Discus Fish

Discus Fish

Where in the world?

Floodplain lakes and rivers in the lowland Amazon basin in South America.

 

Animal Facts:

The Discus Fish are a group of cichlids (pronounced sic-lids) that have a laterally compressed body that is a distinct rounded shape. This is where their common name ‘discus’ is derived. The sides of the fish are frequently patterned in shades of green, red, brown, and blue.

Discus typically reach up to 5 to 6 inches in length, but aquarium raised discus have been known to reach up to 9 inches.

Discus are highly social, typically staying in groups of many dozens, which is unique among cichlids of the Americas.

Discus primarily feed on algae, other plant material and detritus, but also eat small invertebrates.

 

Did you know?

Some of the more brightly marked Discus Fish are the result of selective breeding by aquarists and do not exist in the wild.

 

Glowing Fish

Glowing Fish

Where in the world?

Glowing Fish are not found in the wild.

 

Animal Facts:

Glowing fish are not naturally occurring animals. They were first developed at the National University of Singapore in 1999, where scientists took the a green protein extracted from a marine jelly and inserted it into a zebrafish embryo.

These scientists, and another group that created a green medaka fish, sold rights to market the glowing fish as pets. More varieties were developed, so there are multiple species of fish that come in colors isolated from a variety of jellies, corals and sea anemones.

Biofluorescence is when an animal emits light of one color when light of a different color touches it. Colors within the visible light spectrum are needed for the glowing fish to glow, so they don’t require any special lighting to see.

Did you know?

Glowing fish are the only publicly available genetically modified animal in the United States, and were determined to be no more harmful to people and the environment than normal zebrafish and tetras, which are common pets.

 

Crab

Crab

Where in the world?

Almost all marine environments around the world.

 

Animal Facts:

Crabs belong to a group of animals called ‘Decapods’ – meaning ‘10 legs’. Crabs are encased in a hard, protective shell (exoskeleton) which acts like a suit of armour often with spines or teeth. They have a pair of claws which they use to catch, chop and crush prey.

The claws are also used to fight or communicate.

Crabs are scavengers, feeding on dead animals and plant matter. They will also prey on small animals when they can, using one pincer to crush and hold their prey while the other is used to tear small pieces off and move them into their mouths.

The largest crab is the Japanese Spider Crab which can grow to over 12 feet across (around the size of a small car)! The smallest crabs are pea crabs, not growing larger than a few millimetres across!

Did you know?

A group of crabs is called a ‘cast’, a crab’s blood is blue due to the copper it contains, and crabs are covered in many tiny ‘hairs’ called setae, to detect chemicals, touch and movement.

 

Blue Blubber Jelly

Blue Blubber Jelly

Where in the world?

Coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific and eastern coast of Australia.

 

Animal Facts:

Blue Blubber Jellies, also known as Jelly Blubbers, range in color from white to light blue to dark purple. They can grow up to 16 inches across their bell.

These jellies eat zooplankton and sunshine! Mostly they are predators, but they host single-celled photosynthetic algae in their bodies which provide them with a bit of nutrition created from sunlight.

Due to declines in jelly-eating predators such as sea turtles, swordfish, tuna, and some sharks, many jelly populations are growing too large. As jellies are predators, they can damage prey populations and damage the ecosystem when they are too abundant.

Did you know?

Unlike many other jellies, Blue Blubber Jellies lack tentacles and a centralized mouth. They have mouths on their eight club-shaped oral arms which transport food to their stomach!

Black Tip Reef Shark

Black Tip Reef Shark

Where in the world?

Warm, shallow water near coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific and Mediterranean Sea.

 

Animal Facts:

Black Tip Reef Sharks are mostly grey with prominent black tips on their fins. Their exposed dorsal fin (top fin) at the top of the water is a common sight in their native regions.

Black Tip Reef Sharks are among the most abundant sharks inhabiting the tropical coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific Ocean.

Reaching, on average, 5ft in length, Black Tip Reef Sharks prefer shallow, inshore waters.

Black Tip Reef Sharks primarily feed on reef fish but will sometimes eat crustaceans, cephalopods, and mollusks.

Did you know?

Black Tip Reef Sharks are commonly found living in the same home range of around 21 square miles, the smallest range of any shark species.

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