Gallery of the Seas

Strange and Unusual,
Beautiful and Deadly

Gallery of the Seas

Sometimes certain species and environments are so spectacular they look like works of art, almost too beautiful or strange to believe that they are natural and not man made.

Octopus, sea stars, corals and jellies, animals with bright colors, strange shapes and fascinating movements, are just some of the sea’s living jewels highlighted in our underwater art gallery.

CUTTLEFISH

A relative of both squids and octopuses, cuttlefish have eight arms and two tentacles. They are found in shallow water, typically along the ocean’s bottom.

Unlike their kin, cuttlefish do have an internal skeletal structure. Known as cuttlebone, which is the same “cuttlebone” used by bird owners to feed their pets, this bone holds gases that allow the cuttlefish to float.

Cuttlefish are masters of camouflage and can quickly change their color to match their surroundings.

OCTOPUSES have eight arms covered with suckers. They use these arms for locomotion, crawling from coral to coral, and for tasting, feeling and grasping.

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They open mason jars to get their food. There are about 200 species of octopuses ranging in size from less than an inch to over 20 feet across! Shy by nature, they pose little threat to humans. For defense, octopuses can move rapidly by jet propulsion and will emit a black ink-like substance to shield its escape.

 

SEA NETTLES

Commonly called jellyfish, jellies are not fish, but cnidarians. Most jellies move about by jet propulsion.

Some have tentacles, and some, like Australia’s box jellies, are extremely venomous.

Jellies come in many sizes and shapes, but are more than 99% water no matter how big they are!

Lionfish

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Lionfish are known for their venomous fin rays, a feature that is uncommon among marine fish in the East Coast coral reefs. The potency of their venom makes them excellent predators and dangerous to fishermen and divers.

Giant Japanese Spider Crab

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The Japanese spider crab has the greatest leg span of any arthropod, reaching 12 feet from claw to claw. The body may grow to a size of 16 inches (carapace width) and the whole crab can weigh up to 41 pounds.

Scorpion Fish

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The scorpionfish is part of a family that includes many of the world’s most venomous species. As the name suggests, scorpionfish have a type of “sting” in the form of sharp spines coated with venomous mucus.