A leafy sea dragon resembles a piece of kelp adrift in the water.
Photo by Paul Sutherland
Cannonball Jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris)
Also known as the cabbage head jellyfish, the cannonball jellyfish is a species of jellyfish found from the eastern seaboard of North America all the way down to Brazil, with some populations found throughout the Pacific as well. Like other jellyfish the cannonball feeds mostly on zooplankton that it dispatches with its stinging nematocysts. The Cannonball also has a symbiotic relationship with L.dubia the Longnose Spider Crab (and a few fish/crab species)which resides on the jelly and feeds on passing zooplankton and sometimes the jelly itself. Like all jellyfish the cannonball jellyfish does sting and can cause immense pain in humans, it also has a mucus that it releases though its nematocysts as well, this mucus has a toxin that when released harms animals in the immediate area. This is used to stun prey and drive away predators and can be dangerous for humans as it can cause cardiac problems.
Fire Urchin (Asthenosoma varium)
…a species of fire urchin found throughout the Indo-Pacific, ranging from the Red Sea to Australia and Southern Japan. True to its name the fire urchin has venom tipped spines which can inflict a extremely painful sting on a potential predator or an unwary diver. This sting is nonlethal but can last for a couple of hours, causing a pain similar to being burned. The fire urchin is often seen with a commensal passenger (usually P.colemani or Z.adamsii) which feeds on passing food items that fall on the urchin.
Molting is a beautiful thing. When your insides start feeling a little too big for their case, you can just crack open your exoskeleton, head capsule and all, and emerge a whole new invertebrate. You get to leave your shed body behind and walk away, freed from all the trappings of your former, smaller life.
… unless, that is, you’re a gum-leaf skeletoniser caterpillar. In that case evolution actually stacks all your old heads on top of your new one and makes you wear them around forever like a macabre stovepipe hat. I don’t know, just go with it, okay?
Lagarta (by Marcos Cesar Campis)
A queen triggerfish mugging for the camera in the new Giant Ocean Tank #boston #amazing
“Hmm. This slug came out a little funny.”
“Whoa, evolution, what the hell?”
“I don’t know. I think I may have mixed something up on the camouflage gene.”
“I was distracted.”
“Well, you can’t just put that in the undergrowth, it’ll get eaten in like two seconds.”
“What should I do with it, then?”