Giant Puffer

Dec 24 2013
Giantpuffer

A Giant Puffer fish swims above a shipwreck

Twenty nine of the 120 species of puffer fish live mainly in freshwater regions of Central Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. They are related to porcupinefish as well as balloonfish, bubblefish and many other of the puffer Tetraodontidae family. All puffers have the ability to inflate themselves, which they typically use as a defense mechanism.

The giant puffer or Mbu pufferfish, also known as Tetraodon mbu, can grow up to 26 inches in length and has its origins in the middle and lower areas of Africa’s Congo River. Most puffers are known to be poisonous to humans and to some prey. They have the unique ability to move their eyes separately from one another and like many other fish, can also change their colors to help them blend into their environment.

Puffer fish are generally slow swimmers but they can move with a sudden burst of speed when necessary. Their pointed spines can choke an unsuspecting attacker. Crustaceans, mollusks and small sized fish are the puffer fish’s main diet.

Text source: Wikipedia and Wikipedia under Creative Commons licence.

© Copyright Vince Capone 2013

 

 

 

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Chrysaora fuscescens

Dec 18 2013
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The Pacific sea nettle (Chrysaora fuscescens)

The chrysaora fuscescens jellyfish is also called the Pacific or West Coast sea nettle. It lives along the Pacific Coast, as far north as the Gulf of Alaska and west as Japan’s Baja Peninsula, but resides predominantly in the California and Oregon regions.

The main body of this spectacular jellyfish is shaped like a large bell which is a golden color with a red tint. Its white oral arms and tentacles float out from the body and can be up to 10 feet in length. It is their tentacles that help the jellyfish ensnare their prey as it floats helplessly into the poisonous tangle of netting.

The Chrysaora fuscescens’ diet includes crustaceans, zooplankton, small fish and even other jellyfish, however many fish and seabirds like to eat them as well. Their sting is not deadly to humans. Fertilized eggs grow into small polyps shaped like flowers which eventually become the new generation of these wonderous jellyfish.

 

 

 

Text source: Wikipedia under Creative Commons licence.

© Copyright Vince Capone 2013

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Silvertip Shark

Nov 12 2013
Silvertipshark

A Silvertip hunts for prey Photo credit: Michel Labreque of Plongee Diving

The silvertip shark can be found in many regions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans in waters up to 2,600 feet. Adults prefer the deeper waters and young sharks will inhabit shallows close to the coasts. Females of the species are larger than males; typically the species grows between six and a half feet to just over eight feet.

Each fin has a white tip, thus giving this shark its name. This species has very large round eyes and a distinctive broad snout with 12 to 14 tooth rows on each side of its jaw. They feed on a number of fish including lanternfish, wrasses, flyingfish, grouper, mackerel and tuna, often twisting and turning as they grip pieces of their prey.

Litters of typically five or six pup are born every other year after a year in gestation.

Text source: Wikipedia under Creative Commons licence.

© Copyright Vince Capone 2013

 

 

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Stingray

Nov 08 2013
Southern Stingray Photo credit: NOAA

Southern Stingray Photo credit: NOAA

Stingrays are related to sharks and like sharks, they prefer living in coastal tropical areas. As its name indicates, the stingray has venomous stingers, usually located on the tail, depending on the species. In order to camouflage themselves, stingrays hide by laying flat under the sand so as to blend in.

Dasyatis pastinaca smell their food since they cannot see their prey because their eyes are located on top of their flattened bodies, while their mouths are underneath. A stingray will feed while on the bottom, staying mainly camouflaged with only its eyes and tail in sight. Molluscs and crustaceans make up its main diet.

Female stingrays give birth to litters that can number from five to 13. Stingrays are not known to attack humans but may sting if an encounter can’t be avoided. Bites are usually not life-threatening but can be, depending on where the stinger pierces the body.

Text source: Wikipedia under Creative Commons licence.

Photo credit: NOAA Wikipedia public domain image.

© Copyright Vince Capone 2013

 

 

 

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Hammerhead Shark

Nov 05 2013
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Photo credit: Michel Labreque, Plongee Diving

The hammer shape of the hammerhead shark gives it its name. Its eyes are positioned on either side of the hammer, which gives them the ability to see what’s above and below them. Strangely enough, their mouths are quite small in contrast to their unusual head. During the day, they swim in schools but hunt alone at night.

Hammerheads are light gray with a little green tint and their bellies are white which help camouflage them when hunting prey. A single litter of pups is produced once a year, typically numbering between 12 and 15. The pups are born live but are left on their own and will swim together until they can fend for themselves. The sharks can grow up to 20 feet long.

The diet of the hammerhead shark includes other sharks, stingrays, crustaceans, octopus, squid and many types of fish. They use their head in the hunting process, often pinning down their prey, in particular, stingrays.

 

Text source: Wikipedia under Creative Commons licence.

© Copyright Vince Capone 2013

 

 

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