Lots of blue paint to the ready, this will be my 3rd year joining in with

#the100dayprojecton Instagram @AliEllyDesign

A new artwork each and every day starting April 2018 inspired by #100daysofbluesealife

lots of painting, patterns and loads of all my favourite blues. 

 

Always learning, I’m planning to explore more about each sea creature as I go, so I’ll also have 3 fun facts each day.

I’m so excited to get back to daily creating...🖌

 

 

 

Day 1/100 

Blue Mussel (Mytilus Edulis)

 

1. They grow a hair-like substance to attach themselves to rocks in places where the sea is very stormy and rough. These byssal threads of mussels are so strong that they can cling to even a Teflon surface.

 

2. Mussels feed entirely on plankton. To do this they can filter up to 65 litres of water a day.

 

 

3. Pearls are not only found in oysters, it is possible to find one even in a common mussel. Scientists of Oxford University found a colony of mussels containing rare black pearls. 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2/100

Spotted lantern fish (Myctophum punctatum)

 

1. It gets its name from its ability to produce light. The light is produced by tiny organs known as photophores. A chemical reaction gives off light process known as bioluminescence, the same process used by fireflies.

 

2. They grow to 11 cm and can be found at depths of 1000m.

 

3. There are lanternfish all over the Earth, scientists think there are more lanternfish than any other type of deep-sea creature.

 

 

 

 

Day 3/100

Atlantic horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus)

 

1. It gets its common name from the legend that other smaller species of fish could ride on its back over great distances.

 

2. The immune system of the horse mackerel allows it to hide among the tentacles of the man-of-war via toxin immunity.

 

3. They can grow up to 60cm and live to 20 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4/100

Boar fish (Capros aper)

 

1. This clever fish can swim backwards very effectively.

 

2. It grows up to 30cm.

 

3. It’s also know as the Zulu Fish, it seems to have acquired the name of another fish by accident.

 

 

 

Day 5/100

Short Snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus)

 

1.  The eyes of a seahorse resemble a chameleon’s eyes; which means that the seahorse is able to look backwards and also forwards at the exact same time.

 

2. They eat all the time because their bodies don’t contain stomachs and they have no teeth to chew with. As a result, food they eat passes their bodies at a very fast rate so if they don’t eat constantly they’d die. 

 

 

3.Like all seahorses they are monogamous and form faithful pair bonds.

 

 

 

 

Day 6/100

Pacific Sardine (Sardinops Sagax)

 

1. Sardines are named after the Mediterranean Island of Sardinia.

 

2. Like synchronised swimmers, sardines in a school move together as one.

 

3. Can live as long as 14 years old, however, 90% of the population is younger than 6 years old. 

 

 

 

 

Day 7/100

White legged shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus)

 

1. In order to protect themselves from predators, shrimp have a sharp beak called the rostrum, this beak also serves as a stabilizer when swimming backwards and forwards in the water.

 

2. Within their schools, audio communication occurs, snapping and clicking is thought to play a role in both how they socialize and how they intimidate other marine life.

 

3.Just one shrimp can lay up to one million eggs and they can easily adapt to new conditions in the water, accounting for their vast numbers in every ocean on earth.

 

 

 

Day 8/100

Flounder (Paralichthys lethosigma)

 

1. Like chameleons, flounder may change the colours and patterns of their exposed skin to match the bottom on which they are hiding.

 

2.Flounder have been found at the bottom of the Mariana trench.

 

3.When flounder are hatched they have one eye on each side of its head. As they grow one eye moves until they have both eyes on the same side of the head.

 

 

 

Day 9/100

Cuttlefish (Sepiida)

 

1. The cuttlefish blood looks blue-green because it uses the pigment hemocyanin to carry oxygen, unlike our blood which uses the red pigment hemoglobin. They have three hearts, one for each set of gills and one for the rest of the body. 

Hemocyanin can’t carry as much oxygen as hemoglobin so the cuttlefish needs a faster blood flow to compensate.

 

2. They have very complex brains, able to distinguish between one and five and four and five, researchers concluded that they “are at least equivalent to infants and primates in terms of number sense”.

 

3. It has eight sucker-lined arms and two prehensile tentacles which can be withdrawn into pouches under the eyes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 10/100

Sable fish (Anoplopoma fimbria) 

 

1. Sablefish are extremely long-lived, some reaching over 90 years of age.

 

2. Commonly called “black cod”, this fish is actually not related to the cod family. 

 

3. They can live at depths of 1,500 metres below the sea level. 

 

 

 

Day 11/100

Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish or bluebottle (Physalia physalis)

 

1. They cannot swim, they float driven by the wind and currents with the aid of their gas-filled bladder. Some are left-sided, while others are right-sided and they drift at an angle of 45 degrees of the direction from which the wind is blowing. This distinction is crucial in the spreading of the jellyfish more evenly over the oceans of the world.

 

2. The tentacles with the stinging cells can get to be 165 feet - that’s longer than a blue whale.

 

3. The fossil records for the man-of-war go back 600 million years. 

 

 

 

Day 12/100

Pacific rock oysters (Crassostrea gigas)

 

1. There is a sub-species known as the pearl oyster but any oyster can produce pearls. A pearl forms when a foreign object such as a grain of sand, works its way inside the oyster's shell. This object irritates the oyster causing the it to produce a substance called nacre, which is a mixture of calcium and protein. Over many years a pearl is formed.

 

2. A group of oysters is called a colony, bed or reef and baby oysters are called spat.

 

3. Oysters can change from male to female. Younger ones are generally male, but by the time their two years old, most oysters change to female. If, however, there are too many females in the population, oysters can also switch back to male to boost the population.

 

 

 

 

Day 13/100

Northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica)

 

1. There are currently over 80 known species of krill that have been recorded living in the ocean. They are in every ocean and are an important part of the diet of whales, seals, fish, squid and many other marine species, playing a vital role in the global ecosystem.

 

2. There are 114,000 krill for each and every one of the 7 billion people on earth.

 

3. Krill can glow a yellow-green light for up to 3 seconds at a time. It is not known exactly why krill glow, but it is thought that krill illuminate to avoid predators from the deep by blending into the brightness of the sky and ice above the surface.

 

 

 

 

Day 14/100

Common starfish (Asterias rubens)

 

1. They don’t have a brain, however they are able to feel and make decisions using their senses. They can interpret the environment, look for food and respond to pain or danger by trying to move away from it. 

 

 2. Starfish don’t see as well as we do but they do have simple eyes. They have an eye spot at the end of each arm. This means that a five-armed sea star has five eyes with the 40-arm sun star has 40 eyes. The eye doesn't see much detail but it can sense light and dark.

 

3. If a starfish looses an arm they are able to regrow it over time. Among certain starfish species the limb that is lost from the starfish can grow into a completely new, identical copy of the original starfish.

 

 

 

 

Day 15/100

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

 

1. Bluefin tunas are built like torpedoes, they have streamlined bodies built for speed. They can retract their dorsal and pectoral fins to reduce drag reaching speeds of up to 43 miles per hour. Bluefish tuna can cross the Atlantic in fewer than 60 days.

 

2. Unlike other fish Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are warm blooded fish enabling them to be comfortable in a wide variety of water conditions.

 

3. Enjoyed by Japanese sushi lovers, Bluefin tuna has suffered a catastrophic decline in stocks and has sadly been endangered for several years.

 

 

 

 

Day 16/100

European spray (Sprattus sprattus)

 

1. Sprat is often a word used as a generic term for any kind of small fish but the European sprat is actually a specific species of fish. 

 

2. The sprats are tiny, herring-like oily fish, a little bit bigger than whitebait. Small and perfectly formed, their stocks are abundant. 

 

 

3. They are normally sold canned just like sardines and are very popular in Russia. 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 17/100

White spotted spinefoot  (Siganus canaliculatus) 

 

1. They have venomous spines which can inflict extremely painful injuries.

 

2. When resting on the bottom this fish changes from spots to a blotched pattern.

 

 

3. This species seems to tolerate turbid waters really well.

 

 

 

 

Day 18/100

Greater Blue-ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata)

 

1. Shifting in shape and color, the blue ring octopus is truly the chameleons of the sea. The beige grey skin becomes marked with bright blue rings when the octopus is threatened.

 

2. It has no skeleton and therefore is astonishingly compressible, it can squeeze through an opening no bigger than one of its eyeballs.

 

3. The Blue Ringed octopus has 3 hearts pumping blue blood, food digestion occurs in the brain it’s only the size of a golf ball but still carries enough poison to kill 26 humans in minutes. It is the only octopus that is poisonous to humans, despite this, it has only caused 3 recorded deaths worldwide because these beautiful creatures are very shy which is good news as their beaks are so strong that, they can penetrate through a wetsuit. 

 

 

 

 

Day 19/100

John Dory (Zeus faber)

 

1. Often called St Peter’s fish as he it’s alleged to be the origin of the distinctive dark thumbprint spot on its side after pulling one out of the sea on Jesus’s command. The name John Dory also derives from the French 'jaune doré' meaning 'golden yellow' another description for this unusual looking fish.

 

2. This large ‘eye’ confuses its prey and helps ward off its own predators.

 

3. They have an amazing retractable jaw, which they can extend like the tube on a hoover to suck up their prey. Their huge jaw means that even in smaller specimens, you can find some enormous fish in their bellies.

 

 

 

 

Day 20/100

Cockle (Cerastoderma edule)

 

1. Cockles have a sturdy, heavy shell that provides protection from physical damage, predators and drying out.They can live for up to 9 years.

 

2. They move with a powerful muscular foot and have even been witnessed springing with this strong foot on the bottom of the ocean floor.

 

3. The cockle has been collected, sold and eaten for hundreds of years. Mechanised forms of collecting, such as tractors and hydraulic dredging, have replaced more traditional methods such as hand raking.

 

 

 

 

Day 21/100

The garfish (Belone belone)

 

1. Garfish or needlefish are easily recognised by their long thin bodies and long needle like mouths, they can reach up to 1 m in length.

 

2. Their name comes from the old English meaning ‘spear’. Their long slender bodies give them amazing speed. They attack their prey from below and can often be seen breaching the surface, even jumping over rocks

 

3. Garfish have unusually very green bones which discourages many people from eating them.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 22/100

 

Triton's trumpet (Charonia tritonis)

 

1. This is a very large sea snail, reaching up to or 60 cm.

 

2. The giant triton looks harmless but it is a predator. It uses its teeth to inject its prey with a poison found in its spit, this poison paralyses its prey, which the triton then eats alive at leisure.

 

3. Because of the beauty and size of its shell, the Triton trumpet has been sought after by shell collectors and is now rare however protected by law in some countries, including Australia, Fiji, and the Seychelles. 

 

 

 

 

Day 23/100

Grey triggerfish (Balistes capriscus)

 

1. It has tough, sandpaper-like skin and a sharp spikey dorsal. This trigger-shaped fin is what gives the species its name, because when the fin is depressed it shoots out a second fin as a form of defence.

 

2. Triggerfish have small mouths but eight sharp teeth and strong jaws.

 

3. The triggerfish mainly eats shellfish, but it has a reputation for stealing the bait from fishermen. 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 24/100

Northern Anchovies (Engraulis mordax)

 

1. Anchovies school in large, tightly packed groups, swimming in vertical swirling funnels.

 

2. Anchovies tend to swim with their mouths wide open, gathering food, straining tiny plant and animal plankton from the water.

 

3. They have a short life cycle, able to spawn after 2 years and rarely live longer than 4 years.

 

 

 

 

Day 25/100

Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus)

 

1. Menhaden are the number one species, by volume harvested along the Atlantic coast and number two on the Pacific. They’re so oily that they are nearly inedible for humans however Menhaden oil is used in everyday products like lipstick, cookies, salad dressing, margarine, and fish oil supplements.

 

2. Menhaden is slow swimmer that lives and travels in large schools.

 

3. A large crustacean parasite is often found in menhaden mouths, this is why the fish are also called bugfish or bugmouth.

 

 

 

 

Day 26/100

 Painted top shell (Calliostoma zizyphinum)

 

1. The inside lip of the shell has a Mother-of-Pearl effect of multiple colour.

 

2. The shell can reach up to 3 cm around its body to protect it from the biotic and abiotic hazards of its environment.

 

3. The snail moves in a crawling motion from side to side rather than in a straight glide. 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 27/100

Greater Pipefish (Syngnathus acus)

 

1. The greater pipefish has a very small mouth which is located at the end of the long snout. This mouth does not open, they simply feed sucking their food.

 

2. It is closely related to the seahorse family, so the female passes eggs over to the male who will store them in a special pouch within his body.

 

3. They are poor swimmers as they have very small fins, this makes them easy prey for predatory fish species. However, their camouflage and hard scales work to provide protection in the seabed and weedy areas where they live.

 

 

 

 

Day 28/100

Red Bream (Pagellus bogaraveo)

 

1. Red sea bream are found at the bottom in rough, rocky, seaweedy ground.

 

2. It is a deeper water fish (hence the larger eyes) and hunts smaller fish around wrecks, caves and offshore structures.

 

3. They are omnivores with a mouth full of sharp teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 29/100

Blue fire Jellyfish (Cyanea lamarckism)

 

1. They are made of 95% water and grow to approx 20cm, but specimens grow to 30cm.

 

2. The venom of the blue jellyfish is reported as being toxic. If it is cut in two, the pieces can regenerate and create new jellyfish.

 

3. Jellyfish do not have brains but instead have nerve nets which detect environmental changes in  and coordinate the animals responses. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 30/100

Lesser Weever (Echiichthys vipera)

 

1. Lesser weever fish are small fish, around 15cm long, yellow sandy colour in appearance and have their eyes on top of their head.

 

2. Despite being a small fish it is one of the most dangerous fish found in UK waters due to the potent venom it can deliver. In the summer months lesser weever fish bury themselves under the sand with just their eyes and spines. If the spines of the weever fish pierce skin the venom is discharged. At first the only pain will be from the wound to the flesh, but soon the venom kicks in causing pain which can be excruciating.

 

3. They are poor swimmers as they do not possess a swim bladder. They have a surprising burst of speed over a few metres and use this to catch their prey but due to their lack of a swim bladder they sink unless they are swimming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 31/100

European plaice (Pleuronectus platessa)

 

1. Name "plaice" originates from the Anglo-French word "plais", derived from Latin word "platessa" which means "flatfish".

 

2. Plaice mainly eat molluscs, which are shelled animals like clams, cockles and mussels.

 

3. They can reach 3 feet in length and live to 50 years in the wild.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 32/100

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

 

1. Humpback whales actually have no teeth, they have baleen, filter-feeder system inside their mouths, to strain out water and keep in plankton, krill and small fish to swallow and eat.

 

2. A humpback whale has two blow holes on the top of its head, adult humpbacks surface every 7-15 minutes to breathe and can remain submerged for up to 45 minutes.

 

3. The average Humpback Whale weighs 40 tonnes and reaches lengths of up to 16 metres that’s the size of 11 Elephants or 600 persons.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 33/100

Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus)

 

1. Atlantic herring are one of the most abundant fish species on earth they have been found schooling in numbers upwards of several billion fish.

 

2. A study in 2003 reported that herring may communicate at night by breaking wind.

 

3. This colouration is called countershading and provides a way of camouflaging the fish from attacks.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 34/100

Pouting (Trisopterus luscus)

Also known as Pout, Bib, Whiting Pout, Blegg, Scotch Haddock.

 

1. Pouting are generally a small fish, seldom exceeding 30 centimetres in length and are found predominantly in European waters.

 

2. Previously ignored as a commercial fish, however the decline in the stocks of whitefish species has seen pouting acquire a growing value as a commercial fish.

 

3. They are a short lived fish with the maximum life expectancy thought to be around four years.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 35/100

Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)

 

1. Mackerels swim in large schools that can stretch up to 20 miles in length.

 

2. Mackerel are the fastest swimming fish in UK waters, able to swim around fifty metres in ten seconds.

 

3. There is an urban myth that once mackerel have been handled by humans they lose the protective coating on their scales and will be destined to die through disease, even if they initially swim off. Experiments by marine scientists have proved this theory to be complete nonsense. 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 36/100

blackbelly rosefish (Helicolenus dactylopterus)

 

1. This is a kind of Scorpionfish that lives in very deep waters of the Western Atlantic.  

 

2. The blackbelly rosefish is a typical sit-and-wait predator. It will stand on its pectoral fins, waiting patiently for prey to swim by.

 

3. The fish does not have a swimming bladder, so when it stops swimming it will sink back to the bottom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 37/100

Horse-eye Jack (Caranx latus)

 

1. Horse-eye Jacks are popular game fish for recreational anglers. They are presently considered highly vulnerable to extinction due to heavy fishing pressure.

 

2. It is a large fish, growing to a maximum recorded length of 101cm.

 

3. As they grow they are known to contain Cigua Toxin, a seafood poison that causes a myriad of gastrointestinal, neurologic and/or cardiovascular symptoms which last days to weeks, or even months. 

 

 

 

 

Day 38/100

Common wentletrap (Epitonium clathrus)

 

1. The shells themselves look as if they are perhaps inside out, the very distinctive shell has up to 15 loosely wound whorls.

 

2. Also called staircase shell or ladder shell, wentletrap actually means 'spiral staircase' in Dutch.

 

3. Wentletraps feed primarily on sea anemones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 39/100

Black Sea Bream (Spondyliosoma cantharus)

 

1. The black bream was once a rare fish around Britain, but rising sea temperatures have seen numbers rise.

 

2. They can grow up to 40cm.

 

3. Black sea bream is a hermaphrodite and undergoes a change in sex during its life.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 40/100

European Pilchard (Sardina pilchardus)

 

1. There is a huge amount of confusion over what exactly a European pilchard is. They are similar in appearance and behaviour to many other similar species so are often classified together in commercial catches due to the difficulty in identifying differences between them.

 

2. They grow to a maximum of 20cm.

 

3. Their main source of food is small planktonic crustaceans.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 41/100

Acorn Barnacle (Semibalanus balanoides)

 

1. Barnacles live in a shell made of 6 plates, that are grown once the young permanently attaches onto a surface, and they are commonly found in groups as another form of protection against predators.

 

2. Barnacles are sessile animals, they have no need for the walking legs that many of their crustacean relatives possess. Their legs have adapted over time to a different use, their modified legs, called cirri, to sweep tiny food particles from the water column and pass them to their mouth parts inside their protective plates.

 

3. They have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years.

 

 

 

 

Day 42/100

Sea Wasp (Chironex fleckeri)

 

1. The venom from a single sea wasp can kill up to 60 adults! Get stung badly enough and you could be dead within four minutes. Not everyone who has been stung by a Sea Wasp has died, but those who didn't may have wished they had, the sting is said to be excruciatingly painful.

 

2. The name sea wasp is misleading because the creature isn't actually a wasp or insect at all, it’s a jellyfish.

 

3. The "bell" of this box jelly can get as big as a basketball with up to 60 tentacles hanging down as long as 15 feet, which is pretty good sized jelly. 

 

 

 

Day 43/100

Atlantic croaker (Micropogonius undulatus)

 

1. This species gets its name from the deep croaking sound it makes from the voluntary contraction of muscles attached to the air bladder.  It’s still unclear why they make this croaking sound.

 

2. Atlantic croakers are also called hardheads while small croakers are called pin heads.

 

3. They can live for up to 8 years. 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 44/100

Arctic cowrie (Trivia arctica)

 

1. This species is a species of small sea snails, usually they live below low tide but the empty shells of this species are often washed up onto beaches.

 

2. The shell is glossy with 20-30 transverse ridges.

 

3. The shell length is up to a maximum of about 10 mm and a width of about 8 mm.

 

 

 

 

Day 45/100

By-the-wind-sailor (Velella velella)

 

1. They are a very unusual species of free floating hydrozoans.

 

2. The by-the-wind sailor’s body is a flat oval disk 6-7 cm in diameter containing a series of air-filled chambers that provide buoyancy. Below hangs a central mouth surrounded by specialised reproductive bodies that produce tiny medusae, little “jellyfish”, and stinging tentacles – which are harmless to humans.

 

3. Velella have either a right angled sail or a left angled sail and are blown along in the ocean breezes by the 45 degree single upright flat sail. They drift in swarms that can be over 62 miles wide.

 

 

 

 

Day 46/100

Brill (Scophthalmus rhombus)

 

1. Brill are a largeflatfish which is found throughout European waters.

 

2. When the young Brill are around 3.5 cm they undergo a metamorphosis and change from a vertical life to a horizontal position.

 

3. A bottom dweller that prefers a muddy, sandy or graveled sea floor from shallow waters down they dig themselves down in the bottom sediment for camouflage.

 

 

 

 

Day 47/100

Chesapeake blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)

 

1. The crab's blue hue stems from a number of pigments in the shell. When the crab is cooked, the alpha-crustacyanin breaks down, leaving only the astaxanthin, which turns the crab to a bright purple.

 

2. Blue crabs grow by shedding their exoskeleton, or molting, to expose a new, larger exoskeleton.

 

3. It is very aggressive when threatened, except when it has recently molted and still has soft shells leaving it vulnerable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 48/100

King Scallop (Pecten maximus)

 

1. Each ring on a scallop’s shell represents a year of growth, although a ring might also record a stressful incident in the scallop’s life.

 

2. Scallops have up to 100 eyes around the edge of their mantles. These respond to light and dark allowing them to detect changing patterns of light and motion.

 

3. Unlike the mussel and the oyster, the scallop cannot close and seal its shell completely and so can only survive in the deeper, full salinity sea water.

 

 

 

 

Day 49/100

Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea Virginia)

 

1. Once an oyster has attaches itself a surface bed, it grows and forms around the surface it attaches to as well as the other oysters around it.

 

2. The top shell is flat, while the bottom shell is cupped. The cavity within an oyster’s shell is always filled with water, allowing oysters to survive for a long time without having to open their shells to feed.

 

3. An adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water in one day.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 50/100

 

Common limpet (Patella vulgata)

 

1. The shape of the limpet varies, the closer the limpet is to the water, the flatter and smaller its shell. The farther the limpet is from the water, the wider and taller its shell.

 

2. It travels across the rocks to graze on algae but it has a certain spot that it has ground into the rock as its anchor spot. When the limpet moves from this spot, it leaves a trail of mucus to follow back to its anchor spot.

 

3. At low tide to avoid drying out, limpets trap some water inside their shells. They create their own tide pools right inside their shells.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 51/100

Sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca)

 

1. Sea lettuce grows worldwide in thin, green sheets with wavy, ruffled edges. It looks similar to wilted lettuce. It grows to be 6 to 24 inches and usually grows in large masses.

 

2. Like lettuce grown on land, it can be used in salads and soups. Sea lettuce is also used to make ice cream, other food products, and medicine.

 

3. Almost no stalk exists at the point of attachment, and no true roots are present. When dried by the sun, its colour can range from white to black.

 

 

 

 

Day 52/100

Banded wedge shell (Donax vittatus)

 

1. Banded wedge shells have a typical serrated edge and are reasonably long. The slim, somewhat triangular and elongated shell growing up to 40 mm long and 16 mm high.

 

2. Hundreds of living and dead banded wedge shells can wash ashore after a frost or an off-shore wind.

 

3. If it is disturbed it can burrow rapidly into the sand, it does this by protruding its foot downwards, enlarging it by pumping blood into it and then using it as an anchor to pull itself deeper into the sand.

 

 

 

 

Day 53/100

Common tower shell (Turritella communis)

 

1. The tower shell is easily recognized long and slender conical shape and the 16-20 windings.

 

2. The shell grows to a length of 3 cm and may become 1 cm wide.

 

3. The sea snail inside is a highly specialized burrower in gravelly mud, once buried it rarely moves.

 

 

 

 

Day 54/100

Icelandic cyprine (Arctica islandica)

 

1. They live buried in sand and muddy sand, often with their shells entirely hidden and just a small tube extending up to the surface of the seabed.

 

2. This long lived animal grows very slowly, and can take up to 50 years to reach its maximum size of 13cm.

 

3. The dark thin outer layer peels away on dead shells, revealing a white to pale brown shell beneath.

 

 

 

 

Day 55/100

Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) the Latin word 'gladius' means sword

 

1. Swordfish are one of the fastest and most powerful fish in the ocean and have been timed at over 50 miles per hour.

 

2. Swordfish do not swim in schools, they move at distances of 10 meters apart from another swordfish.

 

 

3. Unlike most fish, swordfish have no scales and no teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 56/100

Dulse seaweed  (Palmaria palmata)

 

1. This seaweed usually grows to between 20 cm and 50cm long.

 

2. Dulce is commonly eaten and is a good source of minerals and vitamins compared with other vegetables.

 

3. In Ireland dulse is traditionally used as a cure against hangovers.

 

 

 

 

Day 57/10

Common edible periwinkle (Littorina littorea)

 

1. Common periwinkles are a type of marine snail that grow up to about 1 inch long.

 

2. Periwinkles can live out of the water for several days,surviving in challenging conditions. Out of the water, they can stay moist by closing up their shell with a trap door-like structure called an operculum.

 

3. They have two tentacles that can be seen if you look closely at their front end.

 

 

 

 

Day 58/100

Bladder Wrack (Fucus vesiculosus)

 

1. This sturdy seaweed is easy to recognize by its bladders along the fronds. The floating bladders help the plant to stand straight up in the water. However, sometimes there are no floating bladders and then it is easily confused with spiral wrack.

 

2. It can grow up to 0.5 meters long.

 

3. This wrack is used as a fertilizer as well as for a remedy for pain in the joints, swellings and skin diseases.

 

 

 

 

Day 59/100

Sailfish (Istiophorus)

 

1. The sailfish is the fastest fish in the world, able to swim at a speed of 68 mph. At cruising speeds of 7 mph they can fold down their first dorsal fin to reduce drag.

 

2. Sailfish are very aggressive and also known for their incredible jumps.

 

3. After a female sailfish lays her eggs they hatch just 36 hours later. They are also a fast growing species, growing up to six feet long in the first year. The average length is 6 to 8ft, but the world's record is 10 ft long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 60/100

Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus)

 

1. They reach lengths of 35-45 feet.

 

2. Gray whales are filter feeders, using baleen which are 300 plates made of keratin which hang from their upper jaw, to strain organisms from the water.

 

3. These whales undertake one of the longest migrations of any mammal, some traveling over 10,000 miles round trip each year from their Arctic feeding grounds to the birthing lagoons of Baja Mexico.

 

 

 

 

Day 61/100

Right Whale (Genus Eubalaena)

 

1. The name comes from the fact that the early hunters of them felt that this was the right type of whale to kill. They are slow moving, travel near the shore and when a Right Whale dies it floats which made the process of moving them much easier.

 

2. There can live around 70-100 years of age but sadly less than 20,000 total of them found in the world at this time.

 

3. The females only produce offspring once every 3 to 4 years and the gestation period is a full year. When the calves are born they are 20ft and weight close to one ton. 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 62/100

Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)

 

1. They’re not whales, they are filter feeder sharks and are the largest fish in the world, growing up to 40ft long.

 

2. Similar to the fingerprint of a human, the pattern of spots around the gill area is unique to each individual allowing researchers to identify individual sharks.

 

3. Whale sharks can live up to 70 years and they give birth to relatively few offspring during their lifetime. Threats to the whale shark include marine pollution, collision with boats and disturbance/harassment by boats engaged in irresponsible tourism activities. Sadly the biggest threat is the trade of whale shark parts including their fins which are used in the ridiculous traditional of Chinese medicine.

 

 

 

 

Day 63/100

Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus)

 

1. The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales and can grow to be as long as 67 ft.

 

2. The name sperm whale comes from the spermaceti organ which is located in its head. The role of this organ is not fully understood, some think it assists the whale with buoyancy others think it help with echolocation. It produces a white waxy substance that was originally mistaken for sperm by early whalers.

 

3. The sperm whale is known to have the largest brain of any known animal currently in existence.

 

 

 

 

Day 64/100

Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus)

 

1. The fin whale is the world's second largest animal after the blue whale. Despite being nearly 90ft long, this whale is relatively slender and streamlined allowing it to reach speeds of over 25 miles per hour for short periods of time.

 

2. It is estimated that a healthy adult can live for up to 100 years.

 

3. They can dive to depths of 230 metres and make low-frequency noises these sounds cannot be heard by humans, but can be detected by other fin whales up to 850 km away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 65/100

Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

 

1. Although the blue whale is thought to have a deep blue color when they are at the surface of the water the blue whale actually appears to be a grayish blue.

 

2. It is the largest animal alive growing to lengths of up to 100 ft long and weighing as much as 150 tons or more.

 

3. It is one of the loudest animals in existence, reaching up to 188 decibel. It’s calls can be heard several miles away and far below the oceans surface.

 

 

 

 

Day 66/100

Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

 

1. Like most shark species, female Great White Sharks (up to 21ft) grow much larger than the males (11-13ft).

 

2. This sharks mouth is equipped with a set of 300 sharp, triangular teeth arranged in up to seven rows.  They may attack people, but they will not eat them. Attacks happens because sharks mix people with seals or other prey that they normally eat. Since people don't have as much fat as shark needs, they will not be eaten. More people die in a toaster related accidents than after a shark attack. People kill over 100 million sharks each year, drastically reduced numbers mean these animals are now classified as critically endangered.

 

3. Great Whites don't produce sounds, they communicate using body language and scents. They can smell one drop of blood in a million drops of water.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 67/100

King mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla)

 

1. This medium-sized fish, has a body entirely covered with very small, hardly visible, loosely attached scales.

 

2. The teeth of king mackerel are extremely sharp.

 

3. King Mackerel are often spotted jumping 20ft or more into the air, this is done as the fish rush upwards on their prey from below.

 

 

 

 

Day 68/100

Long-Snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus)

 

1. Seahorses have excellent eyesight and their eyes are able to work independently on either side of their head.

 

2. The seahorse has no scales instead its skin is stretched over bony plates which look like rings all round the body.

 

3. They have few predators except humans, the Chinese Medical trade takes more than 150 million seahorses a year from the wild. The souvenir trade takes one million seahorses, along with shells and starfish, deliberately taken from the sea and left to die in the boiling sun. Then the pet trade takes a further estimated million seahorses from the wild, it is thought that less than 1,000 ever survive more than six weeks.

 

 

 

 

Day 69/100

European squid (Loligo vulgaris)

 

1. The European squid can grow up to 30–40 cm in the mantle length, but more usually they are 15–25 cm long. The males grown faster and larger than the females. Every squid has three hearts, two branchial hearts and one systemic heart.

 

2. They move through the water tail first instead of head first.

 

3. Their tentacles are appendages that contain suckers along the edge, which can grip things. The arms of the said grow back if cut but the tentacles do not.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 69/100

European squid (Loligo vulgaris)

 

1. The European squid can grow up to 30–40 cm in the mantle length, but more usually they are 15–25 cm long. The males grown faster and larger than the females. Every squid has three hearts, two branchial hearts and one systemic heart.

 

2. They move through the water tail first instead of head first.

 

3. Their tentacles are appendages that contain suckers along the edge, which can grip things. The arms of the said grow back if cut but the tentacles do not.

 

 

 

 

Day 71/100

 Spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari)

 

1. Much like human fingerprints, each spotted eagle ray has a unique pattern of spots. No two are the same.

 

2. This species is known to be able to travel long distances in a day, swimming in tight groups with all the individuals swimming in the same direction at the same speed. They often cruise near the surface are are known to leap out of the water.

 

3. They are relatively shy and avoid human contact, however if they are captured they make a loud sound when taken out of the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 72/100

Queen scallop (Aequipecten opercularis)

 

1. Queen scallops are a different species to the king scallop. They’re much smaller than king, growing to about 9cm.

 

2. Each valve has about 20 radiating ridges.

 

 

3. Often the shells are heavily encrusted with various organisms particularly sponges. This relationship has been described as protective-mutualism. The sponge is thought to protect the scallop from predation by starfishes while the sponges are also protected.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 73/100

Sea stickleback (Spinachia spinachia)

 

1. The only truly marine stickleback, this small fish normally reaches just a maximum length of 25cm.

 

2. Found off most UK coasts where there is weed cover, however, it is very hard to spot due to its habit of hanging motionless in the kelp.

 

3. They are nest builders and the female dies after laying her eggs with the male tending the nest until hatching takes place.

 

 

 

 

Day 74/100

Megrim (epidorhombus whiffiagonis)

 

1. They can grow up to 60cm in length.

 

2. Megrim is a commercial fish of economic importance and is targeted by commercial vessels. Currently, around 90% of megrim caught in UK waters is exported to continental Europe.

 

3. They live on sandy or muddy sea floor and are predators eating small fish, squid and crustaceans. In turn megrim are themselves prey for larger species such as sharks, seals and large cod.

 

 

 

 

Day 75/100

Sand dollar (Dendraster excentricus)

 

1. The sand dollar is a specialised type of sea urchins. The familiar white exoskeleton is often found on a beach with an obvious five-pointed shape on the back. Living sand dollars look different, having tiny densely packed dark purple spines. The upper half of the sand dollar's body spines serve as gills. On the sea floor, sand dollars use their spines to ferry food particles along their bodies to a central mouth.

 

2. Sand dollars use their spines to move along the sand or to dig edgewise into the sand.

 

3. Scientists can age a sand dollar by counting the growth rings on the plates of the exoskeleton, they usually live six to 10 years. 

 

 

 

Day 76/100

Peacocks tail (Padina pavonica)

 

1. This seaweed is found in rock pools on the mid to lower rocky shore, and to a depth of up to 20m, depending on the amount of light. The peacock’s tail has a varied texture, the inner surface has a thin coating of slime, while the outer one is covered with lines of small, fine hairs.

 

2. This is an annual seaweed so it dies down in the autumn to reappear the next summer.

 

3. Extracts have been added to homeopathic medicinal remedies and several cosmetic solutions, they are reported to reduce wrinkles and improve health. However, most or all of these claims have not been scientifically evaluated.

 

 

 

Day 77/100

Red Pogie (Pagrus pagrus)

 

1. This fish start life as female, and then some change sex to become functional males. This transition may take place when the fish is three years but with some individuals not changing until 6.5 years old. Sex change in fish is normally trigged by environmental or social factors, but what exactly triggers sex change in the red porgy is not known.

 

2. They live for up to 18 years growing to 85cm.

 

3. Their have strong teeth enable them to eat snails, crabs and sea urchins, as well as worms and small fishes.