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Ocean
Creature
Feature

Ocean Creature Feature

blue and yellow queen angelfish

From the sunlit shallow waters to the sunless deep sea, the ocean is home to many kinds of organisms. What adaptations help these organisms survive in their ecosystems? Take this quiz to find out.

sea star

Click on the picture that matches each clue!

1

This tiny, big-eyed animal swims in the deep, cold waters off New Zealand. Its bright orange skin is less striking in its dark, bluish environment. It grows slowly and may live more than 100 years. It used to be called "slimehead" until it became a popular meal.

Which ocean creature is it?

pale blue and yellow fish with large eyeball
orange fish with large eyeball
blue fish with yellow stripe along its top
Nope. Try again!
orange fish with large eyeball
You got it!

ANSWER:

It’s an orange roughy .

Question 1 of 8
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2

Known for its beautiful shell, this creature is found in shallow, tropical waters. By eating the crown-of-thorns starfish, it helps to keep coral reefs in balance. In large numbers, it can destroy the reefs by eating the coral polyps that build them.

Which ocean creature is it?

blob like sea creature with a pattern of red spots
creature that looks like a ball of red spikes
pointy sea shell ornate spotted pattern
Nope. Try again!
pointy sea shell ornate spotted pattern
You got it!

ANSWER:

It’s a triton trumpet .

Question 2 of 8
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3

This animal can have a wingspan of more than seven feet. To hunt, it flies to great heights, then dives downward to scoop up fish in its large beak. Flying in flocks in a long line or a V-shape, these animals keep their long necks bent back over their bodies.

Which ocean creature is it?

light brown bird with very long beak and neck, wings fully expanded
small bird fluttering with needle-like beak
black and white bird with short thick orange beak soaring in the sky
Nope. Try again!
light brown bird with very long beak and neck, wings fully expanded
You got it!

ANSWER:

It’s a brown pelican .

Question 3 of 8
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4

With their red plumes sticking out of white casings, these creatures look like giant lipstick containers. They thrive near cracks in hydrothermal vents , chimney-like structures on the deep ocean floor. Their insides are lined with bacteria that use chemicals in the water to make sugar and other foods that both use for energy .

Which ocean creature is it?

dark pink tube with many arms sprouting from top
orange sea creature with green and white protrusions
red and white tubelike structures under water
Nope. Try again!
red and white tubelike structures under water
You got it!

ANSWER:

These are giant tubeworms .

Question 4 of 8
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5

This white animal uses its long legs to wade in the shallow water of mangrove forests. Its varied diet includes fish, shrimp, crabs, frogs, and insects. Can you spot the yellow coloring on its face and feet? In flight, it holds its neck in an "S" shape.

Which ocean creature is it?

white bird with long red beak and skinny red legs wading in water
white bird with outstretched wingspan that has very long legs and yellow markings near eye and on feet
white and brown bird with thin beak wading in water
Nope. Try again!
white bird with outstretched wingspan that has very long legs and yellow markings near eye and on feet
You got it!

ANSWER:

It’s a snowy egret .

Question 5 of 8
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6

Surviving in the icy Pacific isn't easy if you are a warm-blooded mammal without a layer of blubber. Fortunately, this animal has dense fur, with up to a million hairs per square inch. To stay warm, it eats more than ten pounds of seafood a day. To keep from floating away, it ties itself to seaweed.

Which ocean creature is it?

sleek blackish mammal walking near edge of ocean
furry brown mammal floating in water
brown rough-skinned mammal with tusks in arctic landscape
Nope. Try again!
furry brown mammal floating in water
You got it!

ANSWER:

It’s a sea otter .

Question 6 of 8
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7

This animal's legs can grow to be a foot long. You probably see its smaller relatives in your bathroom. Why is this animal much bigger? One reason is the chilly waters in which it lives. Cold water contains more dissolved oxygen. More oxygen in your blood means you can support a larger body. After this eight-legged animal catches its prey, it sucks out its juices.

Which ocean creature is it?

eight-legged creature with very skinny and long striped legs
9-armed starfish
creature with many legs, 2 branch-like antenna and claws
Nope. Try again!
eight-legged creature with very skinny and long striped legs
You got it!

ANSWER:

It’s a giant sea spider .

Question 7 of 8
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8

The largest member of its family, this stripy animal hatches in freshwater rivers, then spends its adult life either in the ocean, or in estuaries. Estuaries , where the river meets the sea, provide protection from predators, as well as places to perch. It eats small fish, crustaceans, and marine worms.

Which ocean creature is it?

silver fish with rainbow colors on its underside and spots on fins
bright blue fish with orange pattern
silver striped fish underwater
Nope. Try again!
silver striped fish underwater
You got it!

ANSWER:

It’s a striped bass .

Question 8 of 8
Nice try! Swimmingly! What a splash! Perfect score! You got out of 8 right on the first guess.
Image Credits:
queen angelfish, courtesy of NOAA by G. P. Schmahl / (CC BY 2.0); sea star, courtesy of Klaus Stiefel (CC BY-NC 2.0); pyramid butterflyfish, courtesy of Ezio Armando/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; orange roughy, ©  Auscape International Pty Ltd/Alamy; powderblue surgeonfish, courtesy of Marcin Lachowicz/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; sea apple, courtesy of Alexander Vasenin/CC BY-SA 3.0; sea urchin, courtesy of Bill Abbott/CC BY-SA 2.0; brown pelican, courtesy of Mick Thompson/CC BY-NC-2.0; hummingbird, courtesy of Butterfield/CC BY-NC-2.0; puffin, courtesy of David Wildlife/CC BY 2.0; tube anemone, courtesy of Paul Thompson/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; hammer coral, courtesy of NOAA; giant tubeworms, courtesy of NOAA; ibis, courtesy of Thomas James Caldwell/CC BY-SA 2.0; snowy egret, © Ruth Jolly/AGE Fotostock; sanderling, courtesy of Harrison/CC BY-SA 3.0; Hooker's sea lion, courtesy of Matt Binns/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0; sea otter, © Suzi Eszterhas/AGE Fotostock; walrus, © Bernd Rohrschneider/AGE Fotostock; giant sea spider, courtesy of AMNH, Norbert Wu; nine-armed sea star, courtesy of Andrea Westmoreland/Wikimedia Commons; peacock mantis shrimp, courtesy of Craig D./CC BY-SA 2.0; Kribensis purple cichlid, © Zoonar/AGE Fotostock; discus fish, courtesy of Cuatrok77/CC BY-SA 2.0; striped bass, © Robert S. Michelson/AGE Fotostock.