Unusual Animals Whale of a Tale - Marine Mammals JAWS Bird Brains Sea Turtles

100

What is the pancake batfish? Not a lot is known about the little fish, which lives on the bottom, covered in sand. They look like - you guessed it - a pancake!
Two new species of this fish were just discovered in the oil spill zone.

100

What is the sperm whale? Routinely holding their breath for about 45 minutes, sperm whales can dive half a mile to hunt fish and squid. When they arrive at the surface, they spend about nine minutes breathing and preparing for their next dive.
This whale is the largest of the toothed whales.

100

What is the nurse shark? Unlike most sharks, which require constant motion to move water over their gills and maintain a sufficient internal blood pressure, the nurse shark often remains motionless along the bottom - actively pumping water over its gills through the continual opening and closing of its mouth.
This shark prefers to lay motionless on the bottom in shallow waters in the gulf.

100

What is the brown pelican. While the Brown Pelican is draining the water from its bill after a dive, gulls often try to steal the fish right out of its pouch. They sometimes even perch on the pelican's head or back and reach in. The pelican itself, however, is not above stealing fish from other seabirds. It also follows fishing boats and hangs around piers for handouts.
The state bird of Louisiana.

100

What is Kemp's Ridley sea turtle? They grow to only about 2-3 feet.The Kemp's Ridley turtle is the most endangered of the sea turtles.The species nests only along a small stretch of coastline in the Gulf of Mexico.
The smallest sea turtle species in the gulf.

200

What is the oarfish? The world's longest bony fish, the oarfish lives most of it's life in deep waters, but sometimes surfaces when it is sick or dying. Can you imagine seeing a 30 foot oarfish sticking it's head out of the water?!?
Throughout history, this harmless fish was mistaken for a giant sea serpent.

200

What is the manatee? Because they are slow moving, it is hard for them to get out of the way of the boat motor. In 2009, Florida recorded 97 mantee deaths due to boats. OBSERVE THE NO WAKE ZONES!!!! Go to the Save the Manatee Club website for lots of good info.
Boat props are the main danger to this slow moving, vegetarian marine mammal.

200

What is the Whale Shark? Fortunately for most sea-dwellers—and us!—their favorite meal is plankton. They scoop these tiny plants and animals up, along with any small fish that happen to be around, with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water's surface.
This is the largest fish in the world.

200

What is the whooping crane? The endangered cranes, lay only two eggs per year and typically raise one chick.
The tallest bird in North America.

200

What is the green sea turtle? Adult green sea turtles are herbivores, meaning that they eat only plants. Green sea turtles get their name from the color of their body fat, which is green from the algae they eat. Juvenile green sea turtles on the other hand are carnivorous. Their diet consists of jellyfish and other invertebrates.
This adult sea turtle eats only plants, while the young are carnivourous.

300

What is the giant squid? In 2009, scientists caught a live giant squid in the Gulf of Mexico. The specimen is at The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for scientists to study.
The largest animal without a backbone.

300

What is the Killer Whale or Orca? The fishing boat Shady Lady shot video footage of 4 pods of killer whales feeding on tuna about 95 miles off of the shores of Orange Beach, FL. Check out the internet for the footage! This as not the first sghting of pods of killer whales in the gulf.
People were stunned to see evidence that this SeaWorld favorite lives in the Gulf of Mexico.

300

What is the hammerhead shark? Like all sharks, hammerheads have electroreceptory sensory pores called ampullae of Lorenzini. By distributing the receptors over a wider area, hammerheads can sweep for prey more effectively. These sharks have been able to detect an electrical signal of half a billionth of a volt. The hammer shape of the head also allows the nostrils to be placed further apart, increasing its ability to smell out & locate prey.
This shark is named for the shape of its head.

300

What is the Roseate Spoonbill? Their North American breeding habitat is restricted to coastal Texas, southwestern Louisiana, and southern Florida. As a Roseate Spoonbill hunts for food, it walks and swings its head back and forth in a sideways motion. When the bird feels a prey item it snaps its bill closed, pulls the prey out of the water, and swallows it.
This large pink bird has long legs, a long neck, and a long, spatula like bill.

300

What is the hawksbill turtle? Hawksbills feed primarily on sponges. This accounts for their close association with coral reef and rock formations. Their shell is made of overlapping plates called scutes. These beautifully colored scutes are called tortoise shell, which is highly sought after to make a variety of expensive trinkets including earrings, bracelets, combs, jewelry boxes and even table tops. But I think plastic 'tortoise shell' can look just as good!
These sea turtles have beautifully colored shells that are higly prized and make them a target for over harvesting by humans.

400

Who is Pinky, the pink dolphin? The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes indicating its albinism. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws. Check out Don Dubuc's website for pictures!
This famous albino animal lives in Lake Calcasieu, an inland saltwater estuary, north of the Gulf of Mexico.

400

What is Bryde's whale? There are 2 types of whales: baleen and toothed. Baleen whales use baleen (a filter) like a strainer and feed on smaller animals such as krill and crustaceans. Other baleen whales, such as the Sei whale, stop by the Gulf of Mexico during their migration.
This whale is the only 'baleen' type whale to live in the gulf year round.

400

What is the Bull Shark? This aggresive species can be found primarily in shallow coastal waters and is common in lagoons, bays, and river mouths. Bull sharks can also be found in fresh water that connects with salt water and have been caught in the Mississippi River as far upstream as Illinois.
This shark can survive in fresh water.

400

What is the least tern? The least tern is listed as threatened or endangered in almost every state where it is found, and the federal government considers it "of special concern." While it doesn't breed solely along the Gulf Coast, this shorebird would suffer from the loss or damage to beach habitat.
This bird is the smallest of the terns.

400

What is the Loggerhead? This is a trick question ... The Leatherback turtle actually gets bigger, but it's shell is soft. Female Loggerheads will often return, sometimes over thousands of miles, to the beach where they hatched so they can lay their eggs. Although it is the most abundant sea turtle in U.S, waters, the loggerhead is still an endangered species.
The world's largest hard shelled turtle.

500

What is the Blue Fin Tuna? Tuna are able to warm their entire bodies through a heat exchange system (called the rete mirabile), which helps keep heat inside their body, and keeps them from losing heat through their gills. Their swimming muscles are near the center of their bodies instead of near the surface, which also helps control heat loss. Swordfish and some sharks also have ways of heating their blood - which allows them to hunt for food in cold waters.
This large predatory fish is actually considered warm blooded.

500

What is the Rough-toothed dolphin? Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach is the only place in North America to keep the Rough-toothed Dolphin in captivity for extended periods of time.All of Gulf World's seven Rough-toothed Dolphins are rehabbing from injuries that will prevent them from being released back into the wild.
This dolphin, which is often mistaken for a Bottlenose Dolphin, is named for the vertical ridges or "wrinkles" on its teeth.

500

What is the large-tooth cookiecutter shark? This shark feeds on larger pelagic animals such as wahoo, tuna, billfishes, and marine mammals. It is a facultative ectoparasite, which means that it feeds on the flesh of other species causing them harm but not death and it is not dependent on these species for survival. The cookiecutter shark grabs hold of the flesh of its prey with its lips and bites using sharp upper teeth to grip the prey while it cuts the flesh with the large, serrated lower teeth. The cookiecutter shark then spins its body to remove a "cookie-shaped" plug of flesh which it swallows before releasing its prey. Gross!
This deep water, gulf dwelling shark gets it's name from the round (or cookie shaped) wounds it leaves on it's large prey.

500

What is a seagull? Rory actually was fishing with live bait off of the coast of Florida and a seagull swooped in and took it, hook and all. The bird had to be reeled in, the hook was removed and the angry bird was released!
This bird is a scevenger and has been known to be hooked by fishermen while fishing.

500

What are leatherback turtles? They can grow up to seven feet long and weigh over 2,000 pounds. These reptilian relics are the only remaining relatives of a family of turtles that swam the oceans more than 100 million years ago. While all other sea turtles have hard, bony shells, the leatherback's back plate (called a carapace) is somewhat flexible and almost rubbery to the touch. Leatherbacks can dive to depths of 4,200 feet - deeper than any other turtle—and can stay down for up to 85 minutes. Amazing!
These are the largest turtles on Earth.

Our gulf is in ... JEOPARDY!

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