Marine Life

Honu

(Green Turtle)

Fun Fact:

-It is named not for the color of its shell, which is normally brown or olive depending on its habitat, but for the greenish color of its skin.

- Weighing up to 700 pounds (317.5 kilograms) green turtles are among the largest sea turtles in the world.

Diet:

- Unlike most sea turtles, adult green turtles are herbivorous, feeding on sea grasses and algae. Juvenile green turtles, however, will also eat invertebrates like crabs, jellyfish, and sponges.

Status: 

- Green turtles are listed as an endangered species.

- Despite this, they are still killed for their meat and eggs. Their numbers are also reduced by boat propeller accidents, fishnet-caused drowning, and the destruction of their nesting grounds by human encroachment.

 

'Ea

(Hawksbill Turtle)

Photo credit: waterbabydive.com.

Fun Fact:

- Their tapered heads end in a sharp point resembling a bird’s beak.

- Hawksbill turtles grow up to about 45 inches (114 centimeters) in shell length and 150 pounds (68 kilograms) in weight.

- On average they are 30-50 years old.

Diet:

- They are normally found near reefs rich in the sponges they like to feed on. Hawksbills are omnivorous and will also eat mollusks, marine algae, crustaceans, sea urchins, fish, and jellyfish.

Status:

- Like many sea turtles, hawksbills are a critically endangered species due mostly to human impact. Hawksbill eggs are still eaten around the world despite the turtle’s international protected status, and they are often killed for their flesh and their stunning shells. These graceful sea turtles are also threatened by accidental capture in fishing nets.

Ulua

(Giant Trevally)

 

Photo credit: Cesere Brothers

Fun Fact:

- The giant tuna is a powerful apex predator in most of its habitats, and is known to hunt individually and in schools.

- It is the largest fish in the genus Caranx, growing to a maximum known size of 67 inches (170cm) and a weight of 176 lbs (80 kg).

Diet:

- The species predominantly takes various fish as prey, although crustaceans, cephalopods, and mollusks make up a considerable part of their diets in some regions.

- The species has some quite novel hunting strategies, including shadowing monk seals to pick off escaping prey, as well as using sharks to ambush prey.

Status:

- Dwindling numbers around the main Hawaiian Islands have also led to several proposals to reduce the catch of fish in this region.

 

Parrot Fish

 Photo credit: www.keywestaquarium.com

Fun Facts:

- Some male parrot fish maintain harems of females. If the dominant male dies, one of the females will change gender and color and become the dominant male.

- Their coloration and patterns, which are a classification nightmare, varying greatly, even among the males, females, and juveniles of the same species.

- Their meat is rarely consumed in the United States, but is a delicacy in many other parts of the world. In Polynesia, it is served raw and was once considered "royal food," only eaten by the king.

Diet:

- Consists primarily of algae extracted from chunks of coral ripped from a reef. The coral is pulverized with grinding teeth in the fishes’ throats in order to get to the algae-filled polyps inside.

Status:

- Parrot fish are abundant in and around the tropical reefs of all the world’s oceans. There are about 80 identified species, ranging in size from less than 1 to 4 feet (30 to 120 centimeters) in length.

 

Humu Humu Nuku Nuku Apua’a

(Rectangular Triggerfish)

 Photo credit: http://www.dailykos.com

Fun Facts: 

- The reef triggerfish was originally designated the official fish of Hawaii in 1985.

- Has a snout like a pig.

- Hawaiian name is one of the longest words in the Hawaiian language and that the name is longer than the fish.

Diet:

-Reef Triggers feed on algae and invertebrates.

Status:

-Common in the Hawaiian Islands.

 

References and further reading

http://wildhawaii.org

https://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/

http://www.nps.gov

http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/

http://www.instanthawaii.com/

http://www.turtles.org/

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/