A sea creature is any animal that lives in the ocean. What with sea creatures' wide variety of shapes, colours and sizes, it's little wonder that children find them fun to learn about. Sharing interesting facts about these organisms will not only further a child's education but will keep them entertained for hours and may even help them form the beginnings of an interest in marine biology that lasts a lifetime.
Marine species that are classified as fish not only include sea bass, eels and angelfish, but also seahorses and sharks. Certain species of saltwater fish, including black sea bass, are born female but become male as they grow up. Emperor angelfish can also change sex; when a male dies, one of his female mates, or "wives," turns into a male and becomes the leader of the other mates. Unlike most fish, certain types of eel can swim backwards. The seahorse is the only species of fish to swim upright, whilst sharks are the only fish with eyelids.
As of 2013, there are more than 120 species of marine mammals, including dolphins, whales, seals and polar bears. The diversity of this group of species means it is a rich mine of fascinating facts. Dolphins and whales swallow their food whole as opposed to chewing it. When a seal gives birth, one way she initially forms a bond with her newborn pup is to smell it. Unlike humans, who often get water up their noses when they put their heads underwater, polar bears have the advantage of their nostrils automatically closing when under water.
Facts about reptiles, especially marine reptiles, will get the attention of at least one child in the classroom. Saltwater crocodiles can not only be found in the sea, but also in rivers and swamps. Unlike the tortoise, the sea turtle cannot retract its head into its shell. Despite being venomous, sea snakes are rarely aggressive. There is only one species of marine lizard, the marine iguana. It can only be found in the Galapagos Islands.
The types of cephalopod children are most likely to know of are octopuses and squid. Both of these creatures are able to change colour faster than a chameleon and can also change shape. The earliest known ancestor of the modern squid lived approximately 555 million years ago. The vampire squid, which is actually an octopus, has an interesting way of getting predators to leave it alone. It bites off one of its own arms and the arm then floats off, luring away the predator with a glowing blue light.
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- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: Global Distribution and Conservation of Marine Mammals
- Athropolis: Polar Bear - Marine Mammal
- Marine Mammal Conservancy: Fun Facts About Dolphins and Whales
- Scottish Natural Heritage: Seal Facts
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Maryland Fish Facts - Black Sea Bass