Questionable Evolution

Category Archives: Oceans

Movin’ On Up: Hermit Crabs & the World’s Only Beachfront Social Housing

Common Name: The Hermit Crab A.K.A.: Superfamily Paguroidea Vital Stats: There are around 1100 species of hermit crabs in 120 genera Range in size from only a few millimetres to half a foot in length Some larger species can live for up to 70 years Most species are aquatic, although there are some tropical terrestrial …

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Back to the Deep, Part 2

Common Name: Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises A.K.A.:  Order Cetacea Vital Stats: While the lifespan of most whale species is unknown, evidence indicates bowhead whales can reach ages of around 200 years. Sexual maturity in whales occurs at around 7-10 years of age. Found: Throughout the world’s oceans, save the very northernmost regions It Does What?! …

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Back to the Deep, Part 1

Common Name: Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises A.K.A.:  Order Cetacea of Class Mammalia Vital Stats: Consists of 88 living species Order is divided into Odontoceti, the toothed whales (73 sp.), and Mysticeti, the baleen whales (15 sp.) Odontoceti includes both dolphins and porpoises The largest whale, a blue whale, can grow up to 30m (98’) in …

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EVOLUTION TAG TEAM, Part 3: Coral Polyps & the Garden Within

The third in an ongoing series of biology’s greatest duos. (Check out Parts One and Two) Common Name: Coral Polyps A.K.A.: Class Anthozoa, Subclass Hexacorallia Common Name: Coral Algae A.K.A.: Genus Symbiodinium Vital Stats: Polyps grow to a length of only a few centimetres, depending on species Coral can grow outward at a rate of …

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Thank a Horseshoe Crab

Common Name: Horseshoe Crab A.K.A.: Family Limulidae Vital Stats: Four extant species of horseshoe crab in three genera (Limulus, Carcinoscorpius, and Tachypleus) Females are larger than males, and can reach up to 60cm (24”) long in some species Believed to live between 20 and 40 years Found: Coastal waters of southeast Asia, Oceania, and eastern …

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Anglerfish: Absorbing Ladies and their Freeloading Mates

Common Name: Anglerfish A.K.A.: Order Lophiiformes Vital Stats: Comprised of 322 species in 18 different families Most range in size from that of a ping pong ball to that of a football Some can reach over a metre in length and weigh 27kg (59lbs.) Found: Throughout the world’s oceans, mostly in deeper regions It Does …

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What’s the matter, louse got your tongue? (Cymothoa exigua)

Common Name: The Tongue-Eating Louse A.K.A.: Cymothoa exigua Vital Stats: Females are 8-29mm long by 4-14mm wide (0.3”-1.1” x 0.16”-0.55”) Males are 7.5-15mm long by 3-7mm wide (0.3-0.6” x 0.12”-0.28”) Preys on 8 species of fish from 4 different families Found: In the Eastern Pacific, between the Southern U.S. and Ecuador It Does What?! With …

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Sea Cucumbers, or, How to Really Lose Weight Fast

Common Name: Sea Cucumbers, Holothurians A.K.A.: Class Holothuroidea Vital Stats: Approximately 1250 species Size: 2-200cm (¾” to 6.5’) Lifespan: 5-10 years in the wild Found: Throughout the oceans, in both shallow and very deep regions It Does What?! Where to begin? This is an odd one… To start, despite the name sea cucumber, this isn’t …

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If the Eyes are the Window to the Soul, this Fish has a Sunroof

Common Name: Barreleye Fish A.K.A.: Macropinna microstoma  (and related species) Vital Stats: Size: 15cm (6″) long Depth: 600-800m (2000′-2600′) below sea level Discovered: 1939 First Photographed: 2008 Found: Subarctic and Temperate regions of the North Pacific It Does What?! As you have likely already noticed, fish don’t have necks. At least not in the sense …

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A Shellfish Goes to the Dark Side (Sacculina carcini)

Common Name: Crab Barnacle, or the charmingly descriptive Dutch term “krabbenzakje,” meaning “crab bag” A.K.A.: Sacculina carcini (and other Sacculina species) Found: In the coastal waters of Europe and North Africa It Does What?! Most barnacles, those almost quaint crusts seen decorating old piers and ships, live their lives by cementing themselves to a hard …

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