Catshark

Catshark

Where in the world?

Seabeds in temperate and tropical seas around the world.

 

Animal Facts:

Catsharks got their name from their rounded snout and elongated eyes, like a cat. Catsharks also have two small dorsal fins that are set farther back along the tail and their small size, with most species of Catshark only growing as long as 3 feet in length.

Catsharks are found in very shallow waters to depths of over 6,500 feet. Some species live in shallower waters during the warmer part of the year and migrate to deeper waters for the winter months.

Catsharks are nocturnal bottom feeders, eating small fish and invertebrates. Catsharks rely heavily on their sense of smell and electromagnetic field detection, so hunting at night gives them an extreme advantage over their prey that rely more on vision to detect predators.

Did you know?

Some species of Catshark lay their eggs in tough outer cases onto the seabed (oviparous), while some keep their embryos until they’re completely developed and then give live birth (ovoviviparous).

 

Wolf Eel

Wolf Eel

Where in the world?

North Pacific Ocean from Japan to California.

 

Animal Facts:

Wolf Eels aren’t actually true eels because they have paired gill slits and pectoral fins.

Wolf Eels can reach up to 8 feet in length and can weigh up to 40 pounds.

A Wolf Eel’s diet consists of hard shell creatures, such as oysters, clams, snails, and sea urchins.

Wolf Eels like approximately 25 years.

Did you know?

Wolf Eels mate for life.  When a pair has laid eggs, one eel will wrap itself around the eggs while the other leaves to hunt.  They switch when the other returns.

 

Wrasse

Wrasse

Where in the world?

Tropical Waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific  Oceans.

 

Animal Facts:

The wrasses are a brightly colored family of marine fish.  There are more than 600 species of diverse fish in the wrasse family.  They are typically small fish, most of them less than 8 inches long.  Males and females of the same species differ in appearance.

One of the smallest members of the wrasse family is the Cleaner Wrasse, which is best known for its symbiotic relationships with other fish.  These wrasses will eat parasites from the mouths and gills of other fish and even larger predators.

As carnivores, wrasses feed on a wide range of small invertebrates such a shrimps, crabs, and corals.  Many small wrasse species follow larger fish as they swim along the bottom of the ocean, picking up invertebrates disturbed by their passing.

Did you know?

Even though most wrasse are smaller than 8 inches, the largest wrasse is the Humphead Wrasse which can measure more than 8 feet!

 

Sea Stars

Sea Stars

Where in the world?

Sea Stars are found throughout the world’s oceans.

 

Animal Facts:

Sea Stars and their relatives, Sea Urchins, are in the phylum Echinodermata. The word “echinoderm” means “spiny skin” in Ancient Greek.

Some Sea Stars have the ability to regenerate appendages. If an arm is torn or cut off, some Sea Stars may grow another. Some species may even grow a new body from the severed arm! Full regeneration may take months or even years.

Sea Stars eat a variety of prey items, including mollusks, crustaceans and fish.

 

Did you know?

Some Sea Stars have a unique method of eating; they wrap their arms around their prey, then eject most of their stomach out of their body. The stomach engulfs the food while releasing enzymes to begin digestion before it is retracted back into the Sea Star’s body.

 

Grouper

Grouper

Where in the world?

Tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

 

Animal Facts:

The Grouper family is made up of numerous species of large-mouthed, heavy-bodied fish. They’re large and slow moving, and are not built for long-distance, fast swimming. Most are dull shades of brown or green, but some may have brightly colored, bold patterns.

One of the largest species of Groupers is the Goliath Grouper, which can grow to be more than 8 feet long and weigh about 1,000 pounds!

They swallow their prey whole rather than biting or tearing. They eat fish, octopus and crustaceans. Their mouths and gills form a powerful sucking system that pulls their prey in from a distance. They also use their mouths to dig into sand and jet it out through their gills while building shelters under big rocks.

Did you know?

Many groupers are important food fish, and some of them are now farmed.

 

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