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I've written a new Parasite of the Day blog post! This post is about a rather unusual-looking caterpillar which has an even more unusual life style. Instead of munching on leaves, the caterpillar of Epipomponia nawai lives as an ectoparasite of cicadas! To find out more, follow the link below!
Epipomponia nawai
Epipomponia nawai
dailyparasite.blogspot.com
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This fish seems to always get caught red-handed! The Red Handfish is believed to be the world's rarest fish species, and is considered to be Critically Endangered by Australia. These small, benthic fish are endemic to Tasmania's eastern coast, and use their hand-like pectoral fins to 'walk' along the seafloor.

The last populations of Red Handfish appear to be hanging on by a thread. There was only 1 known population of these animals animals left of only 20-40 fish. However, thanks to citizen scientists and divers, a second population has been discovered, doubling the known numbers of these incredibly rare animals.

#MarineLife #RareFish #SeaHope #Nature #VitaminSea #OurOcean #OceanAnimals #FridayFacts #Ocean
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The Sandbar Shark Carcharhinus plumbeus is one of the largest coastal pelagic sharks, and can grow to a length of eight feet long! True to its name, these animals are often found in sandy habitats close to land. What easily distinguishes the sandbar shark from other species is their large dorsal (top) fin.

These sharks occasionally venture out to oceanic waters. In some areas, they migrate seasonally in response to changing water temperatures and localized upwelling events, which help provide food. They dine on bony fishes and smaller sharks and rays, as well as invertebrates like cephalopods, shrimp and snails. Unlike some sharks, the sandbar shark bears live young.

As with most shark species, shark finning and overfishing have devastated the sandbar shark population in recent decades. This species is long-lived and produces few young, making them particularly prone to overfishing. Sandbar sharks are ranked as "vulnerable"

Learn more about the incredible marine life in our world's oceans by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org

Photo: Brian Norwood/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

#OceanLife #MarineBio #Sharky #SandbarShark #Elasmobranchs #SeaHope #OceanOptimism #SavetheSharks #VitaminSea
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Seahorses are truly unique, and not just because of their unusual shape. Unlike most other fish, they are monogamous and mate for life. Rarer still, they are among the only animal species on Earth in which the male bears the unborn young.

Found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, these upright-swimming relatives of the pipefish can range in size from 0.6 inches to 14 inches long.

Male seahorses are equipped with a brood pouch on their ventral, or front-facing, side. When mating, the female deposits her eggs into his pouch, and the male fertilizes them internally. He carries the eggs in his pouch until they hatch, then releases fully formed, miniature seahorses into the water.

Population data for most of the world’s more than 30 seahorse species is sparse. However, worldwide coastal habitat depletion, pollution, and rampant harvesting, mainly for use in Asian traditional medicine, have made several species vulnerable to extinction.

Learn more about the incredible marine life in our world's oceans by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org

Photo: Florin DUMITRESCU/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

#seahorse #wildlife #seahope #VitaminSea #marineanimals #conservation #BlackSea #naturealwayswins #OurOcean
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Unicorn Fish get their name from the horn-like extension protruding from their rostrum. These species are widespread throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and play a crucial role in reef ecosystems.

Unicorn fish are herbivores that feed on algae and zooplankton on coral reefs, keeping them from overgrowing the corals. These fish are popularly caught by spear-fishers, and there is a small market for them in the aquarium trade. But current levels of exploitation aren't significant enough to threaten the species with extinction, and so they are currently listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

Learn more about the incredible marine life in our world's oceans by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org

Photo: Derek Keats/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

#fishfacts #fishy #unicorn #unicornfish #sealife #oceanlife #oceanfacts #saveourocean #SeaHope #VitaminSea #ourocean #marinebio
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The Flightless Cormorant is an evolutionary spectacle. These seabirds are endemic to the Galapagos Islands, and are the only cormorant species in the world to have lost its ability to fly.

Like any other cormorant, these seabirds have webbed feet and powerful legs that propel it through ocean waters as they seek their prey of fish, eels, small octopuses, and other small creatures. Also like other cormorants, this bird's feathers aren't waterproof and they spend time after each dive drying their small wings in the sunlight.

The reason these animals evolved through time to be flightless is that they exist on an island habitat that's free of predators. Having no enemies, taking their food primarily through diving along the food-rich shorelines, and not needing to travel to breeding grounds, these birds eventually became flightless

Learn more about the incredible marine life in our world's oceans by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org

Photo: Hans Stieglitz/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

#Seabirds #marinebio #OceanLife #SeaHope #VitaminSea #Diving #Galapagos #Evolution #Conservation #NatureAlwaysWins #SaveOurOcean
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In the spirit of #FridayThe13th, check out this Deep Sea Chimaera also known as the ghost shark. Life in the deep sea has evolved to survive without light, taking the form of something you might see in your strangest dreams

These animals are dead-eyed, wing-finned fish rarely seen by people, and are most closely related to sharks and rays since they're a cartilaginous fish. Even though ghost sharks have been gliding through the depths since long before the dinosaurs, we still know very little about them.

Learn more about the incredible marine life in our world's oceans by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org

Photo: NOAA Ocean Explorer/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

#oceanlife #saveourocean #deepsea #seahope #exploration #ocean #discovery #conservation #marinebiology
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The Red-Lipped Bat Fish or Galapagos Bat Fish Ogcocephalus darwini are best known for their bright red lips and their very strange morphology. These animals are generally poor swimmers, and use their modified pectoral fins to 'walk' along the ocean floor. Like other anglerfish, the red-lipped batfish has a structure on its head known as illicium. This structure is employed for attracting prey.

These bat fish are found near the Galapagos Islands and off the coast of Peru. They spend their time feeding on small fish and crustaceans near the ocean floor at depths of 10 feet to 250 feet.

There are no major threats known for this species, and so it's listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. Even though this species is restricted to the Galapagos Islands, given its deep water habitat it is unlikely to be negatively impacted by oceanographic environmental changes from ENSO and climate change events.

Learn more about the incredible marine life in our world's oceans by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org

Photo: Rein Ketelaars/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

#sealife #seahope #VitaminSea #marinelife #oceanhealth #marinebio #conservation #marinescience #Galapagos #BatFish
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The Chain Dogfish Scyliorhinus retifer is a species of catshark that has a unique property: they're one of four shark species in the world to show bioluminescence! That's right, they can glow in the dark! These deep-water fish spend their time on the ocean floor at depths of 30-750 meters, where light is scarce and life works very differently.

Chain Dogfish are distributed from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean down to the Gulf of Mexico, and are not a species targeted by fishing efforts (though they are caught commonly in bottom trawl fisheries as by-catch).

Learn more about the incredible marine life in our world's oceans by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org

Photo: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program/Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

#marinelife #oceananimals #conservation #marinebio #dogfish #deepsea #oceanexploration #elasmobranch #seahope #VitaminSea
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Happy #FlatSharkFriday! Manta Rays are one of the most iconic species in the ocean, and are very popular with diving tourism. There are actually two different species of manta ray: Manta alfredi and Manta birostris. Both species are found in tropical and sub-tropical waters around the world, but M. birostris is a more migratory and open ocean species while M. alfredi tends to remain resident to coastal areas.

Manta rays are filter feeders and eat large quantities of zooplankton, which they swallow with their open mouths as they swim. Like whales, these rays will even sometimes breach the ocean surface in dramatic displays, similar to the way whales do.

Both manta ray species are currently listed as Vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN Red List. Human threats to these incredible animals include pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and direct harvesting for their gill rakers for use in Chinese medicine.

Learn more about the incredible marine life in our world's oceans by visiting us at: www.theterramarproject.org

Photo: Jackie Reid/NOAA/Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

#oceanlife #mantaray #flatshark #seahope #VitaminSea #naturealwayswins #elasmobranch #marinebio #conservation
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