Animals Sporting Unusual Colours at S.E.A. Aquarium
Platinum alligator gar
Did you know? These “living fossils”, which sport a flattened alligator-like head, have been around since the days of dinosaurs, with fossil records tracing their existence to the Early Cretaceous. That’s over 100 million years ago! Their unique platinum shade can be attributed to a genetic disorder known as leucism. Leucisim is a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal. It is different from albinism. Fun fact: These alligator gars are really hardy, thanks to thick interlocking ganoid scales protecting their body like chainmail. Also, you won’t want to ingest its roe - the stuff is highly poisonous.
In 2016, the American blue lobster was flown from Mystic Aquarium in the United States to S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa - its new home in Singapore. Most lobsters will sport orange, reddish, dark green, with black speckles and bluish colours near their joints. It is extremely rare to find a lobster that is completely blue - a 1 in 2 million chance! These rare creatures owe its unique shade of blue to a genetic mutation that causes the lobsters to produce more of a certain protein than they normally would.
Red sea urchin
Unlike the common black sea urchins, red sea urchins vary between a uniform red and dark burgundy. They crawl slowly on the sea floor using their spines as stilts. Fun fact: The red sea urchin is the largest of the sea urchins, having a “test” or outer skeleton with a diameter up to 18 cm and a maximum spine length of 8 cm. It also boasts the longest life span among sea urchins and can live for more than two centuries. Diet-wise, these eye-catching porcupines of the sea graze on attached or drift seaweed and kelp.
Poison arrow frog
This unique colouration is not just for show - it warns potential predators that the frogs are poisonous. Just one lick of a poison arrow frog could prove fatal, causing nausea, swelling, paralysis, or even death of the predator. The toxin is secreted from skin glands and coats its skin.
The poison arrow frog is native to Central and South American rainforests. There are more than 100 species of poison arrow frogs, most of which are brightly-coloured.
The colossal Napoleon wrasse, also called the humphead wrasse, is one of the largest fish inhabiting coral reefs. Distinctive features include its thick lips, prominent bump on its forehead, as well as two black lines behind its eyes. And as you may have already noticed, the colouring of humphead wrasses can vary in colours, from a dull blue-green to brilliant shades of green or purplish-blue, and patterns.