fish

You Say Fish- We Say Tomato

You Say Fish- We Say Tomato

We’re meeting our last animal of Camp E&E today :(. Can you believe summer is nearly over? It has flown by! We’ll be starting the new year back at the University after Labor Day- so be on the look out for some great new friends!

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TOMATO ANEMONE FISH FUN FACTS: 

  • Like their famous relatives, the clownfish, tomato anemone fish spend most of their  time in the tentacles of an anemone.
  • The anemone protects the tomato fish from predators, while the fish provides the anemone leftovers of its food. This relationship is called symbiosis- mutualism.
  • Males are smaller than females and are bright red. The females tend be more black in color than red.
  • The most dominate fish is the largest female.
  • All anemone fish start out as males and will turn female when they need to.
  • These little fish only grow to 5 1/2 inches.

 

Anemone fish are the cutest little fish. It’s cool that they have a symbiotic relationship with anemones. We’ll be back tomorrow for our big send off at Camp!

 

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Fishy has Red Teeth

Fishy has Red Teeth

We’re meeting one of our favorite fish of the reef today! They are funny and crazy and yes- they have a red tooth.

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REDTOOTHED TRIGGERFISH: 

  • These blue- purple flat oval shaped fish our found in Indo-Pacific coral reefs.
  • They have tiny sharp red teeth.
  • Redtoothed triggerfish make grunt noises.
  • They can change their color depending on their mood, food or the quality of the water.
  • These cute fish use their dorsal and tail fins to swim. It is a very unusual swim style.
  • They mostly eat plankton, but are known to eat sponges, small fish and squid.
  • Females lay their eggs and guard the nest before they hatch.

 

We just love these funny fish and their little red teeth and cool swimming style! How about you?

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That is One Big Shark

That is One Big Shark

We are meeting the biggest shark and the biggest fish in the ocean on the 3rd day of shark week! These spotty gentle giants are amazing and we’re excited to share more about them with our campers!

Whale shark, Rhincodon typus, at Daedalus in the Egyptian Red Sea.

WHALE SHARK FUN FACTS: 

  • These plankton eaters filter their food from the oceans, unlike most of their other shark relatives.
  • Whale sharks call tropical waters around the world home.
  • They are known to migrate to find good food sources.
  • The largest fish in the world can grow up to 40 ft long.
  • Like the mako shark, the whale shark is ovoviviparous. They incubate eggs inside and give birth to live young. They can give birth to several hundreds of pups.
  • Whale sharks are covered in spots and each shark’s spots have a unique pattern.
  • Scientist use those spot patterns to ID individuals and study their populations.
  • These giants are listed as ENDANGERED by the IUCN.

 

Whale sharks are thought to have been swimming the world’s oceans for around 60 million years. They weren’t discovered by humans til the 1800s! Because they are popular to swim with in the wild, they are more valuable alive than dead (or for meat). In most places they are protected, which is great, because we couldn’t imagine the oceans without them.

 

 

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Built for Speed

Built for Speed

We’ll be meeting some excellent species and of course our friend Chompy will stop by! Make sure you check out our Instagram for some fun videos and extra pictures! Today we are meeting one of the fastest sharks in the ocean- the shortfin mako! Let’s learn more about this speed demon!

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SHORTFIN MAKO FUN FACTS:

  • These sleek sharks are found in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide.
  • They can grow up to 12 feet and weigh up to 1,200 lbs.
  • Shortfin makos can swim up 45 mph, making them the fastest shark in the oceans.
  • They are also known for their ability to leap out of water.
  • These carnivores primarily eat boney fish- like tuna. They are apex predators and have no natural predators.
  • Makos are migratory and some individuals are known to make year long migrations.
  • They have a special blood vessel system that helps them keep their body temperature higher than the surrounding water- allowing them to hunt in cold waters.
  • Makos give birth to live young, but they are ovoviviparous- the eggs incubate inside the female and the young feed off any unfertilized eggs.

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These fast predators are listed at VULNERABLE by the IUCN. They are fished for their meat and for their fins. When an apex predator such as the mako is removed from its ecosystem it can be disastrous. To learn how you can help sharks like the mako, check out Shark Savers. 

 

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KNOW YOUR SHARKS

KNOW YOUR SHARKS

We enjoyed meeting our cephalopod friends last week- did you? This week we’re partying with the elasmobranchs – that’s right it’s Shark Week! Come learn more about these cartilaginous fish with us.

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SHARK FUN FACTS: 

  • Shark skeletons are made of cartilage, the same tissue that makes up human noses and ears. Their teeth do have enamel, which is why they fossilize.
  •  Sharks have a special organ called the Ampullae of Lorenzini. This organ is compromised of small gel filled spots around the shark’s mouth, eyes and nose. The ampullae Of Lorenzini helps the shark detect electromagnetic fields and water temperature.
  • Most sharks have excellent eyesight. They can see in color and in low light.
  • Sharks have called the oceans home for 500 million years.
  • The largest fish in the ocean is a shark! It’s the Whale Shark!
  • Some sharks, like great whites, must swim continually to live. They must swim to move water over their gills. Other sharks, like nurse sharks, have spiracles that move the water over their gills. Spiracles allow the shark to lay still on the ocean floor.
  • Some sharks can go through 35,000 teeth in a lifetime. Those teeth are in rows similar to a conveyer belt; when one falls out, the new one moves forward.
  • Not all sharks have teeth though- those large whale sharks eat plankton that they filter.
  • Giving birth is different for different species of sharks! Some sharks lay eggs (oviparous) called mermaid purses. Some sharks incubate the eggs inside their bodies and give live birth (ovoviviparity). And some sharks have a placental organ that attached to the egg and they give live birth (viviparity).

 

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Wow! Sharks are such diverse and amazing creatures- you could spend a whole summer at camp just talking about these fantastic fish, sadly we only have a week! Any guess on some of the species will meet in the next few days?

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Moo?

Moo?

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Hello campers! We’re heading out on a boat ride today to meet one of animals that calls the ocean just offshore from camp home.  Any guess on the elasmobranch we’re going to meet from our title clue? Could cow be in the name?

 

Meet the Cownose Ray

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Fun Facts: 

  • These adorable rays are named after that blunt square- cow shaped nose.
  • They are typically found near the surface of the ocean.
  • Cownose rays give birth to a live pup once a year.
  • These carnivores feed on oysters, clams and other mollusks. They have crushing plates – not teeth- to crush open shells and get to the soft bodies of their prey.
  • They do have mildly venomous barbs, but only use those when threatened. When rays are known to be in local waters, its a good idea to shuffle your feet when walking in the ocean as to not step on one accidentally.
  • These little sea flapper (hehehe) flap their fins to swim. They belong to their own group of rays.
  • These cartilaginous (skeletons made of cartilage) fish, are known for their migrations from the Gulf of Mexico to the Chesapeake Bay. They can be seen in schools with up to 10,000 individuals.

These amazing animals are one of our favorites. They are often spotted in aquariums too. Like other rays they have spiracles that pass water over their gills when they rest on the bottom of the ocean.

 

 

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Warty Fish

Warty Fish

Today we are meeting one ugly but neat fish today! These funny looking fish are named the Warty Frog Fish! Come learn more about them with us.

 

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Warty Frogfish Fun Facts: 

  • These warty frogfish grows up to 6 inches long.
  • They are covered in little bumps called spindles.
  • They have large mouths that allow them to eat prey as large as themselves. These carnivores eat anything that comes their way.
  • After a few weeks of life they have the ability to change color to match their surroundings.
  • They have a lure on their head they use to catch prey with.
  • Warty frogfish are also biofluorescent. They have proteins that absorb electromagnetic waves and they emit that light in a different color.

Warty frogfish are so amazing! Can you imagine absorbing electromagnetic waves and then glowing? It is so neat!

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Puff the Magic Fishy

Puff the Magic Fishy

We are super excited to introduce you to today’s fish! This adorable little creature is called the Dog-Faced Puffer Fish! Are you ready campers?

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Dog-Faced Puffer Fish: 

  • These little puffer fish grow to about a foot long.
  • They are also known as the black spotted puffer fish.
  • These crazy fish are not covered in scales, but have smooth skin.
  • These carnivores eat everything from worms to coral.
  • Dog-faced puffer fish are solitary and territorial.
  • They do not have pelvic fins.

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We just love these funny looking puffer fish. They can inflate to twice their size when threatened by predators. That may be one of the coolest adaptations ever!

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Walking Fish

Walking Fish

We are so excited to be back snorkeling with our campers after shark week! Chompy will be back later next week! Today we are meeting a strange but super cool fish today. And yes is it known to walk and not swim!

Longnose batfish on Bari Reef, Bonaire

 

Longnosed Batfish Fun Facts: 

  • Longnosed batfish can grow up to 12 inches long.
  • These crazy looking creatures use their side fins to “walk” along the sand floor.
  • They lay in wait for prey to swim by. They can can detect prey with the small antennae on their head.
  • They can range in color from yellowish to purple with small spots. They have red-orange lips.’
  • They are carnivores that eat fish, crustaceans and shellfish.
  • They are in the same family as of the anglerfish.
  • They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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These strange and amazing creatures have filled a nook in the environment that other fish have not. They prey on animals at the bottom. While most fish swim higher in the water column, batfish “walk” along the floor. It’s an amazing adaptation if you ask us! Think batfish celebrate Halloween?

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Guess the Shark

Guess the Shark

Can you guess the shark species with the cartoon clues? Hint- each shark has the name of another animal too! Answers at bottom.

 

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1- Tiger shark, 2- whale shark 3- cat shark 4- bull shark 5- zebra shark

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, sharks, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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