photo by Wakatobi guest Cor Bosman

Fishy Facts

Published June 5, 2013 in MARINE LIFE

The first forms of animal life on our planet came from the oceans. Before there were any land animals there were animals in the sea; marine life is highly evolved and most species were well established long before dinosaurs roamed the earth. There are over 25,000 identified species and it is estimated that there may still be over 15,000 species that have not yet been identified making new discoveries in the ocean still possible, even today. Follow along for some “fishy facts” that just may surprise you.

The flounder starts life as a normal fish shape. Over time, one of his eyes migrates to the other side of his head and he starts swimming on his side, while his body flattens! photo by Wakatobi guest Paul Sutherland

Flounder
photo by Wakatobi guest Paul Sutherland

 

An adult flounder has two eyes situated on one side of its head, but at hatching the eyes are located on each side of its brain. One eye migrates to the other side of the body as a process of metamorphosis as it grows from larval to juvenile stage. As an adult, a flounder also changes its habits and camouflages itself by lying on the bottom of the ocean floor as protection against predators.

Seastars have a small eyespot at the end of each arm which senses light. photo by Wakatobi guest Steve Miller

While fish propel themselves with their tails, seastars have tiny tube feet to help them move along.
photo by Wakatobi guest Steve Miller

 

Seastars have a small eyespot at the end of each arm which senses light, but is not sophisticated enough to allow them to see images as we do with our eye. While fish propel themselves with their tails, seastars have tiny tube feet to help them move along.

Pufferfish photo by Wakatobi guest Wayne MacWilliams

Pufferfish
photo by Wakatobi guest Wayne MacWilliams

 

Pufferfish are poor swimmers, but can quickly ingest huge amounts of water to turn themselves into a virtually inedible ball several times their normal size. A predator that manages to snag a puffer before it inflates won’t feel lucky for long. Almost all pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, a substance that makes them foul tasting and often lethal to fish.

Humphead parrotfish photo by Wakatobi guest Peter Gray

Bumphead parrotfish
photo by Wakatobi guest Peter Gray

 

Every night, certain species of parrot fish envelope themselves in a transparent cocoon made of mucous secreted from an organ on their head. Scientists think the cocoon masks their scent, making them harder for nocturnal predators, like moray eels, to find.

8-Octopus_05

Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms and, like other cephalopods, they are bilaterally symmetric.
photo by Wakatobi guest Wayne MacWilliams

 

When an octopus gets upset, it shoots a stream of black ink. The ink even contains a substance that dulls a predator’s sense of smell, making the fleeing octopus harder to track.

Though they look defenseless, sea cucumbers are able to distract a predator by expelling their inner organs through their anus at the predator. They use their anus to breathe and excrete digested food and even have the ability to regenerate their organs once expelled.

Fang Blenny photo by Wakatobi guest Steve Miller

To feed, the Fang Blenny impersonates the Cleaner wrasse, taking on the same colour and imitating the same behavior
so he can approach trusting fish. Pretending he will clean them, when he gets close enough, he snaps off a
piece of flesh with his fangs and retreats into his burrow to enjoy the delicacy!photo by Wakatobi guest Steve Miller 

 

The cleaning process includes the removal of parasites from the animal’s body (both externally and internally), and can be performed by various creatures including cleaner shrimp and numerous species of cleaner fish, especially wrasse. When the fish approaches a cleaning station they will behave in an unnatural way to show the cleaner fish that they want to be cleaned and pose no threat; this can be pointing in a strange direction and/or opening the mouth wide. The cleaner fish will then eat the parasites directly from the skin and will even swim into the mouth and gills of the fish it is cleaning.

When a fish approaches a cleaning station they often pose in an unnatural way to show the cleaner fish that they are not threatening.  photo by Waktobi guest Stephen Frink

The cleaner fish eats the parasites directly from the skin and will even swim into the mouth and gills of the fish it is cleaning.
photo by Waktobi guest Stephen Frink

 

Sea turtles can see fairly well in water but are shortsighted on land.  photo by Wakatobi guest John Trone

Sea turtles can see fairly well in water but are shortsighted on land.
photo by Wakatobi guest John Trone

 

When they are active, sea turtles must swim to the ocean surface to breathe every few minutes. When they are resting, they can remain underwater for as long as 2-1/2 hours without breathing. Sea turtles can see fairly well in water but are shortsighted on land. They secrete excess salt from their body by ‘crying.’

Angelfish photo by Wakatobi guest Mark Vandelinden

Angelfish
photo by Wakatobi guest Mark Vandelinden

 

Most fish have an excellent sense of vision, touch, and taste. Many possess a good sense of smell and even hearing, while some fish have eyes that are the same size as their stomach!

 

No Response to “Fishy Facts”

Leave a Comment

Connect on Facebook Connect on Facebook Connect on Facebook