World Animal Day! - Sailors for the Sea

World Animal Day!

 September 29, 2016  | By: Oceana

Microscopic to mega-sized, feathered, furry or scaly, found in the air or under the sea – today is a day to celebrate all animals! However, we do have a special place in our hearts for creatures living in the ocean. Since we have way too many underwater favorites to list, we narrowed it down to five by picking marine animals with boat related names!

1. Keel Tail Mantis Shrimp

Mantis shrimp

Found in shallow, tropical and sub-tropical waters, mantis shrimp are known as fierce predators. They have powerful claws that are used to attack and kill prey by spearing and stunning them. Use caution when handling these guys because they have been given the nickname “thumb splitters.” Photo credit: Daniel Kwok

2. By-the-Wind Sailor (aka Velella)

By-the-wind sailor, velella, jellyfish

These glassy purple, jellyfish-like sea creatures have a small stiff sail that catches the wind and propels them over the surface of the ocean. They are related to Portuguese man-of-war, but lucky for us, they don’t sting humans. Photo credit: Sylke Rohrlach

3. Sailfish

Sailfish, fishing, fishery

The fastest fish in the ocean, sailfish have been clocked at 68 miles per hour. Their sail, or dorsal fin, is normally kept folded down and to the side when swimming, but it may be raised when the fish feels threatened or excited. Check out a group of sailfish feeding! Photo credit: Jidanchaomian

4. Giant Oarfish


Oarfish are large, elongated fish that are rarely seen by humans in the wild because they live at great depths in the ocean. They are the longest bony fish alive, growing up to 56 feet in length. Because of their body shape, they are thought to be the inspiration for old sea serpent tales. Photo credit: Tyler Dvorak/Catalina Island Conservancy

5. Spinner Shark (As close to a spinnaker as we could get!)

shark, spinner shark

Spinner sharks are named for the spinning leaps they take as a part of their feeding strategy. This shark swims quickly through schools of fish, grabbing small prey as it spins through the water. Photo credit: Matthew Paulson

Need some more animal pictures to get your fix? Read Plight of the Pink Dolphin or Boating with Manatees two of our favorite Ocean Watch articles the will teach you how to protect these amazing species.