The sarcastic fringehead (Neoclinus blanchardi) doesn’t really have much of a sense of humor. This small but territorial fish can be found inside shelters like empty clam shells, abandoned burrows, or even garbage thrown in the ocean. Their head often protrudes from these shelters as they wait to attack prey, intruders, or anything within their range of vision. If threatened, the fringehead first flexes its body and head while snapping its jaws—and if that doesn’t work, the fish then attacks with its needle-like teeth. Photo: Wikistudent348
In honor of World Jellyfish Day, we bring you the Cephea cephea, a jelly so nice they named it twice. This ocean dweller can reach over 20 inches in diameter and is sometimes called the Cauliflower Jellyfish because of its resemblance to the vegetable thanks to its eight brownish, mouth-arms. (It’s also been dubbed the Crown Jellyfish—which can be confusing, since that name is also used for other species.) Jellies have bodies that are made of two transparent layers: an outer one for protection and an inner one for digesting food. Between the two layers, you’ll find nothing but a watery gel—in fact, their bodies are more than 95% water!
This “furry” crustacean is still relatively new to the scientific world: the so-called Yeti crab was discovered in 2005 in the south Pacific Ocean in the scalding, sulfurous waters near the base of active hydrothermal vents. It has no eyes and bristle-covered claws that look remarkably fuzzy, and it’s so unlike other species that it was placed in its own family, Kiwaidae. But what’s up with those hairy pinchers? They contain colonies of bacteria that some scientists think the Yeti crab might snack on; others think the bacteria protect their host from the toxic water emitted by nearby vents. Photo: A. Fifis/Ifremer