They say, 'Practice makes Perfect'. 'They' are the scores of talented individuals that have perfected a skill of some sort until it becomes second nature. As humans we have the ability to learn and practice these skills, but what if we were born with talents that no one else could replicate? Animals, on the other hand, are a different story. Here are some underwater animals that will blow your mind with their inherent abilities.
10. The Black Swallower
Also known as Chiasmodon niger, the Black Swallower is known for its ability to devour prey in one big gulp. A foodie among fish, it mostly preys on other marine life and could also be called 'The Great Swallower'. This deep sea monstrosity frightens other fish with its deep dark eyes and razor sharp teeth.
It has often happened that a Swallower has devoured a prey so large that decomposition has set in before it has had a chance to digest the entire meal. This decomposition fills the stomach with gas, and turns the fish into a balloon. It's these inflated black Swallowers that land up floating to the water's surface, and are the ones we find most regularly.
9. Sea Slugs
Elysia chlorotica, a type of sea slug, is separated from other animals due to its unique ability to photosynthesize its own food using sunlight. This allows the slug to last through lengthy periods without feeding. They steal the chloroplasts--organelles that perform photosynthesis--from the algae they eat, and incorporate them into its own cells.
Astonishingly, the slug has stolen genes from the algae and is now able to produce its own chloroplasts. Researchers found these genes even in juveniles that have never eaten. Scientists have also discovered that the slugs can happily survive long periods in the dark without eating. This suggests that there may be something other than photosynthesis is the essence of their survival . Yet, it cannot be denied that this photosynthesis is indeed a talent that no other animal can boast of.
Planarians are a type of freshwater flatworm that have the astounding ability to regenerate. In fact, their regenerative abilities have given them two talents worth mentioning. Planarians not only heal and regenerate lost or damaged tissue, but if you cut it in half, it will grow into 2 separate planarians. If you decapitate a flatworm, it will grow a new head. Amazingly though, the new head will still hold the old memories!
A team of researchers have found that a single Planarian cell can regrow an entire body. They blasted a flatworm with radiation until its cells were destroyed and thus no longer able to divide properly. They then injected a single cell from another adult, which was able to regrow every single part of the animal. This shows that adult stem cells in flatworms are able to turn into literally any body part, unlike adult human stem cells, which tend to be more limited.
Possibly one of the oldest fish species, Hagfish have been around for 300 million years, enough time to develop very interesting traits. These un-fish like fishes, are able to tie themselves in knots, and ability that is useful both as a defense mechanism and when catching prey.
When hagfish want to hunt, they search for fish burrows. Once they find a hiding fish, they lunge face-first into the hole to pull it out. To reduce resistance, the hagfish tie their rear end into a knot which is bigger than the hole. This gives them a perch around the top so they can pull themselves - and their lunch - back out. Hagfish also escape capture by adopting this same trick. They tie their free end into a knot and push the knot up their body until the knot pushes against the predator.
6. Sea Cucumbers
Sea cucumbers have a famous defense mechanism, they discharge their guts at predators, and regrow them later. Another little known defense mechanism they have is their ability to liquefy themselves. Essentially, they unhook the bonds that keep their cells together and let themselves flow into (or out of) awkward spaces.
When it's where it wants to get to, the sea cucumber can solidify itself again and become difficult to extract from a hiding place. This talent is so extreme that it could liquefy itself to death. It would turn purely into good, and would simply flow through the fingers of anyone holding it.
Can fish climb trees? Of course they can! Meet the Mudskipper, the genius of the fish world, who has the ability to live out of water on logs and branches as well as in water just like other fish. It uses its pelvic fins as suction to remain attached, and pulls itself up with its pectoral fins.
Mudskippers have developed small sacks around their gills that let them hold a breath of water, much the same way we would hold a breath of air. They climb trees so they can stay out of the water during high tide.
4. Archerfish Shoot Down Prey
The archerfish is a small tropical fish that eats insects. Nothing extraordinary in that is there? What makes this fish unique is its method of capturing prey. Typically a maximum of 10 centimeters long, archerfish can shoot a jet of water upto 6 feet at insects hanging on vegetation near the water, easily knocking them into the water and into their mouths.
They produce the jets by pressing their tongue against a groove in the roof of their mouth. The speed of the water increases as it leaves the mouth, allowing the water to arrive at the same time thus hitting the prey with six times the force the fish could produce with just the
force of its muscles.
3. The Teddy Bear Crab Makes Living Weapons
Polydectus cupulifer, more commonly known as the teddy bear crab, is a small crustacean covered in bushy, white bristles. Unique for its furry nature, the teddy bear crab can pick up stinging anemones in both claws and wield them as weapons. Moreover, it doesn't just brandish the anemones as weapons but also knows what is the right angle to hold the anemone to make it a lethal weapon.
The anemone is also a food source for the teddy bear crab. These crabs will happily reach inside the anemone's digestive system and pull out anything the anemone has already eaten.
2. Pirate Fish
This unusual fish, Aphredoderus sayanus, more commonly known as the Pirate perch, are the only known species to excrete a chemical camouflage. Scientists investigating the reaction of beetles and frogs to predatory fish have found that the pirate perch has another unique feature. Beetles and frogs avoided environments that contained fish who were likely to choose them for dinner, with one exception. The potential prey were perfectly happy to set up home in ponds containing pirate perch.
Exactly what the pirate perch is doing to hide isn't yet known. Researchers want to determine how the pirate perch are either scrambling chemical signals or masking their odor. Once they have identified chemical compounds that might explain the behavior, they will return to the field to test with the same tree frogs and beetles as well as other organisms known to respond to fish chemical cues, such as mosquitoes and water fleas.
1. Tiger Fish
The name tigerfish could be given to multiple species of fish. However, the primary species designated by the name "tigerfish" are African and belong to the family Alestidae. This African fish is often compared to the piranha, as it's aggressive and uses its razor-filled jaws to tear its prey into pieces. But unlike the piranha, there is a variety of tigerfish--the goliath tigerfish--which can grow to weigh 50 kg (110 lb) and eat crocodiles.
Yet it's the hunting ability of the smaller variety that's got it a spot on this list. Recently, researchers have recorded its ability to catch birds. While many fish are known to eat birds floating on the surface, the tigerfish is known to have leaped out of the water and catching a swallow while the bird was flying through the air. This has even been caught on camera.