Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Genesis Nature Blog

First of all, I want to thank all of you for following my blog here at Aqua Marine Discovery. You have all been such wonderful support and encouragement when my busy work schedule made it difficult to keep up with this blog. This blog has received over 230,000 unique visits, and over 325,000 page views since I started it. Your comments and support have encouraged me to start up blogging again, but I wanted to be able to write about all of the amazing aspects of nature, not just the creatures found in the ocean. So, I have created a new blog, which I hope you will enjoy even more than Aqua Marine Discovery.

Please visit my new blog on the link below, and let me know what you think of it!

Genesis Nature Blog


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Video of Cuttlefish Hunting

I mentioned in my earlier post that cuttlefish not only use their camouflage to hide, but also to confuse their prey. I finally found a good video of a cuttlefish trying to do this. This is a great example of how quickly the skin of a cuttlefish can change colors too.

In this case its prey is actually a plastic toy put there by a scuba diver, so it's attempts to confuse it don't seem to get much of a response. The only one confused here is the cuttlefish. The next video shows a cuttlefish hunting real fish.

When the diver gets too close, the cuttlefish suddenly switches from hunting prey to camouflaging from what he sees as a predator.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Cuttlefish have some of the most incredible camouflage of anything in the animal kingdom. Their highly complex brain allows them to control the cells in their skin to blend in perfectly with their surroundings, or flash colorful displays much like an LED billboard.

The cells on the skin of a cuttlefish are covered in tiny dots of all colors, much like the tiny dots that make up the screen of your computer. A cuttlefish can make their cells grow or shrink to bring out the perfect blend of colors to match whatever is around it.

Its skin can also change shape from its usual smooth texture to whatever matches its surroundings. When it combines its color and texture adaptation, a cuttlefish can become nearly invisible even in plain sight. Because it can change its camouflage almost instantly, cuttlefish are very good at stalking prey, or avoiding becoming a meal themselves.

Cuttlefish are excellent predators, feeding on small fish and crustaceans. They will sneak up on their prey until they are close enough to strike, then shoot out two of their longest tentacles like harpoons to grab onto their prey with their suction cups. Then they reel their victim back into their mouth. Cuttlefish will also sometimes flash waving patterns of bright colors to confuse their prey while they move in for the kill.

Cuttlefish are not actually fish as their name implies. They are mollusks, close relatives of octopus and squid. Unlike their boneless cousins, cuttlefish have an internal shell which acts a skeleton to help them hold their shape. Cuttlefish shells are often sold at pet stores as calcium supplements for birds.

Cuttlefish use their skin for more than just camouflage. They can also use their amazing control of color to communicate. They often change to bright colors when they are angry to warn other sea creatures or other cuttlefish to stay away. They also use their arms to communicate, holding them in certain positions as if they are using sign language.

I once found a cuttlefish while I was snorkeling in Cozumel. Unlike most marine life, it seemed genuinely curious about me. I swam in close and moved my fingers into the position it had its tentacles in. It waved its arms back and flashed bright colors at me as if it was trying to carry on a conversation. After a few minutes, the cuttlefish darted away and disappeared. I still wonder if I said something mean or just wasn't much fun to talk to.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pistol Shrimp

Pistol Shrimps are tiny creatures with a deadly weapon. They are capable of shooting supersonic blasts from their fingertips with enough force to instantly stun or kill their prey.

You may notice that one claw of a pistol shrimp is much larger than the other, and very strangely shaped. This claw serves as both its lethal weapon, and its voice. This claw can be forcefully snapped shut, shooting a jet of water out at such a high speed that it actually vaporizes the water. This causes a small air bubble to form. The bubble collapses with enough force to send concussive shockwaves capable of stunning and incapacitating prey.

A pistol shrimp will lie in wait under a rock or in a burrow until food comes along. When it is in range, the shrimp will forcefully snap its oversize claw shut, shooting out sonic waves that incapacitate its prey. The helpless victim is dragged unconscious into the burrow and eaten by the pistol shrimp.

Another unusual thing about pistol shrimps is that they often allow a fish to live with them. Certain kinds of goby fish often share burrows with pistol shrimp. The fish serves as a guard dog, protecting the shrimp from bigger predators. In return, the pistol shrimp works hard to keep the burrow clean and excavate their home.

The loud blast created by a pistol shrimp's claw can be heard from great distances. Because of this, they also use their claw for communicating with other pistol shrimps. When you listen underwater you may hear a lot of popping sounds. Some of them may be made by pistol shrimps firing off their sound waves to communicate with each other.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Frogfish are some of the most bizarre looking fish in the ocean. They are a type of angler fish with amazing adaptations for camouflage. Their bodies are oddly shaped and they can change colors to blend in with their environment. Most frogfish mimic corals, sponges, seaweed, or rocks. This camouflage keeps predators from identifying them as food, and it keeps their food from identifying them as predators.

Frogfish spend most of their lives scooting along the bottom of the ocean. They lie motionless, resting on specially modified fins that act almost like legs.

Like most angler fish, frogfish have a very clever method of hunting prey. Instead of going out to find their food, they bring their food to them. Frogfish have a small growth on their heads that looks like a small worm or fish. They dangle this lure in front of their mouth, tricking other fish into thinking it is food.

The fish come close, thinking they will eat an easy meal. Instead they become the meal for the frogfish.

Frogfish are found in oceans throughout the world, and they take on a staggering variety of shapes and colors.