathidae family of seahorses, pipefish, and seadragons.
The Broadnosed Pipefish looks like a thin, straight seahorse or a small sea snake. It is an elongated, long, tube-like, cyclindrical fish with a greenish colour and a yellowish belly. Its flattened snout (nose) is a long tube ending in a narrow mouth which opens upwards and is toothless. It has a fan-shaped caudal fin. It has small gill openings, called slits, which enable it to breathe underwater.Continue reading “Broadnosed Pipefish”
Which animals have more than one heart?
Humans have one heart. Most animals have one heart, but there are animals with no heart, such as the jellyfish, and there are animals with more than one heart.
The heart transports, or circulates, oxygen in the blood around the body. This is called the circulatory system. The human heart has red blood cells called haemoglobin. The human heart has 4 chambers (two atria and two ventricles). The cockroach, for example, has one heart with 13 chambers. The earthworm has 5 pseudo-hearts (false hearts) that are really aortic arches that act similar to a heart.Continue reading “Which animals have more than one heart?”
The Ghost Cardinalfish (Apogon leptacanthus or Zoramia leptacantha) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Apogonidae family.
The Ghost Cardinalfish has a compressed body with a large head, large mouth, and large round eyes. Its lower jaw protrudes over its upper jaw. It is silver with a light-black bar on the caudal fin. Underneath its eyes is a thin, black line extending backwards. It has two dorsal (back) fins.Continue reading “Ghost Cardinalfish”
The Bubble Coral (Plerogyra sinuosa) is a marine (saltwater) zooxanthellate coral in the Caryophylliidae family of stony corals, although this is not definitive according to some zoologists – they refer to its classification as Incertae sedis or Problematica (which means ‘uncertain placement’ or ‘problematic’). It is in the Cnidaria phylum. It is also known as Grape Coral, Pearl Coral, and Bladder Coral.
The Bubble Coral ‘bubble’ is grape-sized and roundish. It is cream to yellowish to light beige. Bunched together, like grapes, they form a colony that looks like an inverted cone.Continue reading “Bubble Coral￼”
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.Continue reading “What is the difference between the Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish?”
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.Continue reading “Blacksaddle Filefish”
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.Continue reading “Panther Grouper”
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.Continue reading “Longspine Snipefish”
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.Continue reading “RESEARCH: Harbour Seals can change their voice to make them sound bigger”