8 animals you can only see under the sea
1. Manta Ray
The manta ray might not be the most beautiful of creatures, but what it lacks in cuteness it makes up for in grace. In Spanish, manta means blanket, and when you look at these animals it isn’t hard to see why it got this name. Manta rays can grow up to 7 metres in length and their non-functioning tail spine means they are completely harmless to humans. They can be found swimming off the east coast of Australia throughout the year.
See them for yourself: https://www.ecocompanion.com/experiences/lady-elliot-island-eco-resort#10/-24.1129/152.7140
2. Sea Turtle
The sea turtle spends its entire life at sea, apart from the females who come ashore to lay eggs several times per season. There are seven species of sea turtle ranging from the leatherback to the loggerhead and sadly all but one of these species is threatened or endangered. Although sea turtles have been on Earth for over 100 million years, they are now increasingly threatened at the hands of humans.
See them for yourself: http://www.ecocompanion.com/tours/in-search-of-the-turtles
3. Beluga whale
The beluga whale is one of the most interesting ocean animals. They are one of the most vocal species of whale and are closely related to the narwhal. The whales have a thick layer of blubber insulation to protect them from the icy Arctic waters. And to top it off they can swim backwards! Amazing!
4. Clown Fish
Did you know that all clown fish are actually born Nemo? They are all born as males and only become a female if the dominant female in the group dies and needs to be replaced. Despite living underwater, these fish are actually very poor swimmers and never stray too far from their host anemone.
5. Porcupine pufferfish
With their big, innocent eyes and their inquisitive nature, the porcupine pufferfish likes to get up close with divers. When threatened, they suck in water and increase their size and puff out their spines, making them a prickly snack for any predator.
6. Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish
The black sea nettle jellyfish is a giant jellyfish with a 1 metre long body and arms that can reach up to 6 metres! Most of the time, no one knows where this mysterious creature is, let alone its habits. They appeared off the coast of San Diego in 1989 then disappeared until 1999 when they suddenly reappeared. Where will they show up next?
7. Bargibanti pygmy seahorse
The Bargibanti pygmy seahorse is only about 2cm in length. They live in small groups on the gorgonian coral which thrives in the warm waters in South East Asia and occasionally the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Unlike other seahorses, the male raises the young in a pouch within the body cavity, rather than on its tail – almost like an underwater kangaroo!
See them for yourself: http://www.ecocompanion.com/projects/raja-ampat-diving-project
8. Egyptian sea star
Like other starfish, the Egyptian sea star can regenerate any parts of its body that are damaged. However, unlike other starfish, this little guy has big spikes to protect it from predators. They are found at depths around 6 metres off the coast of eastern Africa and Madagascar.
See them for yourself: http://www.ecocompanion.com/projects/mozambican-marine-conservation-project
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