leafy sea dragon
Because of their unique appearance, leafy sea dragons are caught by divers who seek to keep them as pets. Image Credit: Shutterstock

There are plenty of fish in the sea, and they are smarter than you think.

Click start to play today’s Word Search and spot the various species of fish.

One of the marine creatures mentioned is today’s puzzle is the “sea dragon”. Less like the hulking beast, Drogon, from the HBO television show Game of Thrones, and more like Mushu, the pint-sized dragon in Disney’s Mulan, sea dragons are some of the most ornately camouflaged creatures on the planet.

The leafy sea dragon, in particular, is exactly as its name suggests. Leaf-shaped appendages span their entire bodies, so they resemble the seaweed and kelp where they reside. The leafy part of their body isn’t used for swimming – they have two fins for that purpose, which are so thin they are almost transparent.

Sea dragons are, unfortunately, listed as a near threatened species. Because of their unique appearance, they are caught by divers who seek to keep them as pets. Their numbers reduced so critically by the early 1990s that the Australian government placed them on their protected list. Pollution and habitat loss have also impacted these beautiful creatures.

The wrasse is a fish that is hard to ignore in coral reefs and rocky shores. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Another fish from today’s Word Search is the “wrasse”. They can be tiny – four inches long – or grow up to an enormous 98 inches in length. With a colourful body, pointed snout, thick lips and prominent teeth, this fish is hard to ignore in coral reefs and rocky shores, where it resides.

According to a February 2019 report in the National Geographic, the bluestreak cleaner wrasse, a tiny tropical reef fish that’s about the length of a human finger, became the first fish to recognise itself in the mirror. Researchers tested this behaviour by placing a dot on the fish and then placing the animal in front of a mirror, to see if it is able to investigate the mark. Great apes, dolphins, elephants, and magpies passed the test, and the wrasse did too. In fact, researchers found that the wrasses tried to scrape off the mark from their bodies when they spotted it in the mirror!

Did you know about these amazing marine animals? Play today’s Word Search and tell us at games@gulfnews.com.