A to Z

A is for…

Anthia

Anthias have the ability to change their sex. The dominant female of the group will change her sex to male if there is no male present. 

B is for…

Big-Bellied Seahorse

Big-Bellied Seahorses, like other species of seahorse, have eyes that can move independently of each other!

 

C is for…

Clownfish

All Clownfish are born as boys!

 

D is for…

Dogfish

Dogfish are actually a type of shark, and our lesser spotted dogfish are native to the UK!

 

E is for…

Ephyra

Baby Jellyfish are known as ephyra. They form the gap between the polyp and medusa stages of the jellyfish lifecycle.     

  

F is for…

Foxface rabbitfish     

This species possesses sharp, venomous spines running across the top and bottom of their body which are capable of inflicting a nasty sting!    

 

G is for…

Gentoo Penguin       

Gentoo Penguins are the fastest swimming species of penguin, capable of reaching up to 22mph!

 

H is for…

Hermit Crab

As Hermit Crabs grow they abandon their shells in favour of new larger ones!

 

I is for…

(Carettochelys) insculpta – Pig-Nosed Soft Shell Turtle

The Pig-Nosed Soft Shell Turtle’s snout has sensory receptors which help it to locate prey in the murky water!

 

J is for…

Jellyfish

There are approximately 2000 known species of Jellyfish in the world, but only around 70 of these are typically harmful to humans!

 

K is for…

(Pterapogon) kauderni – Banggai Cardinalfish

The male Banggai Cardinalfish swallows the eggs released by the female and broods them in a special pouch inside his mouth!      

 

L is for…

Lumpsucker   

The Lumpsucker gets its name from its ability to suck onto rocks and stick there, even in strong tidal conditions!

 

M is for…

Multi-Banded Pipefish

Pipefish are in the same family as the seahorses!

 

N is for…

Nurse Shark

The Nurse Shark is one of the few species that is able to sit at the bottom of the sea floor as it is able to self-pump water over its gills to continue breathing!

 

O is for…

Octopus

The only hard part of an Octopus is its beak, meaning that if this can fit through a gap, then so can the whole Octopus!

 

P is for…

Piranha

Piranhas have a ferocious reputation due to their sharp teeth, strong jaws and participation in feeding frenzy, but in reality they are much calmer, eat only a small amount of food and are not what people expect!           

 

Q is for…

(Entacmea) quadricolor – Bubble Tip Anemone

Anemones provide homes for clownfish who hide in there for protection from predators!

 

R is for…

Razorfish

Razorfish look as if they are swimming upside-down with their tails up in the air and heads down towards the sea bed. This adaptation is perfect for hiding amongst sea urchin spines!

 

S is for…

Sand Tiger Shark

Sand Tiger Sharks have been known to take gulps of air from the surface of the water to help their buoyancy when they hunt for prey!

 

T is for…

Turtle

The Green Sea Turtles name comes from the colour of their fat, not the colour of their shell.

 

U is for…

Undulate Ray

Undulate Rays lay eggs known as Mermaids Purses, which look like leathery pouches!

 

V is for…

(Anisotremus) virginicus – Pork Fish

Pork Fish are often referred to as grunts, due to the grunting noise they make by grinding their teeth together!

 

W is for…       

Wolffish

Wolffish use their fang-like teeth and crushing molars to crunch through shells of shellfish and crustaceans!

 

X is for…

(Zebrasoma) xanthurum – Purple Tang

Tangs have a single spine or ‘scalpel’ on each side of their body, by the base of their tail. This is used for defence or dominance!

 

Y is for…

Yellow Tang

Although the Yellow Tang is thought of as endemic to Hawaii, its distribution has extended and is now much larger!

 

Z is for…

Zebra Moray Eel

Moray Eels have an incredible way of hunting. They have a second jaw that rests deeper in their bodies which shoot out into their main jaws when trapping prey!