Etymology regalis – Latin = ‘of or pertaining to a king’ Crinoidea – Greek from krinon – ‘a lily’
They’re not plants – Despite their resemblance to flowers, are not plants. They are echinoderms – animals characterized by their rough, spiny surface and 5 fold symmetry.
They’re not starfish – They are related to starfish in that they are both echinoids. Like starfish, Crinoids usually have 5 fold symmetry.
They eat with their arms – They are filter feeder and they wave their feathery arms which are covered with a sticky mucus to capture food -floating detritus. The feathery arms have growths called pinnules. The pinnules have rows of tube feet on each side of a groove running down the center. The tube feet that cover the arms pass the food to the center where it is put into their mouth.
Crinoids are old… really really old – They have been around since the Ordovician period – 490 million years ago. Paleontologists however, think they could be even older than that.
You’re more likely to find a crinoid fossil than you are living crinoid – Crinoids today are relatively rare however they were once plentiful and diverse. These echinoderms were at their height during the Paleozoic era (544 to 245 million years ago ). They could be found all over the world, creating forests on the floor of the shallow seas of this time period. There were so many in places, that thick limestone beds were formed almost entirely from their body parts piled on top of each other.
Why would anyone get excited about T. rex, when you have crinoids !
Orange cup coral – Tubastraea Coccinea – belongs to a group of corals known as large-polyp stony corals. This non-reef building coral extends beautiful translucent tentacles at night. Tubastraea coccinea is heterotrophic and does not contain zooxanthellae in its tissues as many tropical corals do, allowing it to grow in complete darkness as long as it can capture enough food, namely plankton.
It is nice to see Tabastrea Coccinea in its natural environment. OCC has been introduced to all continents except Antarctica and is thought to compete with native benthic invertebrates for space and to compromise their communities. The reduction of native sponges and native corals could also have significant flow-on effects for entire ecosystems. OCC was introduced in the Caribbean in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s at Curaçao and/or Puerto Rico probably transported by fouled vessels, oil and gas platforms, artificial reef structures, or ballast waters.
Etymology Tubus = tube; +astrea = Astrea – Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis, a goddess of justice named after the stars. coccineus = Latin meaning ‘red like a berry’, scarlet.
Mollusc Fact: 80% of legal internationally traded conch is consumed in fritters and salads in North America. The Queen Conch – Lobatus gigas is an endangered species and has been protected by over-exploitation by C.I.T.E.S.
Etymology Lobatus – Greek lobus -‘hull, husk, pod, lobe’ gigas – Greek γίγας,- ‘giant’ , referring to the large size of this snail compared with almost all other gastropod molluscs.
Director of science and policy for the Bahamas National Trust, believes there may be some pushback against any conch regulations. “We’re not used to regulations or enforcements,” she told National Geographic. She believes that since the conch industry is the sole source of income for many Bahamians, any restrictions may be met with a degree of resistance.
Porous sea rod – Pseudoplexaura porosa The holes from which the polyps project are large and crowded together, and are arranged spirally up the branches. The polyps overlap each other, each one having eight tentacles. The polyps spread out their tentacles to feed on plankton both day and night. The octocoral has symbionts with zooxanthellae that inhabit the tissues.
The polyps are armed with nematocysts (stinging cells) and can be retracted into the branches defensively. Pseudoplexaura porosa has few predators that feed on it including the flamingo tongue snail, nudibranchs, butterflyfish and some angelfish.
Individual colonies of P. porosa are either male or female. On particular nights about five days after a full moon in summer, mature colonies liberate gametes into the sea. Planula larvae that develop from fertilized eggs sink to the seabed five days later and undergo metamorphosis to found new colonies. These are soon colonized by zooxanthellae and grow by budding of new polyps. Besides growing asexually and reproducing sexually, pieces of this coral may detach from the parent colony and become fixed to substrate to create a new colony. P. porosa can live for several decades, and the greatest cause of mortality is detachment from the seabed during tropical storms
Etymology pseudo – Greek ‘false, lying’ +plex – Latin ‘to plait’ a single length of flexible material made up of three or more interlaced strands; a braid. porosa – Latin porus ‘an opening’
Flamboyant Cuttlefish – Metasepia pfefferi Due to the small size of its cuttlebone, it can float only for a short time. This cuttlefish is the only species known to walk or ‘amble’ along the sea floor while rhythmically waving the wide protective membranes on their arms. The arm tips often display bright red coloration to ward off would-be predators. This behavior advertises a poisonous nature, the flesh of this cuttlefish contains a unique toxin.
A toxicology report has confirmed that the muscle tissue of flamboyant cuttlefish is highly toxic, making it only the third cephalopod found to be poisonous. Research has shown the toxin to be as lethal as that of fellow cephalopod the blue-ringed octopus.
Etymology Meta – Greek meaning “after” or “beyond” is a prefix used in English to indicate a concept which is an abstraction behind another concept, used to complete or add to the latter. +Sepia – From Ancient Greek “to make rotten”), a cuttlefish, the secretion of a cuttlefish used as ink Pfeffer – Georg Johann Pfeffer (1854–1931) was a German zoologist, primarily a malacologist, a scientist who studies mollusks.
Pink Skunk clownfish – Amphiprion Perideraion The Pink Skunk is the only species of anemonefish to primarily feed on algae.
The magnificent sea anemone – Heteractis Magnifica – has two feeding methods. The first one is through the photosynthesis of its symbiotic zooxanthellae, living in its tissues, the second by capturing its prey with its tentacles that allow it to immobilize its prey (small invertebrates, fry or juvenile fish) See also https://marinebiology.org/2019/01/19/clarks/
Etymology: Amphiprion: Greek, amphi = on both sides + Greek, prion, -onos = saw
Orangutan Crab – Achaeus japonicus “orangutan” comes from the Malay words “orang” (man) and “(h)utan” (forest). Hence, “man of the forest,” and these crabs really seem to look like their Terra-based namesakes. Not only do they resemble Orang-utans with their hair, but they also seem to sway their front legs from side to side in a very good imitation of an this great ape!! It is frequently, but not always, found in association with the bubble coral Plerogyra sinuosa
Etymology: japonicus – Latin, literally ‘Japanese’ The Achaeus – Greek – Ἀχαιοί, were one of the four major tribes into which the people of Classical Greece divided themselves (along with the Aeolians, Ionians and Dorians)
Clark’s Anemonefish – Amphiprion Clarkii In a group of clownfish, there is a strict dominance hierarchy. The largest and most aggressive fish is female and is found at the top. Only two clownfish, a male and a female, in a group reproduce through external fertilization. Clownfish are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning that they develop into males first, and when they mature, they become females. They are not aggressive.
Magnificent Sea Anemone – Heteractis Magnifica Venom present in sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) induces apoptosis in non-small-cell lung cancer A549 cells through activation of mitochondria-mediated pathway. The longevity of in the wild is unknown, but estimated that some of these anemones are hundreds of years old. The Clarks Anemonefish lifespan is only 14 years. The reproduction of the anemone can be sexual by simultaneous transmission of male and female gametes in the water or asexual by scissiparity,which means that the anemone divides itself into two individuals, separating from the foot or the mouth. That makes me say “Hmmm, very impresive.
Glossodoris Cincta – Nudibranch Feeds on sponges. When crawling, the gills make vibrating movements. When provoked, it discharges a white fluid from mantle dermal formations – in which they store distasteful chemicals from their food sponges to use defensively.
Etymology Glosso= Greek ‘singular’ + dorís= ‘a nymph’, one of the daughters of Oceanus cinctus= Greek ‘to put a belt around’
Sky Blue Phyllidia Nudibranch – Phyllidia varicosa Probably the most frequently seen tropical Indo-Pacific nudibranchs. The phyllidiids are a group of firm, tough-bodied dorids in which the usual circlet of gills are replaced by leaf like secondary gills under the mantle skirt. It is sometimes called the “scrambled egg nudibranch.” These sea slugs are masters of chemical defense and contain a chemical mucus poisonous to fish and crustaceans. Scientists named it 9-isocyanopupukeane after the dive site, Pupukea, on O`ahu’s north shore. They are capable of killing all life in the aquarium if stressed in any way. They have no known predators.
Etymology Phyllidium, from the Greek phyllos = ‘leaf’ verrucosa = from Greek ‘wart-like’