Hey there guys, gals and ghouls! The spookiest day of the year is finally here and Adventure Aquarium is getting into the spirit! Our sharks, sea turtles, penguins, stingrays and other sea life wear pretty elaborate outfits all year-round. We thought it might be fun to highlight some of the creepiest and most colorful creations at Adventure Aquarium. Here’s a special Halloween countdown of our #AAQBooCrew, who are in the Halloween spirit every day of the year.
#8. The colorful Filefish is ready for Halloween! His small mouth is where you’ll find a few strong incisor-like teeth (is he channeling vampire or werewolf vibes?). The filefish uses these teeth to break off pieces of coral to feed and to chisel holes into the shells of mollusks.
#7. The Lionfish has beautiful stripes and fins that appear more like feathers – talk about an elaborate costume for a fish! This invasive species can be found in the U.S. Southeast and Caribbean coastal waters. While it may appear to be beautiful, be careful if you encounter this top predator as it is venomous.
#6. Moray eels definitely look creepy (hello, that’s what makes eels kind of awesome, right?)! What makes them even creepier?? They have TWO sets of jaws! They attack their prey with a hidden set of chompers (YIKES!). First, the outer jaws firmly grasp the target. Next, their pharyngeal set shoots forward, bites the prey, and pulls it into the throat.
#5. Sometimes Halloween costumes can be super cute. Take the pufferfish which may seem to be even cuter when fully expanded — but don’t be fooled. Did you know it’s the second most poisonous vertebrate on the planet? The poison of a pufferfish, which has no known antidote, kills by paralyzing the diaphragm, causing suffocation.
#4. The ribbon eel is a species of moray eel and, let’s be honest, super cute (look at that face!). It grows to an overall length of approximately 3.3 feet and has a life span of up to twenty years. They are carnivores, preying on small fish and other marine creatures. Ribbon eels can attract their prey with their flared nostrils and then clamp down on them with their strong jaws and retreat into their burrows.
#3. Of course the wolf eel is on our list – look at that mug! Can you imagine wearing a wolf eel mask for your Halloween costume? While he definitely looks a little creepy, the wolf eel is not actually a true eel, but part of the Anarhichadidae family of “wolf fishes”. Did you know they can grow up to almost 8 feet long?
#2. Can you say Yoda? All Star Wars fans can agree that the waxy monkey frog has definite Yoda vibes and may have the best facial expression of any amphibian. She might not be that great at hopping but the waxy monkey frog does extremely well in trees, using opposable thumbs to pull her way around. High temperatures (up to 41°C or 106°F) and direct sunlight would dry out most other frogs but the waxy monkey frog thrives in those conditions.
#1. Not all Halloween costumes have to be creepy or scary! Just ask all the princesses, unicorns, fairies and our final #AAQBooCrew member! The Mandarin dragonet is absolutely stunning with bright and colorful fins. She is also shy by nature. During the day, this peaceful fish is quite reclusive, but at times she can be seen perching or hopping atop corals. She moves by briskly pulsating her fins, which resembles a hummingbird. #Gorgeous
We hope you enjoyed checking out our #AAQBooCrew! Come visit them right here at Adventure Aquarium on Halloween and all 364 other days of the year. Have fun tonight and be safe trick-or-treating! And save some candy for us!