Cephalopods, Crustaceans, & Other Shellfish Archives - Page 2 of 4 - Oceana

Antarctic Krill

Antarctic krill are filter feeders that eat tiny phytoplankton (pelagic algae). They use their small, hair-like legs to filter out these microscopic algae that bloom in the nutrient-rich waters around Antarctica. These blooms are densest at the ice edge, so Antarctic krill are often also densest near that system. Few species as large as the Antarctic krill can … Read more

Tiger Prawn

Tiger prawns progress through several life history stages in a short amount of time and mature quickly. Adults live on soft bottoms. Unlike many aquatic invertebrates, tiger prawns reproduce via internal fertilization. After mating, females release hundreds of thousands of fertilized eggs, which quickly hatch. Planktonic larvae live in the open ocean, and juveniles live in estuaries, before moving … Read more

Giant Triton

The giant triton is an active predator and is known to aggressively chase its prey, which it detects with its excellent sense of smell. Though the chase may seem slow to human observers, the giant triton is known for relatively high speeds, especially for a snail. It prefers to eat other snails and sea stars, most notably … Read more

Flamingo Tongue

Flamingo tongues are predators that specialize on eating soft corals. They are almost exclusively found on their preferred prey species – typically sea fans, whip corals, and other soft corals. As they slowly crawl along the bodies of their prey, they eat away the soft tissue, leaving only the coral’s skeleton behind. Like some sea slugs and other … Read more

American Lobster

The American lobster has been recorded as heavy as 44 pounds (20 kg), and is the largest crustacean in the world by weight. Along with true crabs, prawns, and other lobsters, the American lobster is a decapod; it has ten legs, and it is covered with a spiny exoskeleton that provides it some protection from potential … Read more

American Horseshoe Crab

American horseshoe crabs live on sandy bottoms or other soft sediments and roam the seabed in search of benthic, immobile invertebrates or dead and decaying organic matter, which they grind up before passing to their mouths. Using this method, they eat most things that they can find. The American horseshoe crab is covered with a strong exoskeleton … Read more

Acorn Barnacle

Barnacles, somewhat surprisingly, are crustaceans (like crabs, lobsters, krill, etc.). Unlike most crustaceans, however, adult barnacles are sessile – they can’t move. After a short phase spent as planktonic larvae, barnacles settle, attach to a hard substrate, and never move again. The Acorn Barnacle is one species in a large group of species with the … Read more

Southern Blue-Ringed Octopus

The rings of a southern blue-ringed octopus are particularly vivid when an individual is threatened or agitated. In addition to the bright blue rings, these octopuses are famous for having extremely potent venom that can be strong enough to kill a person. There is currently no known anti-venom to treat a person who has been bitten. The southern … Read more

Red King Crab

Red king crabs are covered with a spiny exoskeleton that provides them some protection from potential predators, but at different stages of its lifecycle, the species is preyed upon by fishes, octopuses, and some marine mammals. Red king crabs are also known to be occasionally cannibalistic. Red king crabs are omnivorous and will eat just … Read more

Queen Conch

The oldest queen conch individuals have been estimated to reach ages of 40 years. While the thin shell of juveniles can be broken by a variety of potential predators, the thicker shell of mature adults is a successful deterrent against all but the most specialized conch predators. One species that successfully eats adult queen conch is … Read more