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5 Fascinating Sea Creatures To Celebrate On World Oceans Day

Even if you’re not spending World Oceans Day at the beach, you can dive into this photo gallery of fascinating sea creatures from around the world. Who knows, you may even learn about a sea creature you’ve never heard of before!


Sea Creature #1: The Parrotfish

A colorful parrotfish in Mexico's coastal reefs
Photo: Asociación Interamericana Para La Defensa Del Ambiente

Known for: their vibrant colors, powerful beaks, and algae-grazing lifestyles.

Better known for: enclosing themselves in a bubble of their own mucus to avoid being smelled by predators at night. Quite the claim to fame!

This vibrant sea creature was found chowing down on algae in Mexico’s coral reefs. Their eating habits help control algae levels and keep coastal ecosystems alive. Read about this nonprofit’s unique approach to restoring coral reefs.

Sea Creature #2: The Frogfish

frogfish in a Mediterranean coastal reef
Photo: The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem

What these stocky sea creatures lack in typical fish characteristics (like scales or a swim bladder), they make up for in…feet? The frogfish’s modified pectoral fins resemble legs, allowing them to “walk” along the seafloor looking for their next meal. Their stomping grounds span the globe, but this frogfish was found off the Mediterranean coast! Learn how a family organization saved this frogfish.

Sea Creature #3: The Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

Olive ridley sea turtle
Photo: Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association

OK, you’ve probably heard of a sea turtle. But you may not have heard about the Olive Ridley’s massive nesting parties or “arribadas.” Thousands of breeding females swim to specific beaches to lay their eggs, and the temperature of the sand determines their babies’ sex! More females are hatched in warmer sand, and more males are hatched in colder sand. See how the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association is releasing these sea turtles.

Sea Creature #4: The Tridacna Giant Clam Shell

fascinating sea creature
Photo: Reef Check Malaysia

Despite their intimidating size of about 4 feet and 500 pounds, the Tridacna clam shell is a gentle homebody. After attaching itself to a coral reef, it stays there for the rest of its life. Even the way they hunt is passive. Tiny prey simply float up to them and get sucked in, kind of like a swimming pool’s filtering system. This giant green and blue clam is hanging out off the coast of Malaysia. Explore Reef Check Malaysia’s method of preserving these fascinating sea creatures.

Sea Creature #5: The Midnight Blue Parrotfish

Midnight blue parrotfish in Mexico's coastal reefs
Photo: Asociación Interamericana Para La Defensa Del Ambiente (AIDA)

This rare subspecies of parrotfish retains their moody color through adulthood. And despite their giant mouths, they are toothless algae-munchers just like the parrotfish above! But as the ocean gets warmer, more algae is forming on coral reefs than these herbivores can chew.

At least 60% of the coral reefs in Mexico’s Caribbean are already in critical or poor condition, according to the team at Asociación Interamericana Para La Defensa Del Ambiente (AIDA). Meanwhile, fish populations are dwindling fast.

From the Caribbean to the coasts of Malaysia, these fascinating sea creatures are struggling to survive in the wake of industrial-scale fishing practices, ocean pollution, rising sea temperatures, and unsustainable coastal development.

Support coastal wildlife this World Oceans Day

You can celebrate the beauty of the sea by taking action. Nonprofits are supporting coastal wildlife to keep these unique sea creatures swimming, but they can’t do it alone. Join their efforts by setting up your first monthly donation today, and GlobalGiving will match your gift at 100%.*

Support marine conservation by donating to a vetted nonprofit this World Oceans Day.

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Featured Photo: You Can Save Israel's Unique Aquatic Habitats! by The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens

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