Last but not least my favourite rockfish the Tiger Rockfish (Sebastes nigrocinctus)
This flashy fellow devours small fish like a tiger!
There are many different species of rockfish that we differentiate based on their striking colours. This one is the China Rockfish (Sebastes nebulosus). It discourages predators with poisonous spines on it's back!
The Canary Rockfish (Sebastes pinniger) lives on the rocky reefs of the Salish Sea. It eats crustaceans and small fish and can live for a very long time! Because they reach sexual maturity at around 15 years of age, rockfish, usually marketed as snapper, are threatened by overfishing.
Learn more about rockfish fishery in BC on the Literasea Marine Science blog.
This sneaky fellow is the Buffalo Sculpin (Enophrys bison). He is one of the largest sculpins on the coast and can grow up to 15 inches long! He blends into his surroundings with some flashy camouflage and sits perfectly still to avoid being seen. Watch out for the spines on his cheeks!
The Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is one of the most intelligent invertebrates on the planet! They love eating crabs and shrimp which they crush with their beak, the only truly hard part of their bodies. Because they are so soft and smart they ofter escape from captivity. At the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre the newly acquired Octopus somehow escaped from it's tank on the very first night! Luckily it was found before it dried out, and will be returned to the wild in a few months. They use special organs on their skin called chromatophores to change colour and can even make themselves all wrinkly if they want to hide.
Check out this video where a Giant Pacific Octopus wants to play with Asta! Check out how he changes colour
Welcome to the 12 days of fish-mas gallery!
At Christmas time in 2013 I made this gallery while working at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre!