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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Sandbar Shark

The Sandbar Shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Carcharhinidae family of requiem sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton. It is also known as the Thickskin Shark or the Brown Shark. It is related to the Bull Shark.

The Sandbar Shark has a bluish-grey or brownish-grey streamlined body, with a very high, triangular dorsal (back) fin and long pectoral fins. It has a white underbelly. It has a broad, rounded snout and large, round eyes. The upper and lower jaws each have 13 or 14 triangular-shaped teeth.

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Yellow Boxfish

The Yellow Boxfish (Ostracion cubicus) is a small marine (saltwater) fish in the Ostraciidae family of boxfish.

The Yellow Boxfish has hexagonal scales that form a solid, triangular box-like shell called a carapace. The male and the female look similar. It is bright yellow at birth and the colour fades as it ages. It is yellow with blue-black spots, which are smaller on its white underbelly and larger on its sides.  It has a small mouth and large, bulging blue and yellow eyes.

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Painted Comber

The Painted Comber (Serranus scriba) is a marine (saltwater) ray-finned fish in the Serranidae family of sea bass and groupers.

The Painted Comber has a laterally compressed, elongated body with a pointed snout (nose). It can be grey, purplish, or reddish with 5-7 dark-brown bars on its sides. Its head has narrow, wavy blue lines and red markings. Its dorsal (back) fin has 10 spines. Its fins are marked with red dots. It has a large mouth with sharp teeth.

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Large-Scaled Scorpionfish

The Large-Scaled Scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa) is a venomous marine (saltwater) fish in the Scorpaenidae family of scorpionfish. It is also known as the Red Scorpion Fish, the Bigscale Scorpionfish, or the Rascasse.

The Large-Scaled Scorpionfish ranges in colour from rusty-red to light pink to beige, with dark-coloured markings. It has 12 venomous dorsal (back) spines. It has a plump, knobbly body with small frontal eyes and a down-turned mouth. 

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Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse

The Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse (Coris festiva or Coris julis) is a small marine (saltwater) fish in the Labridae family of wrasse.

The Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse has a colourful, thin, elongated body. The male is green, blue, or brown with a white belly, a dark-blue spot near its tail fin, and a bright orange band along its side. The female is brown with yellowish sides and a white belly. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Amazon Tree Boa

The Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus) is a reptile in the Boidae family of non-venomous, colubrid, boa constrictor snakes. It is a boid (pronounced bo-id). It is also known as the Garden Tree Boa or the Macabrel. 

The Amazon Tree Boa is long and slim. It varies in base colour from black, brown, grey, red, and orange to yellow. Its patterns can be banded, speckled, rhomboid shapes, or completely plain with no patterns or markings. It has a distinct head and it has dark, rounded eyes. It has sharp, long, needle-like teeth. 

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Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

The Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee (Megachile rotundata) is a small insect in the Megachilinae sub-family of solitary, leafcutter bees. 

The Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee has a slightly flattened, elongated, shiny, dark-grey to blackish body. The female has white hairs all over her body. The male has white and yellow spots on its abdomen. It has six legs, two pairs of wings, and three body parts: (1) head, (2) thorax, and (3) abdomen. Its wings are translucent (see-through). It has a stinger, but it is generally harmless to humans. 

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Davies Plasterer Bee

The Davies Plasterer Bee (Colletes daviesanus) is an insect in the Colletidae family of solitary, ground-nesting bees. It is also called the Davies Polyester Bee. 

The Davies Plasterer Bee has a slightly flattened, elongated body. It is black with pale-yellow bands, ending with a black tail segment. It has six legs, two pairs of wings, and three body parts: (1) head, (2) thorax, and (3) abdomen. Its wings are translucent (see-through). Its body has bristly hairs on its sides.

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Checkerboard Wrasse

The Checkerboard Wrasse (Halichoeres hortulanus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the wrasse family. It is also known as the Marble Wrasse.

The Checkerboard Wrasse has a thin and elongated body. It is white to green in colour with blue to black on the ede of its scales, which looks like a checkerboard. Its head is greenish with pink lines and dots behind its eyes to the base of its dorsal (back) fin. It has a bright yellow spot near its dorsal fin. Both its sex and appearance change during its life. 

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Longhorn Cowfish

The Longhorn Cowfish (Lactoria cornuta) is a small marine (saltwater) fish in the Ostraciidae family of boxfish. It is also known as the Horned Boxfish. 

The Longhorn Cowfish is yellow with white or bluish spots, and two long horns that protrude from the front of its head. When the horns are damaged, they can grow back within a few months. The horns are mostly hollow. It has large dark eyes. It has hexagonal scales that form a solid, triangular box-like shell called a carapace. The male and the female look similar. 

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What is the difference between the Southern Crested Caracara and the Striated Caracara?

What is the difference between the Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara planacus) and the Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis)?

The Southern Crested Caracara and the Striated Caracara are both large birds of prey in the Falconidae family. They are falconids.

The Southern Crested Caracara has a dark-brownish cap, belly, wings, and tail tip, with a whitish-buff throat and nape, whereas the Striated Caracara is black-brown with a grey-flecked neck. 

The Southern Crested Caracara has a brown crest and the Striated Caracara does not have a crest.

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Southern Crested Caracara

The Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara planacus) is a large bird of prey and a raptor in the Falconidae family of falcons. It is a falconid.

The Southern Crested Caracara has dark-brownish cap, belly, wings, and tail tip. Its throat and the back of its neck are whitish-buff, with dark-brownish bars on its chest, neck, back, and tail. It has large brown eyes with a reddish-orange eye-ring. Its cere is reddish-orange and its beak is beige and hooked. Its legs are yellow. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Common Leopard Gecko

The Common Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis Mascularis) is a small ground-dwelling reptilian lizard. 

The Common Leopard Gecko is pale beige with dark-brown markings and spots. Its back is covered with small lumps. It has short legs with short nails on its toes, which are used for gripping objects (it does not have sticky pads on its feet). It has movable eyelids. It has about 100 small teeth. It has a thick, fleshy tail.

It can regenerate its tail if if drops off. This is called caudal autotomy. It regularly sheds its skin (about once a month). This is called moulting. 

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Jaguar

The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a large, near-threatened wild cat. It is a felid. 

The Jaguar looks like the Leopard, but it is larger and more muscular. It has tawny-brown fur covered with rosette-shaped markings with one or several dots. It has spots on its head and neck. Its tail also has spots, and ends with bands. Forest Jaguars are usually darker than those in open areas. It has short, powerful legs. It has a large head with strong jaws.  

The Black Panther or Black Jaguar is actually a melanistic Jaguar, mainly found in South America. 

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Clown Triggerfish

The Clown Triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Balistidae family of triggerfish. It is also known as the Clown Trigger and the Bigspotted Triggerfish. 

The Clown Triggerfish has a flat, laterally compressed, oval-shaped body. It is black with the lower half of its body covered with large, white spots. The top part of its body is yellowish with a leopard-skin pattern. It has a yellow ring around its mouth, surrounded by a thin, white ring. It has yellowish markings near its tail. It has a small mouth with sharp teeth. Its fins are white and its tail is white with two black margins.

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Powder Blue Tang

The Powder Blue Tang (Acanthurus leucosternon) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the surgeonfish family. It is also known as the Powder-Blue Surgeonfish. 

The Powder Blue Tang is blue with a streak of yellow on its dorsal fin. Its face is blue-black and its mouth, throat, and pelvic fins are white. It has an oval-shaped, flat, compressed body. It has a small mouth shaped like a parrot’s beak, with sharp teeth. 

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Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini) is an elasmobranch fish with a cartilaginous skeleton in the Sphyrnidae family of hammerhead sharks. It is also known as the Bronze Hammerhead, the Kidney-Headed Hammerhead, or the Southern Hammerhead. 

The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark has a hammer-shaped head, called a cephalofoil. It is light-grey with a greenish tint and a white belly. Its mouth is small. Its nostrils and eyes are located on the sides of the hammer part of its head, and not in front. This allows a full circle of vision. It can see above it, below it, and all around it. It has gill slits on the side of its body.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Antillean Manatee

The Antillean Manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) is an aquatic, marine (saltwater) mammal in the Sirenia order of dugongs. It is also known as a Sea Cow, West Indian Manatee, or Caribbean Manatee. It is not a seal. It is related to the dugong and the elephant. 

The Antillean Manatee looks like a large, grey seal with flippers and a paddle tail. It has lungs, not gills, because it is a mammal, and therefore it needs to come to the surface to breathe. It has a prehensile snout (nose), like an elephant, so that it can grab water plants and bring them to its mouth. It has 6-8 teeth in each jaw. It has short, sparse, sensitive hairs called vibrissae. Each individual hair is called a vibrissal. The vibrissae around its mouth are like whiskers.

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