Friday, July 13, 2018

Learning To Love 'Not-So-Cute' Marine Animals

It's easy to love cute animals found in our oceans.  Who doesn't love dolphins, penguins, and colorful little fish?  But what about those that have a face only a mother could love?  For animals like the anglerfish and barracuda we need to look deeper than cuteness to see some amazing qualities.  Let's dive in and find out.



Most species of anglerfish live deep in the ocean.  They are definitely outside the 'cute category', but--that being said--they use an amazing trick to lure prey.  The anglerfish has a fin sticking out its head.  The tip of the fin hangs close to the fish's mouth and shines like a little light.  In the darkness of the deep sea, the lighted fin acts like a fishing pole.  To little fish, it looks like something to eat.  As the unsuspecting prey approaches, the anglerfish opens its large mouth filled with sharp teeth.   Then yum!  It's dinnertime. 


Barracuda head
The barracuda is a perfect fish for the adventurous souls out there.  It's a scary looking predator with an inner jaw full of sharp, dagger-shaped teeth.  Snake-like in appearance, some species grow as long as five feet.

This fish specializes in catching large prey, sometimes as big as itself.  It relies on a burst of speed and a surprise attack to overtake its prey and catch its dinner. 

Here's an interesting YouTube video about the Great Barracuda.

Looking beyond the surface appearance is a good skill to practice.  When we stop at the surface, we miss all the amazing qualities underneath.  It works with people too.

Resource Credits

1.  "Deep Sea Anglerfish".  My Submarine Ocean Explorer: NOAA.  Web.  10 Jul.  2018.
< >.  

2.  "Ocean Explorer".   Ocean Explorer.  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: NOAA.  Web.  9 Jul.  2018.  <>.

3.  "Barracuda".  Smithsonian: Ocean Find Your Blue.  Web. 10 Jul.  2018.  <>.

Image Credits:  

1.  "Girl and Fish" by platinumportfolio  is licensed under CCO Creative Commons.

2.  "Anglerfish".  Image ID: fig0695.  NOAA'S Historic Fisheries Collection.  National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.  

3. "Barracuda" by Jackie Reid.  Image ID: sanc0401.  NOAA'S Sanctuaries Collection.  National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce. 

4. "Cutouts" by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under CCO Creative Commons.

Video Credits:

1.  "Facts: The Great Barracuda" by Deep Marine Scenes.  Published  18 Aug. 2016.  <>.

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