It’s officially awards season! And with the release of Oscar nominations just this morning, I couldn’t help but notice some of my favorite ocean species didn’t make the cut—so I came up with my own nominations. Regardless of the other snubs and surprises, I think we can all agree—these ocean critters are the best in the business and deserve some recognition.
The Lionfishes dramatic coloring and beautiful fins make them very popular in the aquarium industry—but they’re not that innocent. Not only do their spines contain a nasty neurotoxin that causes pain and swelling if injected but they have also become a nuisance in certain parts of the world as an invasive species.
As one of the rarest animals of the ocean—how could the Narwhal not be recognized for its distinct tusk? It’s even been trending on social media as #unicornofthesea! And did you know the narwhal’s tusk is actually a tooth that can grow up to 9 feet long? Incredible!
Who doesn’t love Polar Bears? But if you thought of their fur as white, you’d be wrong. Although their fur appears white, it’s actually transparent. The hollow hair shafts reflect light which in turn make them appear white or yellow, and underneath it all, they have black skin to absorb the sun’s warmth.
Talent must run in the ocean family—Belugas are most closely related to narwhals. Most people recognize Beluga Whales for their distinctive white color, but did you know that they are extremely vocal? Using a series of squeaks, clicks and whistles, they communicate with their friends to find food and figure out where they are. As a matter of fact, they’re often referred to as the “canaries of the sea”!
While coral reefs only take up 1% of the ocean floor, they host about 25% of all ocean species. These “rainforests of the sea” provide a complex, three-dimensional habitat for a huge variety of plants and animals, and protect many young fish species as they grow. Talk about supportive!
What ocean critters do you think should have been nominated?