The spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus), an amazing creature that walks the ocean floor, is a rare Australian fish from the family Brachionichthyidae. It is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List 2002. is the first Australian marine species to be threatened with extinction.
The greatest threats to the handfish appear to be siltation and invasive species. The Derwent Estuary where the fish lives is highly urbanised and industrialised, and a range of marine pests have been introduced through shipping. One key pest is the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis), a particularly large and voracious predator that is now abundant in the estuary. Studies by CSIRO show that the seastars eat the stalked ascidians that the handfish use to attach their eggs.
Porcelanids are decapod (with 10 legs) crustaceans in the widespread family Porcellanidae, which superficially resemble true crabs. They have flattened bodies as an adaptation for living in rock crevices. They are delicate, readily losing limbs when attacked, and use their large claws for maintaining territories.
In the wild, yellow tangs provide cleaning services for sea turtles. The fish gather in groups and pick off algae from the turtle’s shells. This is mutually beneficial as the turtles get their shells cleaned while the fish get a meal.
Over a period of nine months, art photographer Klaus Pichler turned the bathroom of his studio apartment into a curated collection of plastic containers, each containing food items available to the average citizen of industrialised Europe to help visualise global food waste.
The Jewelled Flower Mantis is a type of Flower Mantis endemically found in Asia. Females are commonly cannibalistic so males are usually communal. Females grow to about 4cm long whereas the males are smaller at 3cm. These little guys are often kept as pets.