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Fish ID & Facts

Glaucus Atlanticus

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Glaucus atlanticus (common names include the sea swallowblue angelblue glaucusblue dragonblue sea slug and blue ocean slug) is a species of small, blue sea slug.

These sea slugs are pelagic. They float upside down by using the surface tension of the water to stay up, where they are carried along by the winds and ocean currents. Glaucus atlanticus is camouflaged: the blue side of their body faces upwards, blending in with the blue of the water. The silver/grey side of the sea slugs faces downwards, blending in with the silvery surface of the sea. They feed on other pelagic creatures, including the venomous siphonophore, the Portuguese man o war. This sea slug stores stinging nematocysts from the cnidarian within its own tissues as defense against predation. Humans handling the slug may receive a very painful and potentially dangerous sting.

Real of Fake - Deep Sea Lizard Fish

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Answer: Real

Deep-sea lizardfish resemble shallow-water lizardfishes, as reflected in their common names. Adults reach over 70 cm in length, and have a slender, cylindrical body. Their lizard-like bony head is flattened, unlike in most fishes, and an enormous mouth is filled with multiple series of long, sharp and needle like teeth for piercing and trapping prey. Bathysaurus ferox are whitish, grey or brown in color, and are covered in tough scales, which are enlarged along the lateral line. The large, well developed eyes, with large pupils, are evidence of the importance of vision for prey detection. Although residual sunlight does not penetrate the depths inhabited by deep-sea lizardfish, their eyes aid in detecting distinct sources of residual or bioluminescent light. 

Video of a live Deep Sea Lizard Fish click Here

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Seahorse

Seahorse is the name given to 54 species of small marine fishes in the genus Hippocampus. "Hippocampus" comes from the Ancient Greek word hippos meaning "horse" and kampos  meaning "sea monster". Having a head and neck suggestive of a horse, seahorses also feature segmented bony armor, an upright posture and a curled prehensile tail. Seahorses, along with pipefish, belong to the family Synathidae. Common features include elongated bodies, protruding bony rings and a skinny tubular snout tipped with a tiny toothless mouth; seahorses feed primarily on plankton and tiny benthic animals. 

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The male of the species caries the babies and delivers them. The dorsal fin on the seahorse's back is its most powerful means of propulsion; fluttering up to 70 times per second. A pair of pectoral fins behind the seahorse's head help with steering and braking. Because of their inability to move quickly, seahorses live a relatively stationary existence, typically inhabiting regions of the reef where there is little or no current.

They are often territorial and stay in the same location making it easy for a dive master to remember where one was last seen. 

They do not spook easily so if you are fortunate enough to find one they are relatively easy to photograph. 

Good luck hunting.

Baby Shark Facts

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Sharks mature slowly, and reach reproductive age anywhere from 12 to 15 years. This, combined with the fact that many species only give birth to one or two pups at a time, means that sharks have great difficulty recovering after their populations have declined.

Soon after birth, sharks pups swim away to fend for themselves. They are born with fully-fledged sets of teeth and are able to feed and live on their own.

Shark Facts - Largest and Smallest

Size: The spined pygmy shark, a deep-sea shark, is one of the smallest at only about 7-8 inches, while the whale shark is the largest shark, and fish, at about 50 feet in length. Although lifespan varies by shark species, most sharks are long-lived and generally tend to live for 20-30 years. Species like the spiny dogfish and the whale shark are believed to live for over 100 years!

Yellow Fin Grouper

Yellow Fin Grouper
The body is greenish-olive or bright red. Oval groups of dark spots form horizontal rows on the body. Outer third of pectoral fins are bright yellow. Small bright red spots are found on lower parts of large individuals.They commonly grow to 20 lbs. Live in coastal reef shallows to modestly deep offshore waters. Juveniles found in mangroves and sea grass beds.  Feeds on fishes and squid. Can often be seen at cleaning stations. 

The yellowfin grouper is a hearty fish, often reaching 10 kg. It is considered quite tasty and is one of the more popular Gulf game fishes. This species is one of the main catches in the fishing industry in Bermuda. It is considered over fished, and is currently threatened in several areas.

Alien Spacecraft? - Real or Fake

Answer:  Real - Bioluminescent Dinoflagellate Plankton

In 1753, the first modern dinoflagellates were described by Henry Baker as "Animalcules which cause the Sparkling Light in Sea Water".  Sometimes referred to as "Fire Algae" it is recognized usually in darkness as it has the appearance of blue glowing glitter swirling in the water when disturbed. Truly a wonder of nature. This particular Dinoflagellate looks earily like an alien spacecraft. Photo by Joe Scott

Real or Fake - Stubby

Is It Real or Is It Fake?

Answer:  Real

Googly Eyed Stubby Squid. It looks like it could be a cartoon character, but it's real. Researchers from the Nautilus exploration vessel were cruising along the deep sea floor off California's coast when they came upon the bright purple creature with giant, stuffed-animal-like eyes.  "Whoa!" they exclaim in unison. "It looks fake," one says. And those googly eyes? "It looks like they just painted them on," another says, to peals of laughter.

Clown Triggerfish

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Clown triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum), also known as the bigspotted triggerfish, are demersal marine fish belonging to the family Balistidae, or commonly called triggerfish.

The clown triggerfish grows up to 1 1/2 feet (50 cm). Its body has a stocky appearance, oval shape. The first dorsal fin is composed of three spines, one of which is longer and stronger. It is erectile and hidden in a dorsal furrow. This set of dorsal spines composes a trigger system.  The larger spine is used to lock into rocks making it harder for a predator to attack. If you pushed on this larger spine trying to get it to lay down, you would fail. Yet if you simply and lightly push the smallest spine like a trigger to lay down then the larger ones would fold as well.

Trigger's have a varied diet and eat mostly molluscs, echinoderms and crustaceans.

The clown trigger fish is widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian ocean and the western Pacific Ocean, however they can also be found in the caribbean as well.  It is most commonly found along external reef slopes with clear water up to depths of  250 feet (75 m).