The Gift of Knowledge

Helpful Hints – here’s a guide to some of our amazing Christmas-themed animals. May it help you win your gift!

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Snowflake Moray Eel

Snowflake Moray Eel

Capable of growing to up to 100cm long, this animal only looks like a snake, but is 100% fish – and a beautiful one too! Just check out the gorgeous black-and-white snowflake patterns on it. It can be found at intertidal reef flats, where it hides its body in gaps or crevasses, exposing only its head. It’s also a nocturnal, solitary carnivore, and hunts small crustaceans using its sense of smell as it has poor eyesight.

Angel fish

Emperor Angelfish

Angels have always been associated with Christmas! This particular Angelfish inhabits reefs and interestingly, its appearance changes drastically – as if by miracle. Juveniles are dark blue with white and blue ripples, but adults have a blue body covered with horizontal yellow stripes and mask-like blue-black coloration around their eyes. The Emperor Angelfish is an omnivore and feeds on small invertebrates as well as algae. Males are territorial – they defend females and brooding space from rivals. 

Pinecone Fish

Pinecone Fish

Pine trees are popular during Christmas, and this fish looks just like a pinecone, doesn’t it? Not only are its plate-like scales yellow, it’s shaped like a pinecone too. It can grow to around 12cm in length, and usually inhabits deep water marine caves or coral reefs. Interestingly, this nocturnal fish uses light-producing organs to attract its prey, plankton and small fishes. The light comes from symbiotic bacteria that produce a greenish glow. 

Cold Water Anemone

Cold Water Anemones

A Christmas ornament? Nope, it’s a living animal! It can be found in cold waters and is closely related to corals and sea jellies. It’s usually brightly coloured and spends most of its life attached to a substrate (rocks, seabed, etc). Those “arms” surrounding its mouth are stinging tentacles that can stun prey and bring food to its mouth. It’s so amazing that it can be found attached to ice in the Antarctic Ocean! 

Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

If Christmas is all about giving, then this animal is all about the spirit of Christmas. It’s obvious that this shrimp looks just like a Christmas candy cane, but did you know that it offers a cleaning service to larger fishes in a symbiotic relationship? It feeds on parasites and dead tissue and are so welcome that fishes like groupers and moray eels in caves patiently wait for their turn to be cleaned. 

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