As we celebrate all things spooky and strange in October, we bring you this series of three posts that showcases some seriously weird marine life. First up, six strange sea creatures at S.E.A. Aquarium which look like they came right out of a sci-fi movie.
1. Giant Isopod
Growing up to 40cm long, the Giant Isopod looks like a mega bug from outer space but is actually a crustacean, and a close relative of shrimps and crabs. Found in the cold depths of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, this deep sea scavenger can survive without eating for as long as 5 years. It has compound eyes just like houseflies and curls up into a “ball” when threatened by predators.
2. Longnose Unicornfish
Whoever said unicorns don’t exist hasn’t been to our aquarium. Check out the Longnose Unicornfish. See that bony protrusion on its head? That’s how it got its name. Like the surgeonfish which belongs to the Acanthuridae family, the Longnose Unicornfish also has scalpel-like spines on either side of its tail. These spines are used to defend itself against predators.
3. Largetooth Sawfish
If there is a marine slasher flick, the Largetooth Sawfish will most likely play the lead role. What looks like teeth on its nightmarish rostrum are in fact modified tooth-like structures called denticles, and its rostrum is covered with electrosensitive pores. Once it detects a prey, it will slash at the prey with its saw (rostrum). Check out more curious facts about Sienna the largetooth sawfish that resides at S.E.A. Aquarium.
4. Walking Shark
The Epaulette Shark, also called the Walking Shark, is known to use its pectoral and pelvic fins as prototype legs to move around. It can tolerate low oxygen conditions by slowing down its breathing and switching off non-essential brain functions. This natural adaptation helps them hunt for crabs and worms in low-oxygen tide pools.
It is neither playing dead nor trying to deep dive. This is just how the Razorfish swims – vertically. Like its relative, the seahorse, it has a long, slender snout with a small toothless mouth at the tip which it uses to suck in tiny crustaceans and zooplankton.
Also known as the Mexican salamander(Ambystoma mexicanum), the Axolotl is a neotenic salamander. Its perpetual smile isn’t the only thing that baffles humans. Its ability to regrow lost limbs is probably one of nature’s greatest mysteries. Scientists are studying how regeneration works in this amazing animal in the hope of recreating the phenomenon in human beings. Learn more about the critically endangered Axolotl here
All these bizarre creatures can be found at S.E.A. Aquarium.