6 sea creatures with superpowers
by Jorge Mezcua on Nov 23, 2022
Chiton (Chiton magnificus)
Superpower: iron jaw
Frog fish (Antennariidae family)
Superpower: ultra speed
It may not be the fastest moving fish in the water or on the seabed, but it is the fastest hunter in the ocean. Frogfish are capable of launching their mouth, catching and swallowing their prey in just 6 milliseconds. Yes, in 0.006 seconds:
As if their speed were not enough of an advantage over their prey, many species of frog fish have an appendage with which they attract the attention of their food. Like an angler, the frog fish uses this appendage to trick other hungry fish. These, thinking it is a larva, approach to eat it. Unfortunately, by the time they realize the deception, they are already inside the stomach of the relentless frog fish.
Mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus)
All cephalopods have the ability, more or less advanced, to camouflage themselves with their environment, changing shapes and colors. They use it both to hide from predators and to be able to reach their prey more easily. But the mimic octopus takes this ability to a higher level. It changes shape to mimic the appearance of other ocean creatures such as lionfish, poisonous soles, sea snakes... up to 15 different species of animals are known that it can mimic.
That it mimics the shape and colors of highly venomous species is no accident and speaks to the intelligence of octopuses. This species was discovered less than 25 years ago. By all accounts, it has also done a very good job of camouflage and mimicry in front of marine biologists.
Nudibranch Placida Dendritica
Superpower: creates solar energy
It's true that this superpower sounds amazing and enormously useful, but I'm also telling you that it needs to be improved.
The nudibranch Placida Dendritica feeds, among other algae, on Codium tomentosum. After swallowing this algae, its chloroplasts, the cells that perform photosynthesis, remain active in the nudibranch. These chloroplasts inside the nudibranch, in contact with sunlight, continue to photosynthesize and release sugars that the nudibranch feeds on.
We say that it has to improve this superpower because it seems that these chloroplasts remain in the nudibranch for less than 24 hours. So, it has to keep eating and looking for algae to restart this superpower. But, yes, a very cool super power.
Mantis shrimp (Gonodactylus smithii)
Superpowers: extraordinary vision and mega punch
We leave for the end a spectacular critter that has not one but two superpowers. On the one hand, it has the best eyesight in the animal kingdom. While humans are able to identify and differentiate about 1,000 colors, the mantis shrimp is able to see up to 110,000 different colors. It is also able to see ultraviolet and infrared lights, being one of the few animals that can see colors in this range.
But what has made the mantis shrimp so famous is the striking power of its claws. It has a pair of short, retracted claws that it uses to hunt, which it can throw at a speed of 23m/s with an acceleration of 10,400 G. To give you an idea, a Formula 1 driver can experience 6.5 G and a Harrier jet pilot can experience 9 G, which in many cases can knock out pilots in training.
As you can imagine, this force breaks the shell of any crab. Even if it fails, the wave generated in the water by the blow, reaching temperatures of over 1,000 ºC, kills many of its prey.
Do you know any other sea creature with extraordinary powers? Leave it in comments and we will include it with photos and videos with the rest.