creature feature

Creature Feature: Leatherback Sea Turtle

Posted Mon, Sep 29, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to creature feature, leatherback sea turtles, leatherbacks, sea turtle conservation, sea turtles

This creature feature is on leatherback sea turtles

A leatherback sea turtle hatchling (Dermochelys coriacea) in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Photo: Tim Calver / www.timcalver.com)

If you’re an ocean lover, you’ve probably heard of the mighty leatherback sea turtle—the largest of the seven sea turtle species. Leatherback sea turtles can grow over six feet in length, and weigh more than 2,000 pounds.  Besides their massive size, their unique appearance makes them easily distinguishable from the other sea turtle species. They lack a solid carapace, and instead have a dense layer of black, leather-like tissue, for which they’re aptly named.


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Creature Feature: Barnacles

Posted Tue, Aug 26, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to acorn barnacle, barnacles, creature feature, goose barnacle, intertidal zone

Barnacles live in the intertidal zone

Goose barnacle (Lepas anatifera) on a rope, pictured during a 2008 Catamaran Oceana Ranger Atlantic Cantabric Expedition. (Photo: Oceana / Enrique Talledo)

Barnacles are one of the most eerie looking marine creatures that exist. You may have noticed them the last time you visited the beach, attached to docks and boats or perhaps attached to old oyster shells on the beach. In this creature feature, we’re uncovering the secrets behind barnacles that give them their unique look.  


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Creature Feature: Caribbean Spiny Lobster

Posted Wed, Jul 30, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to Caribbean spiny lobster, creature feature, lobster fishery, lobster migration

Creature feature Caribbean spiny lobster

Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) in a giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) in the Elbow Reef, Key Largo, Florida, USA. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

This lobster species is perhaps best known for its impressive navigational skills. Caribbean spiny lobsters orient themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field, and then follow that point to find food at night and for long migrations. During these migrations, they form queues—long, single file lines in groups of 50 that walk day and night until reaching their destination. Lobsters prefer warmer water, so they migrate en masse to deeper waters when water starts to cool in winter.


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Creature Feature: Day Octopus

Posted Tue, Jun 24, 2014 by Madeleine Simon to cephalopod week, creature feature, day octopus, hawaii octopus, monterey bay aquarium

Day octopus (Octopus Cyanea) photographed in Kona, Hawaii.

Day octopus (Octopus Cyanea) photographed in Kona, Hawaii. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Peter Liu Photography)

In honor of cephalopod week, which celebrates squid, octopus, nautiluses, and cuttlefish all over the world, we’re taking a close look at one of the cephalopod family’s finest masters of disguise: the day octopus. This clever invertebrate has an extraordinary ability to camouflage, making it stand out among its fellow mollusks.


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Happy International Polar Bear Day!

Posted Thu, Feb 27, 2014 by Suzie Hodges to creature feature, international polar bear day, polar bear

(Photo: Alan D. Wilson / www.naturespicsonline.com) 

It’s International Polar Bear Day! It’s a day created to bring awareness to polar bear conservation, and to simply take a moment to recognize the overall awesomeness that is the polar bear. Polar bears have many extraordinary physical abilities and are stunningly beautiful, so having an entire day of every year dedicated to them is a no-brainer.


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5 Valentine’s Tips from Your Favorite Ocean Animals

Posted Fri, Feb 14, 2014 by Suzie Hodges to cool marine creatures, creature feature

(Photo: HarmonyonPlanetEarth)

We humans have developed a few token signs of affection when it comes to love and finding that special person: buy some chocolates, wine and dine by candlelight, and romantic strolls by the beach. We probably think we know best when it comes to showing love, but there are a few creatures in our the oceans that might prove us wrong, and maybe even give us a few pointers. Meet a few ocean animals that are masters of the art of affection.



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Creature Feature: Polar Bear

Posted Mon, Dec 9, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to adoption, cool marine creatures, creature feature, polar bear

(Photo: Ansgar Walk)

We’re sure you’re already familiar with the polar bear: a perennial favorite of zoo-goers, Coke commercials,­ and a poster-child for climate change. But we think these big white bears deserve a second look.


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Creature Feature: Atlantic Puffin

Posted Fri, Dec 6, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to adoption, Atlantic puffin, cool marine creatures, creature feature, puffin

(Photo: nigel_appleton)

Fantastic coloring and undeniable charm makes the Atlantic puffin one of the most popular and recognizable seabird species—but there’s a lot more to these sturdy birds than you’d first expect.  


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Creature Feature: Clownfish

Posted Wed, Dec 4, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to adoption, clownfish, cool marine creatures, creature feature

(Photo: michael fontenoth)

The brightly-colored clownfish needs no introduction—the reef fish is one of the most recognizable fish in the world. But aside from being the star of Disney’s “Finding Nemo,” the clownfish has some impressive adaptations and a strange life history.

There are actually 30 species in the clownfish family, but two are the orange-striped fish everyone knows from the big screen. The orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) and the ocellaris clownfish, or false clownfish, (Amphiprion ocellaris) look nearly identical, but they’re actually two different species. If you get close enough, you can tell them apart by counting the number of dorsal spines on their backs—the orange clownfish has 10 and the ocellaris clownfish has 11.


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