Truer words could not be said, as those by Jacques Cousteau on the ocean. To those not already in awe of the fantastical world known as the sea, I welcome you.
The aim of this blog is to shed light on the creatures dwelling in the sea, to investigate the evolution of certain characteristic defences to selected species. There may be even more intriguing predatory strategies in aquatic species, however, I would like to focus on the underdogs of the sea. To see how some species have evolved unique ways to defend themselves against sea monsters. Some examples are:
The invisible squid and octopus
Onychoteuthis banksii & Japetella heathi
Morphological defence mechanism to avoid being seen by turning invisible with predators lurking above, and pigmented when predators hunt from below. More details on this later.(Zylinski & Johnsen 2011)
The pom pom crab
Behavioural defence mechanism to fend off predators using stinging sea anemone as boxing gloves, hence the second common name “boxing crab”. However, when seen with the sea anemone while performing the sexual attraction dance, it may resemble a dance routine for a cheerleading squad. (Schnytzer et al 2013)
From the family Myxinidae
Physiological defence mechanism where the fish secretes a slime that evolves into an intricate network of mucus, enveloping the threat and allowing the fish to escape by strategically wriggling the slime off. (Bernards et al 2014)
These are but an excerpt of the defence mechanism I will talk about. There will be coverage of superhero like super powers, adaptations that befuddle scientists, and remembrance of certain characteristic species and their defence mechanisms. Simultaneously I will try to unveil where these unique adaptations came from, still recognizing there are certain things we do not know yet. Like which species I will cover next week, stay tuned.