Hermit crabs are fascinating little critters with quite a few surprises. These crustaceans belong to the superfamily Paguroidea. There are 7 different families and around 1100 species of hermit crabs living in many places around the world. All hermit crabs can be divided into two groups - aquatic and terrestrial. Interestingly, members of both groups breathe using gills. Aquatic hermit crabs get their oxygen from the water, while land hermit crabs need a humid environment to keep their gills moist. Marine hermit crabs can be found both in shallow coastal waters and in the deep sea.
Because underwater sound travels much faster than light, marine animals rely greatly on their hearing in various behavioral contexts. This is where the issue of underwater noise pollution comes into play. The man-made noise coming from coasts and offshore activities drowns out the natural sounds of the ocean disrupting this fine-tuned soundscape and causing much harm to marine life. Before we go into details about this issue, let us first find out more about the ways animals use sound underwater.
Instead of the traditional quest for chocolate treats, this Easter, consider taking part in an egg hunt with a difference. Join the Shark Trust’s annual event - the Great Eggcase Hunt and go exploring the beach in search of the washed-up egg cases of sharks, skates, and rays. The charity’s initiative is not just a fun day out for the whole family, but also a big citizen science project that helps marine animal conservation.
While you’re finishing your Halloween preparations, we’ve come up with something creepy as well. Our world’s ocean is full of mystery and unexpected dwellers. Unlike all these demons and ghosts that are supposedly cracking into our dimension on the last day of October, the eerie creatures you’ll see in this article undoubtedly exist in reality. Some of them look like an absolute nightmare! As the saying goes, don’t dive too deep without a buddy, for the waters are dark and full of terrors.
Every year, thousands of divers and snorkelers travel great distances to enjoy the extravagant beauty of the coral reefs. Indeed, the stunning tones and intricate patterns of its inhabitants are fascinating. But have you ever wondered why reef fish are so colorful? As it turns out, this question is more complex than one might think.
November 3 is the World Jellyfish Day, and we have decided to celebrate the event by recalling some of the most interesting facts and debunking common misconceptions about these fascinating creatures. So, let’s get started!
Both manatees and dugongs, nicknamed "sea cows", are slow-moving herbivorous (mostly) marine mammals that belong to the Sirenian animal order. The first sailors were persuaded that these creatures were sirens (or mermaids), hence the name of the order. There are five known species of Sirenia - the West Indian manatee, the Amazonian manatee, the West African manatee, the dugong, and the extinct Stellar’s sea cow (hunted to extinction in the 18th Century). Although manatees and dugongs have a lot in common, they are oceans apart in terms of location, biology, and behavior.
Coral reefs worldwide are attracting increasing numbers of scuba divers, snorkelers and freedivers. Unfortunately, those same visitors who come to admire them are often causing damage to corals and the marine life they support. One of the reasons for this is the lack of knowledge and/or proper training. People often forget or don't care to pay attention to the marine life around them. Some don't even realize that corals are living organisms.
Octopuses and Squid are both head-footed aquatic animals that fall under the molluscan class Cephalopoda. Both these creatures live in salt water, their blood is blue due to the presence of copper in it, they have three hearts each, and, quite frankly, look a lot alike. However, if you dig deeper into their anatomy and how they function, you’ll see that they differ in their physical characteristics, habitat, and behavior.
The Blue-Ringed Octopus, affectionately called the BRO, is a very special little creature. Its beautiful psychedelic coloring makes this cephalopod a highly sought after subject for many underwater photographers and naturalists. However, behind the adorable exterior is something even more extraordinary - a venom that is 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide and that has earned this shy octopus a spot among the most lethal creatures of the sea.
It’s officially the last day of winter (in the Northern Hemisphere at least), which means that we will soon be able to enjoy warmer weather, telltale green shoots popping up here and there and birds singing early in the morning. However, there are parts of the world that remain covered by ice year-round, namely the polar regions. The annual mean temperature at the South Pole is -76F (-60C) in winter and -18F (-28.2C) in summer. The annual mean temperature at the North Pole is -40F (-40C) in winter and 32F (0C) in summer. So how do the animals that live there manage to survive the region’s frigid, dry climate and relentless winds?
Green sea turtles do not develop into males or females due to sex chromosomes, like humans and most other mammals do. Instead, they have temperature-dependant sex determination, which essentially means that the temperature outside a turtle egg influences the sex of the growing embryo. It is this unusual biological quirk, scientists say, may endanger the future of these creatures in a warmer world.
For those who celebrate Christmas, tree decorating comes once a year, but in the world's tropical seas, there are magical creatures that brim with holiday spirit year-round. They look like miniature festively adorned firs and thus are commonly known as Christmas tree worms. In reality, the beautiful underwater “pines” are just the tip of this worm's iceberg. Two-thirds of the Spirobranchus’ body lies hidden in a calcium carbonate tube inside a coral reef.
As a diver you have probably had a chance to admire the beauty of coral reefs and the wondrous sea creatures that inhabit them. Did you know though that the importance of coral reefs extends far beyond the pleasure they bring to those who explore them? They support enormous biodiversity, provide food, jobs, income, and shoreline protection. So even if you live far away from the tropical oceans you have most likely experienced some of the benefits that coral reefs bring to billions of people worldwide.