Typically, giant isopods are between 7.5 and 14.2 inches in length, but they can get much bigger: One specimen pulled up with an ROV in 2010 was 2.5 feet long. Scientists aren't quite sure why these isopods get so enormous, but believe that their huge size might be an adaptation that helps them survive the extreme pressure of the deep ocean. So cool! Via @fathomlesslife@noaaoceanexploration
This whale shark is enjoying a tasty shrimp snack, but what is that murkiness in the water? It’s not pollution, it’s called Trichodesmium or “sea sawdust” and it is a pretty amazing and useful group of organisms that combine in high density areas and are likely to provide the majority of nitrogen to marine ecosystems. Since whale sharks require high-density prey patches to make feeding energetically viable (which is a major challenge for species living in tropical and subtropical seas) it appears these whale sharks use the naturally occurring sea sawdust to corral the shrimp into one large meal, allowing them to feast with ease. via @fathomlesslife by @simonjpierce
Think sharks are the ultimate apex predators? Guess again! Orcas are apex predators at the top of the food chain. No other animals (except for humans) hunt orcas. Orcas feed on sea birds, squid, octopuses, sea turtles, fish, rays, and as seen in this footage, sharks! Via @savingthewaves@slatermoorephotography
Although this beluga whale appears to be playing with these kids, this may not actually be the case. Its motions are actually quite aggressive. In the wild, belugas make this same aggressive motion to ward off predators or scare other animals away from their food source. Here, the beluga is probably using its aggressive motion to scare the screaming kids in attempts to escape their constant poking and yelling at the glass. Via YT user Michelle Cotton
Just another day in the office for @waterbod These wiggly little guys are called brittle stars due to their ability to lose a leg as part of its self defense mechanism and grow another in a short period of time. If you look closely, one of them has only four appendages instead of five. It won’t be long until it grows it’s missing one back!
Look at those teeth! Not only do mako sharks have sharp, razor-like teeth arranged in 11-13 rows to tear apart their prey, they are also the fastest shark species in the world! ♀️ They average an incredible 60mph when hunting for their next meal! via @sharksneedlove
To get this close to these amazing animals, you may need a permit like @marine_life_kayaker has. Human activities in the vicinity of marine life may impact the animals which could result in multiple things: from no observable effect, to modifying their behavior, to actual physical harm. To keep these animals safe, laws are in place that have severe penalties for those who violate them. ♀️ Before you approach marine life, learn the laws governing the interaction or you could end up in serious trouble.
This short clip shows an orca 'carousel' feeding. Watch as it forces the herring into tight shoals, before using ferocious tail slaps to stun a few at a time, before picking them off one-by-one. Via @norwegianorcasurvey@discoverocean