cool marine creatures

The Amazing Disappearing Octopus

Posted Wed, Sep 18, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to cephalopods, cool marine creatures, cool video, octopus, science

Now you see me, now you don’t. (Photo: Snailgenie) 

This amazing video has been making the rounds on the internet for a while, be we still couldn’t resist sharing it with you! You may know that an octopus can change the color of its skin to blend in with its surroundings. But did you know they were this good?

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Creature Feature: Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Posted Fri, Sep 13, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to cool marine creatures, creature feature, loggerhead, loggerhead sea turtle, marine creatures

A loggerhead sea turtle. (Photo: Wendell Reed)

If you're a fan of sea turtles, you might have heard about the mighty loggerhead sea turtle. Growing 2 to 3 feet long and weighing in at a massive 165–350 pounds, loggerheads are heavier than many people. These reptiles are actually the second-largest marine turtle (only the leatherback is larger.) Named for their hefty heads, loggerheads are found in tropical and temperate waters around the world.

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Creature Feature: Lionfish

Posted Thu, Sep 5, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to atlantic, cool marine creatures, creature feature, invasive species, lionfish

Up close and personal with a lionfish

Up close and personal with a lionfish. (Photo: Kjeld Friis)

It’s venomous, voracious, and taking over reefs across the western Atlantic.

This strange-looking predator is a lionfish, a.k.a. Pterois volitans. Native to Indo-Pacific reefs, lionfish are anything but subtle. The large, striped spines protruding from their bodies are their main defense, filled with neurotoxic venom to deter predators. While the venom isn’t deadly to humans, running afoul of a lionfish isn’t fun—side effects include excruciating pain, headaches, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. Lesson learned: don’t mess with a lionfish. 

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Marine Monday: Blue Buttons

Posted Mon, Dec 12, 2011 by Meghan Bartels to blue buttons, cool marine creatures, hydrozoa, marine life

Blue buttons are just one of the many small critters that live in the oceans. They are often mistaken for jellyfish or colored plastic when they wash up on beaches, but they are actually free-floating colonies of hydrozoa.

Blue buttons have two main parts: the central disk, which is about an inch across and yellow brown, is a hard flattened bubble that holds gas to keep the blue button floating. Attached to this disk are a type of bluish stinging polyp, which act as tentacles, although the blue button itself does not have a powerful sting—it can only cause minor skin irritation.

In the center of the disk, a larger central polyp acts as a mouth for food intake and waste removal for the entire blue button colony. Blue buttons eat live and dead small fish, eggs, and zooplankton.

The blue button cannot swim; it relies on drifting on currents and wind to move through the ocean.

Pretty cool, huh?

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