Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jellyfish – The Deadly Brainless Water Creatures

Jellyfish are free-swimming members of the Jellyfish – The Deadly Brainless Water Creaturesphylum Cnidaria. They have several different basic morphologies that represent several different cnidarian classes including the Scyphozoa (about 200 species), Staurozoa (about 50 species), Cubozoa (about 20 species), and Hydrozoa (about 1000-1500 species that make jellyfish and many more that do not). The jellyfish in these groups are also called, respectively, scyphomedusae, stauromedusae, cubomedusae, and hydromedusae; "medusa" (plural "medusae") is another word for jellyfish. Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. Some hydrozoan jellyfish, or hydromedusae, are also found in fresh water.

Jellyfish don't have specialized digestive, osmoregulatory, central nervous, respiratory, or circulatory systems. They digest using the gastrodermal lining of the gastrovascular cavity, where nutrients are absorbed. They do not need a respiratory system since their skin is thin enough that the body is oxygenated by diffusion. They have limited control over movement, but can use their hydrostatic skeleton accomplish movement through contraction-pulsations of the bell-like body; some species actively swim most of the time, while others are passive much of the time. Jellyfish are composed of more than 90% water; most of their umbrella mass is a gelatinous material - the jelly - called mesoglea which is surrounded by two layers of epithelial cells which form the exumbrella (top surface) and subumbrella (bottom surface) of the bell, or body.

Jellyfish do not have a brain or central nervous system, but rather have a loose network of nerves, located in the epidermis, which is called a "nerve net". A jellyfish detects various stimuli including the touch of other animals via this nerve net, which then transmits impulses both throughout the nerve net and around a circular nerve ring, through the rhopalial lappet, located at the rim of the jellyfish body, to other nerve cells. Some jellyfish also have ocelli: light-sensitive organs that do not form images but which can detect light, and are used to determine up from down, responding to sunlight shining on the water's surface.

As I've said, Jellyfish has no bones, brains, head, heart, eyes, nor ears. But what a sting! The sting of some "jellies," can be deadly while others are harmless to humans. Jellyfish are not fish at all. They are invertebrates, relatives of corals and sea anemones.

Don't get stung!

A jellyfish fires its poison whenever its tentacles brush against an object. In humans, the poison usually causes a sharp, burning sensation that may last from minutes to hours.

1. Take note of jellyfish warning signs posted on the beach.

2. Be careful around jellies washed up on the sand. Some still sting if their tentacles are wet. Tentacles torn off a jelly can sting, too.

3. If you are stung, wash the wound with vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Or sprinkle meat tenderizer or put a baking soda and water paste on the sting. Don't rinse with water, which could release more poison.

4. Lifeguards usually give first aid for stings. See a doctor if you have an allergic reaction.

All jellies sting, but not all jellies have poison that hurts humans. Of the 2,000 species of jellyfish, only about 70 seriously harm or occasionally kill people. Listed below are the more dangerous jellies and where you can find—and avoid—them.

Lion's mane

Atlantic Ocean from above the Arctic Circle to Florida; Gulf of Mexico; Pacific Ocean from Alaska to southern California

Portuguese man-of-war

Gulf of Mexico; Caribbean Sea near the Bahamas; West Indies

Sea nettle

Chesapeake Bay; Pacific Ocean from Alaska to southern California; Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida; Gulf of Mexico

Sea wasp

Pacific Ocean near northern Australia, Philippines

Other pictures of Jellyfish.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shrimp - The Most Common Food Allergens

Shrimp - The Most Common Food Allergens

Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans Shrimp -  The Most Common Food Allergensclassified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the sea bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards.

Shrimp are an important food source for larger animals from fish to whales. They have a high resistance to toxins in polluted areas, and may contribute to high toxin levels in their predators. Together with prawns, shrimp are widely caught and farmed for human consumption.

Etymology: The term shrimp originated around the 14th century with the Middle English shrimpe, akin to the Middle Low German schrempen, and meaning to contract or wrinkle; and the Old Norse skorpna, meaning to shrivel up.

Life cycle of a shrimp

Shrimp mature and breed only in a marine habitat. The females lay 50,000 to 1 million eggs, which hatch after some 24 hours into tiny nauplii. These nauplii feed on yolk reserves within their body and then undergo a metamorphosis into zoeae.

This second larval stage feeds in the wild on algae and after a few days metamorphoses again into the third stage to become myses. At this stage the myses already begin to appear like tiny versions of fully-developed adults and feed on algae and zooplankton.

After another three to four days they metamorphose a final time into postlarvae: young shrimp having all the characteristics of adults. The whole process takes about 12 days from hatching. In the wild, the postlarvae then migrate into estuaries, which are rich in nutrients and low in salinity. There they grow and eventually migrate back into open waters when they mature.

Adult shrimp are benthic animals living primarily on the sea floor.

Shrimp as food

As with other seafood, shrimp is high in calcium, Iodine and protein but low in food energy. A shrimp-based meal is also a significant source of cholesterol, from 122 mg to 251 mg per 100 g of shrimp, depending on the method of preparation.

Shrimp consumption, however, is considered healthy for the circulatory system because the lack of significant levels of saturated fat in shrimp mean that the high cholesterol content in shrimp actually improves the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol and lowers triglycerides.

Shrimp and other shellfish are among the most common food allergens. They are not kosher and thus are forbidden in Jewish cuisine.via

Other picture of shrimp:


Shrimp as food:

Hass Avocado Shrimp Cocktail Steamed Shrimp with Garlic Oil

Monday, November 3, 2008

Axolotl – The Water Monster

Axolotl – The Water Monster

The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is the Axolotl – The Water Monsterbest-known of the Mexican neotenic mole salamanders belonging to the Tiger Salamander complex. Larvae of this species fail to undergo metamorphosis, so the adults remain aquatic and gilled. The species originates from the lake underlying Mexico City and are also called ajolote (which is also the common name for Mexican Mole Lizards).

Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate most body parts, ease of breeding, and large embryos. They are commonly kept as pets in the United States, Great Britain (under the spelling axlotl), Australia, Japan and other countries.

Axolotls should not be confused with waterdogs, the larval stage of the closely related Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum and Ambystoma mavortium), which is widespread in much of North America which also occasionally become neotenic, nor with mudpuppies (Necturus spp.), fully-aquatic salamanders which are unrelated to the axolotl but which bear a superficial resemblance.

As of 2008, axolotls are near extinction, due to urbanization in Mexico City, and polluted waters. Nonnative fish have also recently been introduced to the waters. These new fish have been eating the axolotls' babies, as well as its primary source of food. The axolotl is currently on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's annual Red List of threatened species.


A sexually-mature adult axolotl, at age 18-24 months, ranges in length from 15–45 centimetres (5.9–18 in), although a size close to 23 centimetres (9.1 in) is most common and greater than 30 centimetres (12 in) is rare. Axolotls possess features typical of salamander larvae, including external gills and a caudal fin extending from behind the head to the vent.

Their heads are wide, and their eyes are lidless. Their limbs are underdeveloped and possess long, thin digits. Males are identified by their swollen cloacae lined with papillae, while females are noticeable for their wider bodies full of eggs. Three pairs of external gill stalks (rami) originate behind their heads and are used to move oxygenated water.

The external gill rami are lined with filaments (fimbriae) to increase surface area for gas exchange. Four gill slits lined with gill rakers are hidden underneath the external gills. Axolotls have barely visible vestigial teeth which would have developed during metamorphosis. The primary method of feeding is by suction, during which their rakers interlock to close the gill slits. External gills are used for respiration, although buccal pumping (gulping air from the surface) may also be used in order to provide oxygen to their lungs.

Axolotls have four different colours, two naturally occurring colours and two mutants. The two naturally occurring colours are wildtype (Varying shades of brown usually with spots) and melanoid (black). The two mutant colours are leucistic (pale pink with black eyes) and albino (golden, tan or pale pink with pink eyes).via

Other pictures of Axolotl.

Axolotl – The Water MonsterAxolotl – The Water Monster
Axolotl – The Water MonsterAxolotl – The Water Monster

Video of Axolotl.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stingray – The Deadly Water Creature

Stingrays are commonly found in the shallow coastal waters of temperate seas. They spend the Stingray – The Deadly Water Creaturemajority of their time inactive, partially buried in sand, often moving only with the sway of the tide. The stingray's coloration commonly reflects the seafloor's shading, camouflaging it from predatory sharks and larger rays. Their flattened bodies are composed of pectoral fins joined to their head and trunk with an infamous tail trailing behind.

While the stingray's eyes peer out from its dorsal side, its mouth, nostrils, and gill slits are situated on its underbelly. Its eyes are therefore not thought by scientists to play a considerable role in hunting. Like its shark relatives, the stingray is outfitted with electrical sensors called ampullae of Lorenzini. Located around the stingray's mouth, these organs sense the natural electrical charges of potential prey. Many rays have jaw teeth to enable them to crush mollusks such as clams, oysters, and mussels.

When they are inclined to move, most stingrays swim by undulating their bodies like a wave; others flap their sides like wings. The tail may also be used to maneuver in the water, but its primary purpose is protection.

The stingray's spine, or barb, can be ominously fashioned with serrated edges and a sharp point. The underside may produce venom, which can be fatal to humans, and which can remain deadly even after the stingray's death. In Greek mythology, Odysseus, the great king of Ithaca, was killed when his son, Telegonus, struck him using a spear tipped with the spine of a stingray.via

Other picture of stingray.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Picasso Triggerfish

Picasso Triggerfish
This Picasso triggerfish is also known as the Picasso TriggerfishLagoon or Blackbar triggerfish, or more generically, hu-mu hu-mu (referring to all triggerfishes). It is a colorful relative of puffers, porcupinefishes, boxfishes, and filefishes-- all members of the order Tetraodontiformes.

Triggerfish are found in tropical waters around the world, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The Triggerfish Family Balistidae contains about 30 species, with at least nine of these to be known from the Hawaiian area.

Triggerfish are tough and sleek, favoring shallow waters of the reef. Their tough skin and fused teeth make them capable of successfully attacking spiny sea urchins to get to the soft flesh. They also eat crabs, mollusks, worms, other fish, algae and are even known to nip at the tips of hard corals. This species only grows to about nine to ten inches (about 25 cm) but some others, such as the Titan triggerfish, may grow to 30 inches (75 cm). They are found in many areas of the Pacific from Hawaii to the Maldives, and even the southeast and east central Atlantic and the Red Sea.

The Picasso Trigger is a magnificent and very popular aquarium species that is easily recognized by its creamy grayish-tan and white colored body splashed with many distinctive bright blue and yellow fine-line, and golden, black and white wide-band type markings.

Other pictures of triggerfish.

Picasso TriggerfishPicasso Triggerfish
Picasso TriggerfishPicasso Triggerfish

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lionfish – A Venomous Marine Fish

Lionfich – A Venomous Marine Fish

The lionfish is native to the tropical Indo-Pacific Lionfich – A Venomous Marine Fishregion of the world, but various species can be found worldwide. Due to a recent introduction, the lionfish has recently been spotted in the warmer coral regions of the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Lionfish are an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea regions. Successful breeding of the lionfish in captivity has not been looked upon.

The common lionfish generally reaches a size of 30-35cm. Smaller lionfish are typically the size of a tennis ball (not including fins). There are many types of lionfish that vary in size.

The venom of the lionfish, delivered via an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins, is purely defensive. It relies on camouflage and lightning-fast reflexes to capture prey, mainly fish and shrimp. A sting from a lionfish is extremely painful to humans and can cause nausea and breathing difficulties, but is rarely fatal.

Lionfish, also called turkey fish, dragon fish and scorpion fish, are native to the reefs and rocky crevices of the Indo-Pacific, although they've found their way to warm ocean habitats worldwide.

Other picture of Lionfish.

Atlantic LionfishCommon Lionfish
Common LionfishRed Volitans Lionfish

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Antarctic Octopus (Paraledone Turqueti)

Antarctic Octopus (Paraledone Turqueti)

This animal is quite small and is usually an Antarctic Octopus (Paraledone Turqueti)inhabitant of deeper water. Its thin arms are used for capturing less robust prey, like small shrimps and other crustaceans.

Pareledone turqueti, also known as Turquet's Octopus, this creature lives in the icy depths around Antarctica, particularly the South Shetland Islands and South Georgia. It can live in shallow waters or go as deep as 13,000ft (4000m)...the temperatures of these waters range from 28 to 50°F (−2 to 10°C) Its body length is about 5 inches (15cm) and the legs extend to roughly the same.

Almost nothing is known about this species including diet but it is assumed to feed on crustaceans such as shrimp, krill and crabs like its cousins. It is part of an ecosystem that is experiencing some turmoil due to the recent breakup of ice in the polar regions. We can expect quite a few new species to be discovered in this untouched part of the world.

Other Pictures of Antarctic Octopus.

Underwater Creatures - Antarctic OctopusUnderwater Creatures - Antarctic Octopus

Underwater Creatures - Antarctic OctopusUnderwater Creatures - Antarctic Octopus

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Underwater Creatures Pictures

Pictures below are only some of the creatures under the water.

Antarctic Octopus

The Antarctic octopus (Paraledone turqueti)
is just one of the fascinating creatures found on the Arctic seabed.

Lionfish or Turkey FishLionfish or Turkey Fish

Lionfish or Turkey Fish – a venomous marine fish in the genera Pterois.
They are notable for their extremely long and separated spines, and have a generally
striped appearance, red, brown, orange, yellow, black, maroon, or white.

Picasso Triggerfish
Picasso Triggerfish

A famous fish called Picasso Triggerfish.
You can see more of this fish at the Picasso Reef,
an underwater mountain, is located around 200 meters
from the sea shore of Taba heights.


A pair of stingrays glides just below the surface
in the waters of French Polynesia's Tuamotu archipelago.

Orange Cup Coral Reefs

Appearing as flowers of the sea, the tentacles of an orange cup coral
reach out in the waters of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia.
Known for their brilliant colors, these corals inhabit the shallow areas of coral reefs.

Freshwater Shrimps

New species of freshwater shrimp discovered
in the ancient malili lake system of Sulawesi, Malaysia.

About Underwater Creatures

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