We hope that you enjoy reading and learning from this article about 4 Bizarre Marine Fish. The specific species spoken of herein serve as good examples of a basic principle of evolution. That’s the fact that Nature apparently believes that variety is the spice of life!
Obviously, however, these few creatures represent only a handful of the astounding number of species thriving in the depths. It’s out hope, though, that learning of these few will serve as a catalyst. Let it whet your appetite for more, and check out other articles.
Epaulette Shark Facts
- Leading off this article about 4 Bizarre marine Fish is the fascinating work of Nature known best as the Epaulette Shark.
- The descriptive term for this shark serves as the common name for an unusual variety of shark. Its scientific name, however, is the somewhat difficult to pronounce term of Hemiscyllium ocellatum. By either name, though, it’s a fascinating species.
- Originally, it bore a different, and slightly more pronounceable, official name. That term, assigned during its first scientific recognition, was Squalus ocellatus. The French naturalist Pierre Joseph Bonnaterre bestowed that initial title in 1778.
- It’s best known, though, for the astounding ability it evolved. This variety of shark literally, and frequently, walks across the ocean floor, or even dry land! The fish manages this locomotion by using its fins to undulate its way across the seabed.
- Fortunately, the population base of the marvelous Epaulette Shark appears to be both sufficient and comparatively stable. The IUCN, therefore, presently lists this marvel of Nature as Least Concern. That status appears on its Red List of Threatened Species.
- This amazing fish nevertheless faces at least some potential threats to its continued existence. Like every other living thing on the planet, climate change could pose a serious threat in the near future. For the moment, though, few other factors threaten it.
Epaulette Shark Physical Description
The visually surprising Epaulette Shark constitutes a mesmerizing species, in the opinions of some individuals. It does not, however, earn this distinction due to sheer size. That’s because this wonderful animal actually ranks as a very small variety of shark.
Individuals of both genders also attain an average length of between 27 – 35 in (70 – 90 cm). Exceptional specimens, though, grow to as much as 42.1 in (107 cm). Yet, unlike many related species, this fish does not display any noticeable degree of sexual dimorphism.
The body of the Epaulette Shark develops as quite slender, and relatively elongated. Its snout, meanwhile, appears rounded and very short in structure. It also possesses between 26 – 35 rows of teeth in its upper jaw, along with 21 – 32 rows of teeth within its lower jaw.
The most noteworthy feature is the one that’s the source of the common name. That’s the presence of a large black spot behind each pectoral fin, surrounded by a white ring. The rest of the body also displays a brownish to beige shade, with brown spots and bands.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Chondrichthyes
- Order: Orectolobiformes
- Family: Hemiscylliidae
- Genus: Hemiscyllium
- Species: H. ocellatum
Epaulette Shark Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Sadly, the Epaulette Shark has one factor limiting its potential for successful competition with related species. That’s the fact that it only appears to live in a highly restricted portion of the globe. That range further consists of parts of the western Pacific Ocean.
More specifically, its only confirmed range extends from the northern coast of Australia to the southern shores of New Guinea. Unconfirmed reports, however, indicate the possibility that a small population may also exist around Sumatra, Malaysia, and the Solomon Islands.
Like many of the other small varieties, this particular shark evolved as a bottom-dwelling species. In its case, though, the creature rarely appears at depths greater than 131 ft (40 m). It also principally inhabits regions of coral reef, including the Great Barrier Reef.
Like virtually all known shark types, the small yet impressive Epaulette Shark evolved as a carnivore. Its own size, however, restricts its choices of prey. These mainly consist of various small fish and crustaceans. But, it also occasionally feeds on polychaete worms.
Regardless of its prey of choice at a given moment, it most commonly hunts during period of low tide. Apart from this, its greatest periods of activity typically occur at dusk and dawn. Its own predators, meanwhile, include other, larger sharks, and grouper.
Giant Trevally Facts
- Our next choice for inclusion among these 4 Bizarre Marine Fish is the extraordinary creature known as the Giant Trevally.
- Perhaps most notably, one fact truly stands out from the others about the amazing ocean species. That’s the relatively surprising fact that the impressive creature actually constitutes an apex predator in most of the regions it inhabits.
- The highly distinctive species holds this impressive status due to a combination of several fascinating factors. Firstly, in one part of its native habitat range, this fascinating fish has developed a remarkable behavioral trait.
- This holds true because the wonder of Nature frequently shadows the movements of certain seals. By doing this, the resourceful fish often catches prey preoccupied with escaping the seals. It literally lets the seals do its work for it.
- Secondly, the fish does not simply play it safe. In fact, this species also sometimes employs the same technique with various sharks. The amazing animal utilizes this highly evolved strategy both singly and working in groups, in coordination.
- Finally, it shows itself to have an incredible ability. Individuals in one specific part of its range use the most remarkable strategy of all. There, many individuals of the Giant Trevally prey on young terns, as they fall into the water while learning to fly.
Giant Trevally Physical Description
Quite clearly, the Giant Trevally lives up to the most often used common name. That holds true because the fascinating creature ranks as the largest species in its genus. Most related species remain much smaller in terms of length and weight.
Most notably, rare individuals sometimes measure up to as much as a truly astonishing 5.57 ft (1.7 m) in length. Some specimens also weigh as much as an astounding 176 lb (80 kg). Most individuals, however, rarely exceed lengths of more than 31.5 in (80 cm).
The body of this animal also typically has an impressively elongated shape. It also displays an ovate body, with a marginally compressed form. These facts, therefore, make the overall appearance of the creature remarkably similar to related species.
But, unlike some species, the Giant Trevally does not display any degree of sexual dimorphism. In both genders, the coloring is a silvery-gray. Yet older individuals often turn almost completely black. The upper body and head often appear darker in both sexes.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Perciformes
- Family: Carangidae
- Genus: Caranx
Giant Trevally Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Quite fortunately, the marvelous Giant Trevally has a comparatively wide distribution range. To be more precise, it inhabits specific sections of both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This substantial range further extends along the coasts of three continents.
But within than range, this impressive species only inhabits tropical and subtropical waters. However, that area also includes hundreds of islands and archipelagos of all sizes. Some of these even include Madagascar and the Maldives.
Its versatility, though, is not merely limited to its geographical range. That’s because it also thrives in a wide range of both inshore and offshore marine environments. The awesome Giant Trevally even sometimes appears in places like estuaries and rivers.
Finally, its feeding patterns understandably vary from region to region, and its diet does also. But, the majority of its prey includes fish, cephalopods, crustaceans, mollusks. Yet, its appetite even extends to birds in one part of its range.
Crocodile Fish Facts
- The third of our selections to add to this listing of 4 Bizarre Marine Fish is the dazzling work of evolution named the Crocodile Fish.
- The definitely attention-grabbing term for the fish serves as one of the accepted common names for this remarkable marine species. It also goes by another common name, though. That alternate name’s the equally distinctive Tentacled flathead.
- Its scientific name, meanwhile, remains almost unpronounceable. That’s because it bears the tongue-twisting official designation of Papilloculiceps longiceps. By either of these terms, however, it’s undeniably a visually distinctive species.
- The French naturalist and zoologist, Georges Cuvier, made the first official recognition of the animal as a separate species. This landmark event took place in 1829. Quite surprisingly, despite his body of work, he strongly opposed the concept of evolution.
- Fortunately, the Crocodile Fish also appears to be maintaining a fairly sizeable and stable population. The fascinating creature further seems to be doing so throughout the entirety of its natural range. It’s also now spread to other areas of the globe.
- It’s believed it migrated through the man-made access provided by the Suez Canal. This, however, provided it with the opportunity to expand beyond its native range, albeit artificially. The IUCN, due to these combined factors, lists it as Least Concern.
- Although its current situation seems secure, that could change. That’s because, like most of the forms of life on earth, it now faces new threats to its continued existence. While these vary, the greatest threat no doubt comes from ongoing climate change.
Crocodile Fish Physical Description
Although it’s true that the Crocodile Fish creates a highly imposing and intimidating appearance, it doesn’t do so due to sheer size. That’s because it actually ranks as a small variety of marine fish. Nature, it seems, places no importance on size in its various creations.
The remarkable fish further displays a moderate degree of the physiological trait of sexual dimorphism. In its particular case, this characteristic manifests itself in terms of simple size. More specifically, males of the species generally attain a greater length than females.
The difference remains relatively small, though. Overall, however, it averages roughly 19.7 in (50 – 60 cm) in total length. Exceptional specimens do occur, however. These singularly impressive individuals sometimes reach lengths of as much as 27.5 in (70 cm).
In appearance, meanwhile, individuals of both genders achieve the same general pattern. Overall, the Crocodile Fish presents a mottled combination of gray, green, and brown. This coloring, along with a knobby skin surface, gives it excellent camouflage in its habitat.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Scorpaeniformes
- Family: Platycephalidae
- Genus: Papilloculiceps
- Species: P. longiceps
Crocodile Fish Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Perhaps most notably, the current range of distribution of the amazing Crocodile Fish now exceeds its original one. Even now, however, its territorial range remains comparatively restricted. Its entire range still fits entirely within the Eastern Hemisphere.
More precisely, though, its native range consists solely of the Red Sea, in the Western Indian Ocean. Now, however, the actions of man have allowed it to spread to portions of the Mediterranean. For the moment, it does not appear to be expanding any further than that.
Regardless its exact location, though, the creature demonstrates a decided preference in its choice of habitat. Throughout the entirety of its range, both natural and artificial, it lives on the ocean bottom. It does nevertheless appear there only in shallow depths, near reefs.
The fascinating Crocodile Fish hunts exclusively as a predatory carnivore. On the sandy sea floor, its natural appearance allows it to lay in wait for unsuspecting prey to approach. From its concealment, it strikes, eating virtually any fish small enough to fit in its mouth.
Green Sawfish Facts
- Our final entry into this compendium of 4 Bizarre Marine Fish is the amazingly evolved animal appropriately known as the Green Sawfish.
- Perhaps most notably, the unique term for the species serves as one of the common names for a highly impressive variety of marine fish. Further, this particular species also goes by numerous other common names, in various parts of its range.
- These include those of the Longcomb fish, and the narrowsnout sawfish. Meanwhile, though, this extremely fascinating wonder of Nature also bears a comparatively simple scientific name, unlike some species. It bears the name of the Pristis zijsron.
- Regardless of which name one uses to refer to the creature, it remains a most interesting species. First of all, despite a common belief, as a member of the Pristidae Family, this truly remarkable marine animal actually forms a type of ray.
- In point of fact, many people believe this remarkable creature of the seas to represent another form of shark. Further, and most impressively, it also ranks as perhaps the largest of all currently known species of its type.
- Quite regrettably, though, the presently known population of the marvelous Green Sawfish has declined dramatically in recent decades. As a result of this sad state of affairs, the IUCN currently lists the animal as Critically Endangered.
- Additionally, this lamentable status appears on the organization’s Red List of Threatened Species. It does so for several reasons. Historically, commercial fishing constituted the greatest threat to this particular fish, as it does for so many others.
- Nevertheless, given its current numbers, that threat, though certainly still present, has taken a back seat to others. The dual perils of habitat loss and ongoing climate change likely now form the most severe threats to its continued existence.
Green Sawfish Physical Description
Although many reasons to appreciate the Green Sawfish exist, its most impressive characteristic remains its sheer physical size. Quite interestingly, although it does display the common trait of sexual dimorphism, this species does so in a most unusual manner.
That holds true due to the fact that, in the case of this animal, this manifests itself in terms of the prongs on the rostrum. Firstly, the males possesses an average of 18 prongs on each side of the rostrum. Meanwhile, the females only display a total of 15 of these per side.
Further, the name of the creature partly derives from the color scheme it presents. This holds true because the upper portions of its body display a greenish-brown or olive color. In the meantime, though, the under part of the body has an off-white coloring to it.
The remarkable Green Sawfish also remains noteworthy for its physical measurements. In fact, mature adults of the species attain a body length averaging roughly 20 ft (6 m). However, exceptional specimens occasionally grow to a length of as much as 24 ft (7.3 m).
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Chondrichthyes
- Order: Pristiformes
- Family: Pristidae
- Genus: Prisits
- Species: P. zijsron
Green Sawfish Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Green Sawfish evolved as native to a relatively wide area of the world. That’s due to the fact that, according to research, it originally inhabited a huge range. That was an area that covering roughly 2.3 million sq mi (5.9 million sq km) of ocean.
More precisely, historically its range included and area that began with the waters off Australia. This also extended to southeast Asia, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and all the way to the coast of the country of South Africa, on the continent of Africa.
Today, this majestic creature only occupies a tiny fraction of the area it once appeared in. Furthermore, the majority of known individuals now live in one fairly concentrated area. That’s the waters around Australia, including the well known Shark Bay.
This fact sets it apart from related species in yet another manner. That’s because the waters in this area remain significantly colder than those occupied by most rays. The fascinating fish also possesses decided preferences for its choice of habitats.
Firstly, the amazing fish primarily appears in coastal waters. Secondly, though, it also inhabits regions of mangrove forest, and occasionally even appears in various estuaries. It does occasionally venture into rivers, but such trips do not occur often.
It also prefers areas of shallow water. As a result, it rarely appears in areas with depths exceeding 230 ft (70 m). Here, it evolved the state we find it in today. Like other related species, the awesome Green Sawfish evolved as an entirely carnivorous predator.
Despite its fearsome appearance, it remains harmless to humans, unless captured. To its prey, though, it’s a deadly hunter. This mainly consists of various small molluscs, crustaceans, and fish. These it stuns first with its rostrum, by swinging it from side to side.
4 Bizarre Marine Fish
We truly hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated this article about 4 Bizarre Marine Fish. Of course, these few only scratch the surface of the strange and unusual, and in some cases bizarre, forms of life that evolved to inhabit the depths of the oceans.
Unfortunately, however, some of these 4 Bizarre Marine Fish now find themselves facing great peril. many of them, in fact, are close to extinction. It’s left up to each and every one of us to do all that we can to protect and preserve these many wonders of Nature.