Oceans and Seas The Different Types of Life By: Jacob Padilla
Stingrays & Rays Manta Ray: Found in warmer parts of the Pacific Ocean. These creatures can have an amazing wingspan of 15 feet, and are very beautiful and graceful underwater. This animal also has a nickname, the devil ray. But this species is harmless to humans, and it doesn’t even have a stinger. Blue spotted stingray: These stingrays are found thorough the red sea and Southern Australia. These animals are a very liked aquarium pet, with it being relatively small and having beautiful spots on its back. These stingrays eat mainly small crabs, mollusks, and prawns. Southern stingray: Found commonly on the Atlantic Coast of America. This species of stingray has 2 barbs on its tail, which can deliver a sharp sting if stepped on. This stingray is a bottom feeder, which means that it lays on the ocean floor waiting for something to come by, then snatches it up.
Marine Reptiles Green Sea Turtle: Found off the coast of Florida. The green sea turtle is an endangered species, and protection efforts on their birthing sites have helped them with a comeback. It ranges to 36-43 inches in length, and can be recognized by the pattern on its shell. Mainly eat sea grass and algae, which gives them their green color. Leatherback Sea Turtle: Commonly found in most of the worlds oceans, also endangered. These turtles are the largest of the sea turtles, being about 6 feet in length. This turtle gets its name from its leathery back. Instead of scales, this turtle has a rubbery back. It eats jelly fish, and sometimes it mistakes plastic bags for jelly fish and when it eats it, it chokes and dies. Marine Iguana: Lives only in the Galapagos islands and Ecuador. This animal isn't really a marine reptile, but spends a notable amount of time in the water. Over many generations, this iguana is able to dive into the water to get some algae that grows under the rocks.
Reef fishes Queen Angelfish: found throughout the western Atlantic. Considered the most beautiful angelfish, and a baby can be mistaken for a juvenile blue angelfish. These fish are grazers, eating sponges, corals, and algae. Fire Fish: These fish are commonly found throughout the Indo-Pacific. The fire fish is identified by their unusually bright colors and long dorsal fin. They use this dorsal fin to communicate with other fire fish and get away from predators by squeezing into small spaces. These fish mainly eat crustacean larvae and zoo plankton. Regal Tang: found in Ido-Pacific, from Japan to east Africa. This fish can grow up to about 10 inches, and is commonly called the hippo tang. This fish is characterized by is contrasting black and neon blue colors. They eat algae and invertebrates for their main diet.
Dolphins & Whales Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin: Found commonly on the shoreline, but live everywhere but polar regions. The bottlenose dolphin is the most commonly known of all the dolphins, theses mammals are believed to be very smart, with a brain the size of ours, and have saved humans before. They eat small fish, shrimps and crustaceans. Humpback Whale: Lives almost everywhere, except for the polar regions, found in shallow waters. This whale was almost hunted to extinction, but has made a comeback over a few years. These huge whales can grow to be 60 feet in length. They mainly eat Plankton, and are very famous for their underwater “song” as it is called, and it can be heard for hundreds of miles across the sea. Killer Whale: these animals tend to live everywhere, but prefer cooler and costal regions. These animals are very famous, having been in movies, and are usually a performance at a water park, like SeaWorld (Shamau). These animals eat fish, squid, seals, sea lions, penguins, dolphins, and porpoises.
Echinoderms Cushion Star: Found in the Atlantic sea on the bottom, range from South Carolina to Florida. This star fish ranges from brown, red, orange and yellow in color. It is very popular among seashell collectors, because it tends to have a hard shell. It grows usually about 10 inches in diameter. Pacific Starfish: Found along the western coast of America and Canada. It can be red, purple, orange, or purple, and has a diameter of about 8 inches. This star fish ca be found under rocks where it eat its main diet, algae and sponges. Purple Sea Urchin: Found along coasts of America and Canada clinging to depressions during low tide. This sea urchin is one of the sharp-spined sea urchins. These spines are used to warn off predators that would eat them. It can be identified by its purple color, and grows about 4 inches in diameter.
Corals Brain Coral: Very common throughout the Bahamas, Florida waters, and the Caribbean. It measures usually 4 feet in diameter, and is called brain coral due to the brain like pattern on its back. There are about seven species of these corals. Bubble Coral: Commonly found throughout Indo-Pacific and Australia. The bubble coral has its name because during the day its sacks, or “bubbles”, expand, collecting sunlight that is needed for its growth. At night tentacles come out of the sacks to feed. Sea Mats: Found on rocks and dead corals in Bahamas and West Indies. This coral is actually a small anemone coral like polyp that grows in large colonies on the sea floor. Each bit is only ¼ inches in diameter, but a colony can have an area of several square feet.
Sharks Great White Shark: Found commonly in Pacific Ocean. These sharks are one of the most feared of all the sharks. This animal can grow up to over 25 feet in length. They mainly eat sea lions and other marine mammals. Due to human fear, a lot of these sharks have been killed. Tiger Shark: These sharks love to live near the coastline, but can also be found in open water. This shark comes second in most feared sharks after the great white, with it growing usually up to 16 feet in length. It gets its name from the stripes on its body, and it also has a blunt head. These sharks will eat almost anything, including other bull sharks. Whale Shark: This shark can be found through most of the worlds tropical and temperate ocean regions. This shark is the one of the largest shark species in the world, and is actually the biggest fish in the world, with it being able to grow up to 40 feet. These humongous sharks actually don’t eat big fish, but tiny organisms called plankton.
Unique Fish Leafy Sea Dragon: Found in the western and southern Australia. The leafy sea dragon is actually a species of seahorse, but it has evolved so it looks like there is seaweed growing out of them. These fish feed mainly on small shrimp, plankton, and algae. Trumpet Fish: Found commonly in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. These fish can be characterized by their long nose and because they sometimes swim vertically, so they can get their nose into rocks and corals to suck out their prey. These fish mainly eat small fish and invertebrates. Spotfin Lionfish: these fish seem to usually live in wrecks and darker parts of reefs, and sometimes harbors as well. These fish are very beautiful but are also deadly. Their spines on their back and fins are coated in deadly poison. These fish usually eat small fish or crustaceans.
Sponges Tube Sponge: This sponge is found in most warm areas of the ocean. One of the most common sponges found in coral reefs, you can classify it by its long, tube shapes on its body. It can be purple, blue, grey, and grey-green. This sponge is one of the few coral reef invertebrates that can be blue in color. Vase Sponge: Found commonly around the Caribbean and East coast of Florida. This sponge is characterized by its bell like structure, and a deep middle hole. This sponge can grow up to two feet high, and three feet wide. This sponge can be brown, purple, and red. You can find it attached to rocks near the sandy bottom of where you are. Red Tree Sponge: Very commonly found throughout the Caribbean sea. This sponge can be 8 inches in length, and is red. This sponge is a very popular aquarium sponge, and survives fairly well in a marine aquarium.