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Did you know?

Lionfish suck! To eat, lionfish create a vacuum within their mouth then, like a trap, it springs open and any surrounding food is sucked inside!

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The Lionfish

The lionfish has 13 grooved spines inside its beautiful fins that produce venom. When a spine punctures your skin, venom travels up the groove and into your body. It causes rapid swelling around the wound and makes movement of the affected limbs difficult! The symptoms from a lionfish puncture can vary from bee sting like pain to unbelievable agony.

The lionfish's fins posses a double danger! Not only do they contain harmful venom for humans, but the side fins also spread wide around its head like a mane, allowing the lionfish to herd and trap prey against rock and coral.

The spots and stripes found on the lionfish's body aren't just there for looks! These patterns break up their body outline, confusing both predators and prey. Other fish are unaware of the lionfish's exact shape, which way it is swimming or where its mouth might be located!

Puffer Fish

Puffer fish, developed their famous "inflatability" because their slow, somewhat clumsy swimming style makes them vulnerable to predators. In lieu of escape, pufferfish use their highly elastic bodies and the ability to quickly ingest huge amounts of water (or air) to turn themselves into a virtually inedible ball several times their normal size.

A predator that manages to snag a puffer before it inflates won't feel lucky for long. Almost all pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, the most lethal naturally occurring poison known to man.

Amazingly, the meat of some pufferfish is considered a delicacy. Called fugu in Japan, it is extremely expensive and can only be safely prepared by trained, licensed chefs who know that one bad cut means almost certain death for a customer. There is no antidote available; however the poison eventually wears off – you just need to be kept alive in the meantime!

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Did you know?

Pufferfish poisoning is known as a ‘living death’ tetradotoxin, which paralyses the muscles while the victim stays fully conscious – until they stop breathing.

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Sea Snake

Sea snakes are ocean reptiles. Like other reptiles they have scales, breathe air, lay eggs and can't control their body temperature. Sea snakes also have a forked tongue, no eyelids and no legs.

Packed into the syringe like fangs of a sea snake is venom 2-10 times more powerful than a cobra's. Sharp fine teeth grip their food until it can be injected with venom. The venom is powerful and quick acting to ensure that their prey can't escape. While venom is used to capture prey it is rarely used in defence.

Blue Ringed Octopus

The Blue Ringed Octopus lives in tide pools and coral reefs, they can be identified by their characteristic blue and black rings, and yellowish skin. When the octopus is agitated, the brown patches darken dramatically, iridescent blue rings, or clumps of rings, appear and pulsate within the maculae.

Despite its small size, it carries enough venom to kill 10 adults. Their bites are tiny and often painless, with many victims not realizing they have been envenomed until respiratory depression and paralysis start to set in. No blue ringed octopus antivenom is available yet, making it one of the deadliest reef inhabitants in the ocean.

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Did you know?

The blue ringed octopus is the world's most poisonous octopus.

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Did you know?

Stonefish are the most venomous type of fish in the world!

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The Stonefish

The stonefish is the most venomous of all fish. Along its back on 13 large spines. Each spine and has a pair of venomous sacs attached to it. Any light pressure on the spine will cause the sacs eject their venom. The nuerotoxic venom causes extreme pain to humans. Other possible reactions are severe shock, heart failure and infection. Wounds obtained by touching a stonefish won't heal for months. There is an anti-venom available and scalding hot water also helps to stop the venom's activity.

Stonefish are usually lying around on the sea floor around tropical reefs. The fish blends in well with the reef due to its warty growths and coloring. Because of its a good camouflage and defensive mechanisms the fish is rarely afraid of any sort of danger and stays where it is when larger animals approach. This can cause trouble for unsuspecting humans who may stumble upon them

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DANGERZONE

Face a deadly line up of marine creatures that can sting, bite or wrap their prey with suckered arms to immobilise or even kill! The DANGERzone is an eye-opening exhibit of Western Australia’s most dangerous marine life and is not to be missed.

Most venom becomes more potent in temperatures above 25oC – This is why venomous animals in the tropics are usually more deadly than those found in cooler climates.