Congratulations to the following people who each won a set of double tickets to the Aquarium through the October/November Animals with Funny Faces Quiz.

  1. Bertram Kearns
  2. Ayesha Mohamed
  3. Rose Thornycroft
  4. Lilma Morris

They did so by correctly identifying 10 Aquarium animals from close-up photographs. Well done! We hope you have a fintastic time at the Aquarium.

Without further delay, here are the creatures we featured in the competition.

1. Who carries a face of perpetual surprise?

Answer: The floral moray eel

Floral moray eels live in the Indo-West Pacific, the Red Sea and the Western Indian Ocean from Oman to East London. They prefer rocky areas, seagrass beds and reefs in shallow water. They are also nocturnal feeders, eating crustaceans (mainly crabs) and small fish. If the prey is too large, these eels will knot themselves around their victim in order to tear off smaller pieces.

2. We asked: Who is known as “the only man of the sea”?

Answer: The black musselcracker

Black musselcrackers have powerful jaws with a set of impressive teeth – four cone-shaped teeth in the upper jaw and six in the lower jaw, as well as two rows of rounded molars in each jaw. They use these teeth to crush starfish, sea urchins, crabs and chitons. It listed as red (don't buy) by the SASSI Customer Seafood List.

You can dive with this fish!

3. We asked: Who’s always pulling a duckface?

Answer: The longhorn cowfish

Hands down the most photogenic of our fish, longhorn cowfish grow to a maximum size of 45cm. Their bodies are enclosed in an “armour” of fused bony scales and they have two prominent horns protruding above their eyes. Unlike other fish, they do not have gill covers. These fish are known to make grunting noises when they are caught.  

4. We asked: Whose eyes are bulging right out its head?

Answer: The mudskipper

Mudskippers live in mangrove forests along the tropical coasts of the Indian and Pacific oceans. They inhabit mudflats and tolerate a wide range of salinities. Mudskippers belong to the Goby family – a comparatively recent group of fishes, which first appeared in the fossil record some 58-37 million years ago. Mudskippers can remain out of water for several days, breathing through specialised chambers in their mouths and gills. When the tide goes out, they skip quickly over the mudflats in search of food, using their sturdy pectoral fins as legs. They are also able to flip themselves forward with their tails, sometimes by as much as a metre. Some species climb up into the tangled roots of mangroves to hunt insects and small crustaceans.

5. We asked: Whose face is only on one side of its body?

Answer: The sole

Soles have compressed, asymmetrical bodies with both eyes on the same side of the head. They are found in temperate and tropical oceans around the world.

Soles are:

  • Right-eyed flatfishes – both eyes are found on the right side of the body.
  • A sluggish, bottom-dwelling species. 
  • Camouflage artists – they are sandy coloured and blend into the sand. They also burrow beneath the sand.

6. We asked: Whose mouth is also its anus?

Answer: The anemone

Anemones are simple animals that look like delicate flowers. But these “flowers” can move and catch prey. Anemones have poisonous barbs in their tentacles that fire on contact, injecting poison into their prey. To protect themselves, anemones secrete a special slime that prevents the stinging cells on one tentacle from firing when they come into contact with other tentacles or with the anemone’s body.

7. We asked: Who is the sulkiest fish of all?

Answer: The lionfish

Devil firefish (Pterois miles), also known as lionfish, have beautiful reddish or brown stripes and delicate fins, making them interesting to watch and photograph. “Pterois” means “winged” and “miles” means soldier, so in English, their species name means “winged soldier”. You can see lionfish in an exhibit near the entrance to the Aquarium.

8. We asked: Who has the longest face?

Answer: The snipefish

Slender snipefish are distantly related to seahorses and pipefish. These fish live at depths between 25 and 600m in large shoals. They have scales similar to shark denticles with sharp ridges and spines. At the end of the long tube-like snout is a small toothless mouth. Slender snipefish feed mainly on zooplankton.

9. We said: Not sure where this fish's face begins and ends, to be honest.

Answer: A razorfish

Shrimpfish, also known as razorfish, (Aeoliscus punctulatus) are found in the Red Sea and off the east coast of Africa from Kenya south to Algoa Bay. These strange fish swim in an upright vertical position (nose-down). They are perfectly adapted to this lifestyle in that the dorsal fin is situated at the end of their bodies and their tail fin is displaced vertically. They have flattened bodies with bony plates, sharp ventral edges and long snouts.

10. We said: Big jowls, constant frown - it must really "suck" being this fish!

Answer: The rocksucker

Rocksuckers are ruler-length fish that have a large suction pad under their bodies, which they use to cling to rocks, meaning they can endure strong currents. They can be seen in rock pools at low tide and often sit upside down under rocky ledges. Rocksuckers are shaped like tadpoles with a wide, flattened head. They have no scales, but are covered with a coat of slime, making them very slippery. With two prominent front canines, they are able to remove limpets or mollusks from the rocks, which they then swallow whole! If the shell is small enough, it will be excreted whole, but if not, the fish will vomit it up.

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