On the second day of Fish-Mas my true love gave to me:
Two wolf eels
(and a hermit crab in a snail shell)
These juvenile wolf eels (Anarrhichthys ocellatus) might look scary, but SCUBA divers know that they are some of the friendliest fish in the sea! Often pairs of wolf-eels will mate for life! They inhabit small caves called dens and their favourite food is the spiny sea-urchin. Although they are called wolf-eels, they are not true eels! They are elongated eel-like fish, but they are not of the order of eels (Anguilliformes).
This little guy is only about 5cm long and he's hoping for some of his favourite food in his stocking this year!
Can you guess what he eats?
Dead plants and animals!
And I thought my socks smelled bad! I'm keeping his stocking far away from the fireplace.
Although hermit crabs are most often found in shallow intertidal areas they can live at depths of over 600m
Hermit crabs don't grow their own shells. Instead they live in snail shells they find on the sea floor. Once they outgrow their shell it's time for them to search for a new bigger one. When they are threatened by a predator they withdraw inside their shell and use their claws to shut the door.
This one looks like he's got a sack full of toys and if you look very carefully you'll see the small anemone hitching a ride on his shell!
Photo: Andrew Murgatroyd
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!
Andrew Murgatroyd BSc.
Asta Mail MSc.