When you look at the ocean from above, it may seem unsettling – a giant, dark water body with hidden depths that could swallow you up in a moment. But dive down below or just snorkel among the reefs, and it reveals a bustling metropolis of busy marine animals, scooting and rushing about, just as we do, as if in a hurry to get to their next lunch meeting or appointment.
Click start to play today’s aquatic animal-themed Word Search and find all the creatures.
One of the fish in today’s puzzle is the stingray. With their wide, flat bodies, they do not look like fish at all. But they are, and in fact, stingrays are relatives of the shark! Their disc shaped bodies are supported by cartilage rather than bones, giving them the freedom of mobility to ‘fly’ by moving their bodies in a wavy motion.
As beautiful as they are, don’t be fooled by their nonchalant gliding about. Many species of stingray, including the blue-spotted stingray, have venom that is delivered through their tails. Some stingrays have a spine in their tail as well, which can be very sharp, since they have serrated edges. Needless to say, it’s best to avoid them – if you can see them. Stingrays prefer shallow water near the shorelines in warmer parts of the world, and they are often found partially buried on the ocean floor, hiding from predators (sharks) or waiting for their prey (crabs, shrimps, clams).
Another creature mentioned in today’s puzzle is the manatee, a marine mammal that is often referred to as the sea cow. Massive but graceful, they push themselves with their strong tails and usually glide along at 8km/h but can reach a top speed of 25km/h. In terms of body weight, manatees range from 200kg to 590kg and can grow up to 13 feet long. According to National Geographic, since manatees are so big, most animals avoid preying on them. And if they were to try, manatee skin is too tough to chew, so it’s not worth the effort.
These gentle beasts are still at risk, though, because hunters - their only predator - seek their hides, oil and bones. Though they are protected by laws around the world, they also face threats such as motorboat accidents in overcrowded waters, and getting entangled in fishing nets.