99/150: Lampshells – Watt do you mean it’s not a mussel?


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Animalia: Brachiopoda: Rhynchonellata: Terebratulida: Terebratellidae: Terebrataliinae: Terebratalia: Terebratalia transversa (Sowerby, 1846)

Lampshells, including Terebratalia transversa, belong to the phylum Brachiopoda, which translates to arm-foot in Greek. Brachiopods have been around for millions of years, dominating the oceans in the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), but now have a smaller distribution and are known as living fossils as some species have survived for millions of years unchanged. Continue reading “99/150: Lampshells – Watt do you mean it’s not a mussel?”

93/150: What a big mouth!


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Animalia: Chordata: Elasmobranchii: Lamniformes: Cetorhinidae: Cetorhinus: Cetorhinus maximus  (Gunnerus, 1765)

Basking sharks are known as the second biggest fish in the ocean reaching lengths of up to 10 metres and weighing almost 6 tonnes! But unlike its menacing cousins the basking shark is a gentle creature that feeds on small organisms such as plankton through filter-feeding. By using a thousand bristle-like structures on their gills and a mouth that can reach 1 metre in diameter they create a passive net and filtering system. Continue reading “93/150: What a big mouth!”

81/150: This species is just peachy!


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Animalia: Chordata: Ascidiacea: Stolidobranchia: Pyuridae: Halocynthia: Halocynthia pyriformis (Linnaeus)

Sea peaches are part of the class of invertebrates Ascidiacea – known as sea squirts or tunicates. They are more closely related to chordates (animals with a back bone) than other invertebrates because at some point in their life stage they exhibit vertebrate characteristics such as a dorsal hollow nerve cord, a notochord, a post-anal tail, and pharyngeal slits. However they never develop a bony backbone. Continue reading “81/150: This species is just peachy!”

15/150: Pretty underwater feather dusters or worms with tentacle eyes? Why not both!


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Animalia: Annelida: Polychaeta: Sabellida: Sabellidae: Eudistylia: Eudistylia vancouveri (Kinberg, 1866)

You wouldn’t expect that the beautiful Vancouver feather duster (Eudistylia vancouveri) is a type of worm, but that’s exactly what it is. It belongs to a class of segmented bristle worms called Polychaeta within the family Sabellidae, AKA feather duster worms. They are sedentary marine worms that live in parchment-like tubes made of sediment. Their heads are concealed in a feathery crown of colourful tentacles, called radioles, which are used for respiration and filter feeding. Continue reading “15/150: Pretty underwater feather dusters or worms with tentacle eyes? Why not both!”