- Scientists have recently discovered that some mangroves are offering coral reef shelter and protection from climate change. In Hurricane Hole, a mangrove habitat in the U.S. Virgin Islands, scientists found 30 species of coral growing underwater. Science Daily
Forest ecosystems are critical for the survival of terrestrial life, but did you know that such ecosystems exist in the oceans too?
Kelp, a type of seaweed, can form dense forests underwater. Known as kelp forests, they rank with coral reefs and estuaries for being one of the most important ocean ecosystems, home to thousands of species and vast biodiversity. Despite their ecological importance, kelp forests are often overlooked.
Some sharks are fearsome predators, all sharp teeth and angular fins. These are the sharks that inspire epic monster movies and give the word “shark” its fearsome connotations.
And then there are sharks that look like a pile of seaweed. The tasseled wobbegong is a flat reef-dwelling shark with leafy tentacles and a name that’s just as ridiculous as its appearance.
But appearances can be deceiving. The tasseled wobbegong settles down on a rock or reef, blending in perfectly with the sand and seaweed. When a tasty fish swims by, the shark comes to life, opening its jaws full of sharp, respectable teeth and snapping the poor swimmer up. Its tasseled face may look rather silly, but this shark is just as efficient a predator as its more fearsome brethren.
Sadly, we don’t know much about the tasseled wobbegong, but we do know that this sneaky hunter is in trouble thanks to overfishing and the destruction of the reefs it depends on.
Oceana is committed to protecting the habitats of tasseled wobbegongs and all the other strange and mysterious creatures of the deep.