Christmas critter countdown: Harp seal

This is the fluffy creature that tugs at our heartstrings and purses to fork over donations. What should you do though if you see a seal coming up on shore and lounging like he doesn’t have a care in the world? Or, if they’ve somehow lost their adorable, cute white fur and are a patchy? Find out here.

Christmas tree countdown

Christmas critter countdown: Snowflake eel

Eels have the ability to genuinely give me the creeps. It’s probably because of the scene from Princess Bride. But, actually it might have something to do with the fact that some have the ability to tie their bodies in knots and use this to gain leverage when tearing food. Find out some more uplifting facts of eels here. … … … read on as you wish!

Christmas critter countdown

Christmas critter countdown: Star puffer

Did you know some species of puffers and other fish can live in both fresh and saltwater? It’s called euryhaline. Like … rhymes with “your-e-hey-leen!”. What’s it called when an animal isn’t this adaptable? Find out here.

Christmas critter countdown

Christmas critter countdown: Red drum

Red drum have an ability to produce a drumming sound on their air bladders which is how they got commons name. Learn who what other fish share this characteristic with them here. Pa-rum-pa-pa-pum …

Christmas critter countdown

 

Christmas critter countdown: Snowy plovers

Snowy plovers are among some of the cutest shorebirds, don’t you think? Or, are they a seabird or a wading bird? Find out what the difference is here.

Christmas critter countdown

Christmas critter countdown: Angel shark

Hark! Unlike rays and skates, the nocturnal angel shark doesn’t have a mouth on the underside of its body, but rather in front. Learn more here.

Christmas critter countdown

Christmas critter countdown: Bearded seal

Bearded seals spend most of their lives in the Arctic waters, although they’ve been seen in southeast Florida! They enjoy feasting on arctic cod, shrimp, clams, crabs, and octopus and have been known to live up to 25 years. Learn more here.

Christmas critter countdown

Christmas critter countdown: Cookie cutter shark

Another day of the countdown. This time it’s the ferocious cookie cutter shark. There’s nothing short of remarkably awesome when it comes to these sharks. They are small but also skillful in their ability to sneak up and eat prey much larger.  They even have the largest tooth-to-body-length ratio of any shark (including the great white)! Learn more here.

Christmas critter countdown: Cookie cutter sharks

Deadliest shark: Great white vs. bull?

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GREAT WHITE SHARK: Most great white sharks average in at about 15 feet in length, but some have been recorded as long as 20 feet. That’s a huge fish! They can reach speeds of 15 miles per hour (mph). So, the great white is a slow but mighty creature. Their bite force can reach up to 4,000 pounds per square inch (psi). Along with that … Great white have several rows of teeth and they are even serrated. Pretty scary mouth, if I do say so.
BULL SHARK: Bull sharks are typically eight feet in length, so already they are significantly smaller that great white sharks. Female bull sharks weigh in at about 290 pounds. A nine foot long bull shark could have bite force of upwards of 400 pounds. It doesn’t sound like much compared to the great white, but pound-for-pound a bull shark’s bite is stronger. Bull sharks can also swim inland in rivers.
MY VERDICT: To me the major concerns are keeping the great white shark’s length in mind while on the other hand taking into account that you could run into a bull shark in freshwater. Add in that scientists have proved that a bull shark’s bite is indeed more deadly that a great white. Bull sharks are also a more territorial species and might even be in freshwater … so that poses even more of running into them. To me, it’s suddenly a no-brainier. Bull sharks are definitely the most deadly species to humans (although, we are never actually what they hunt).
This post was written by Abby Kersh. Abby is a senior at Stonewall Jackson High School. She has been fascinated by the ocean since she could walk. She plans to study marine biology in college. She would like to concentrate of shark behavior when she completes college.

A bromance in the sea

There’s an eel – the giant moray – that teams up with the roving coral grouper to hunt for grub (i.e., cooperative hunting). The eel is slick enough to slither into crevices and flush out food for a feast. How’s that for a wingman!?

Look at them hitting the scene!

Giant moray and the roving coral grouper (also, known as a trout). Image (c) Science news

The giant moray and the roving coral grouper (also, known as a trout). Image (c) Science news