The Goliath Grouper.

171103334-0a2208c9-976b-4f79-9459-fee9344d66cfPhotograph by David Doubilet, National Geographic
The German ichthyologist M.H.C. Lichtenstein described the goliath grouper as Serranus itajara in an 1822 publication regarding the natural history of Brazil.
In an 1884 work, “The fishes of the Florida Keys,” David Starr Jordan proposed the inclusion of the goliath grouper in Epinephelus (Bloch 1793) and this combination remains in use today. Of incidental note is the fact that various authors have incorrectly spelled the specific epithet “itajara” as “itaiara.”
The genus name comes from the Greek epinephelos translated as cloudy. Synonyms of E. itajara include Serranus guasa Poey 1860 and Serranus quinquefasciatus Bocourt 1868.
A number of authors treat the name Promicrops itajara as valid taxonomy for the goliath grouper.
The goliath grouper occurs in the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida south to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
It is also found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Senegal to Congo although rare in the Canary Islands.
The species is also present in the eastern Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California to Peru.
via National Geographic.

The spectacular “Alfred Manta Ray.”

alfred-manta-feeding-gary-cranitch-data
The Alfred Manta, (Manta alfredi), one of the largest rays on the planet, is currently listed as vulnerable in eastern Australian waters with recorded individuals numbering in the few hundred.
Gary Cranitch’s awe-inspiring image is an important reminder that we still have much to do to ensure the survival of this beautiful species.
Photo: (Queensland Museum: Gary Cranitch)
Source: Spectacular science photos nominated for 2014 Eureka Prize – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

“The Ribbonfish”.

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Fins with transparent membranes give the ribbonfish its name. Image Credit: Joshua Lambus.
Up to 2m long the ribbonfish is an elegant deep-sea creature.
Named for the elaborate fins that ripple delicately after them as they swim, ribbonfish from the genus Trachipterus are found all over the world.
There are six known species, and Australia’s is the southern ribbonfish, a 2m-long silvery creature with black polka dots on its sides and bright red fins.
Found off the coast of southern Queensland and South Australia, the southern ribbonfish has also set up a population off the coast of South Africa.
This fish is pretty much a taxonomic nightmare, because while it’s certainly a single species, according to the Australian Museum no one can decide whether its correct scientific name is T. jacksonensis or T. arawatae.
Read more via Ribbonfish elaborate fins – Australian Geographic.

“The Decorated Warbonnet”.

war-bonnet

Photo and Article by Richard Salas.
Decorated Warbonnet
Shy and quick to dart away, the decorated warbonnet, Chirolophis decorates, is always a prize to get a photograph of.
Just trying to find these guys, so well camouflaged with their cartoonish headdresses, is an exercise in frustration.
But when you find one, the heavens open up and angels sing.
via The Dynamic Lives of Undersea Animals | DiscoverMagazine.com.

“The Greenland Shark”.

shark_loresThey can be as big as great white sharks, but that’s about as far as the comparison goes.
Their maximum speed is a lethargic 1.7 miles per hour, many are almost blind, and they are happy to eat rotting carcasses.
They may be common throughout the ocean, but you’ve probably never heard of them. Meet the Greenland shark.
Looking like nothing so much as a chunk of weather-beaten rock, Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) can grow up to 7.3 metres (24 feet) long, making them one of the largest of all fish, and the biggest in the Arctic.
But they prefer to live in deep, cold water, so humans rarely see them.
Studies in the Arctic have revealed a few snippets of information about Greenland sharks, and more data is now starting to come in from elsewhere.
It turns out that Greenland sharks are bizarre, and may be crucially important for the ocean ecosystem.
Greenland sharks only come close to the surface in places where the shallow water is frigid enough for them – primarily in the Arctic.
Read on via BBC – Earth – Mysterious giant sharks may be everywhere.

“How the Stone Fish Kills”.

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The stone fish is the most poisonous fish in the sea and one of the most dangerous in the world.
It can easily kill you if you step on it, injecting its venom deep inside your foot.
If not treated promptly, the poison will kill you.
If you are in Australia, watch out for these fellows.
They would be underwater, hiding under the sand or camouflaged over rocks, but also outside water, where they can survive for 24 hours.
Apparently, stone fish antivenom is the second-most administered in Australia.
Read on via How the most poisonous fish on Earth can kill humans.