– Come on, come on, come here, I think I got a small animal! – Whaddya got? – I got a seahorse! – What, it’s not a seahorse… – I got a seahorse! – Oh, did you really? – Yeah! – Are you kidding me? – No, look! (dramatic music) (splashing) – As the morning sun rose, it cast a golden glow over the rolling dunes. Waves crashed upon the sandy shores, and as they receded one set at a time, the water levels dropped, signaling the arrival of low tide. I could sense adventure in the air, and as I worked my way down the shoreline, I looked out across the Atlantic Ocean, and envisioned the challenge set before me. Wow! This is beautiful, look at this, you got pelicans right back here, and today we’re at the Key Biscane Nature Center, and we’re gonna do something a little bit different.
To catch creatures today I’m actually gonna bring the crew out there with me. You guys are actually gonna put down the main cameras, pick up Go Pros and nets. There’s a lot of water to cover and the more nets we have in the water, the better chance we have of finding some creatures. Today’s expedition Beyond the Tide is a little different, as we will be working in conjunction with the Biscayne Nature Center. Located on the Northern end of Crandon Park, this multi-functional center is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to environmental education and citizen participation in the protection of our natural environment.
Using dip-nets, our aim was to catch native species, and present them in a controlled setting, before releasing them back into the wild. We were told that there were many creatures we could come across, but nothing was more coveted than the elusive seahorse. So, with nets in the water, the search was on. (mellow music) – [Mark] Let me see, what’d you get? – [Mario] We got a little lobster! – [Mark] Oh my gosh! (lighthearted music) – [Mario] I got a shrimp! What’d you catch, Coyote? Lemme see.
– [Coyote] Oh, yeah. – [Mario] Ah ostraciidae, that’s cool. Yeah, put them in the bucket. – [Mark] Come on, seahorse! – [Mario] We got a pipefish! – [Mark] No way! – [Mario] He was wiggling right through. – [Mark] Look at that! Oh man, that’s awesome! – We’re one step closer to a seahorse. – [Mark] Hey, great find. – Same family. – [Mark] Yeah, that was awesome. Look at all those fish! Nice! You’re doin’ great! – [Mario] Ah here’s a cool one. He’s really puffed up. – Oh, man, he’s beautiful. – Know what this is missing? – A seahorse. – Definitely, gotta catch a seahorse. – [Mark] Coyote. – Yeah? – [Mark] You got competition, man. – Wow, look at all those kids.
They got ’em out here trying to catch seahorses for us. This is a lot harder than I thought. I thought we’d catch lots of seahorses. We’ve gone quite a ways, covered some serious ground, found all sorts of cool creatures. We got pipefish, puffer fish, file fish, all fish, we need a seahorse, which is also technically a fish. And a horse, I guess, at the same time. All right, keep searching. – [Mark] Come on, come on, come here, I think I got a small animal! – Whaddya got? – [Mark] I got a seahorse! – What, it’s not a seahorse… – [Mark] I got a seahorse! – Oh, did you really? – [Mark] Yeah! – Are you kidding me? – [Mark] No, look! – [Coyote] No way! – [Mark] Aw, man, look at that! That is our star animal! – [Coyote] We got it! – [Mark] We got a seahorse! – Wow! You did it! – Yeah! That’s a wrap, folks! We’ll I’d say it’s a success, we have two buckets full of little sea creatures, but the most important thing is we caught a seahorse.
Yeah! Look at all of these sea creatures! – [Mark] We did really well! – We did amazing! Considering the fact we were only out there in the seagrass for about an hour. Look at all of these creatures! Okay, now we’re not going to go into detail about all of these animals, but I at least wanted to take a look and get them up close for the camera for just a second and then we’re gonna get on to our star feature creature. Okay, now these are trunkfish, or cowfish, but because these are so little, these are babies, they’re actually adorably referred to as peafish. I mean that is about the cutest little fish I’ve ever seen. I’m gonna turn him like this.
Look at his little face. – [Mark] Look at his little beak. – He’s got that little trunk up front, those big, buggy eyes and obviously it’s that green coloration that gives them the name peafish. I know, you wanna get back in the water, here we go, plop! Bloop! There you go. Now those are file fish. Check that out. They’re very flat, which I imagine that’s where they get their name from, filefish, and they have a really distinct horn on top of their heads. Come here, little fishy. Woah, they’re quick. Woah! He jumped right outta there! See, when you zoom in on the top of his head there… You see that? That, there you go, you see that? – [Mark] Yeah. – Keep your focus there. There you go, now you can see it. Woah, woah, woah, I feel ya. He wants to get back in the water. There you go. Plopped him right back in there. Now we have to keep all of these sea creatures in water. You’ll notice that each and every one of them is I fresh seawater, and in case you’re wondering, yes they all will be released back out into the wild once we take a close look.
Okay should we keep it with fish? – [Mark] Yeah let’s stick with fish. – Okay, which one do you guys wanna look at next? – [Mark] How about that spiky one over there? – Oh, yes, the porcupine puffer fish. Now when we caught him he was deflated, and as soon as they get agitated, they puff up their bodies. They’re incredibly sharp. Let me get him out of here. He’s gonna stay puffed up until we release him back out into the ocean. And he’s a lot heavier than you would think, so just keeping him in the palm of my hand… My fingers are all wrinkly, you see this, from being in the ocean water all day, and that makes my fingers much more susceptible to those spines.
He feels like a little pincushion. Non-venomous, but go ahead, Mark put your hand out there, I’m gonna actually place it, put your hand flat. – [Mark] Oh, okay. – And tell everybody, he’s actually heavy, isn’t he? – [Mark] Oh! Yeah, spiky! Yeah, it weighs… So, I’m guessing that’s not just air. – No, that’s not just air, he’s got water inside of his body. (squeak) Oh! You hear him squeakin’? He’s squeakin’! Now, when it’s deflated, it looks like a normal fish, and the coolest defense about these creatures is that obviously they’re capable of puffing up into a spiky ball. They’ve actually found sharks before that have died from eating one of these fish.
They get it into their mouth and then, ppfft! It puffs up like a balloon, and you can imagine how painful that would be to have a throat full of spikes. And while your camera’s down there, Mark, you see this other fish that we have? That is a scorpionfish. – [Mark] Ooh, sounds bad. – [Coyote] Yeah, they have spines on their back pectoral fins. I’m not going to pick it up because if I do I will be stung and it’s incredibly painful. – [Mark] So is a scorpionfish at all like an angler fish? I notice it has an appendage on the front of its mouth. – [Coyote] No, angler fishes use those appendages of the front of their faces to lure in prey. These appendages growing off the scorpionfish are more used for camouflage.
They are ocean floor dwelling fish, and it’s more like a gobi in the way that it will move across the bottom, and that’s how people oftentimes run across these fish. If they’re on the bottom of the ocean floor, and you’re barefoot and you’re walking, and you step on this… Yeah, you’re gonna be in some serious pain. You know who we forgot? – [Mark] The little puffer? – [Coyote] The little puffer, he’s hiding in there. – [Mark] He’s hiding by the scorpionfish for protection. – [Coyote] See, he’s clever. Here let me move… This is a little risky here. Oh boy, oh boy. Okay, check this out. This little pufferfish, watch if I just kinda tickle his belly…
Up, up, up, up! Look at that! – [Mark] Is that air or water? – [Coyote] That is air. That is air that he just… That little chirping noise is him sucking in the air. There you go, up, up, up, up, up! – [Mark] Let’s see what else we have. Let’s move on from fish. What else do we have besides fish? – Let’s look at some of the crustaceans. Now, I caught this one. This is just a little, tiny baby, but that is a spider crab. That is a little, tiny, baby spider crab. – [Mark] Why is it called a spider crab? – [Coyote] Because of its legs.
They look like a spider when they’re walking. – [Mark] Do those stay small or do they grow? – No, these grow. They can grow to be pretty large, actually, I mean, big, huge, huge. – [Mark] No way! – Huge crabs, yeah. – [Mark] But those wouldn’t be out here in the– – No, they’re out deep. They’re out deep. As they get larger they move deeper out into the ocean it is a deep sea crab species. – [Mark] So it’s kind of like the seagrass is like a nursery, right? – [Coyote] Yeah! Well, it provides a lot of camouflage, a lot of cover, a lot of places to hide for these smaller creatures, and once they do grow larger, they head out into deeper waters, specifically something like this. Check it out. Right here… Woah, come here. – [Mark] What is that? – [Coyote] A little, baby spiny lobster. See that? Look how tiny he is. – [Mark] Oh my gosh, look how teeny he is! – Is that the smallest lobster you’ve ever seen? We’re gonna just put him back, and let’s look at a larger one.
Now this one we actually borrowed from the nature center. Now that is a much larger spiny lobster, and they get that name because you can see all the spines on the antennae, and then of course, these two enormous spines, right above the eyes there. And running along the back.. Ooh, yeah, that is also very, very sharp, but the good news for me is that this lobster species does not have any pinchers. All right. – [Mark] I think there’s gonna be one more thing on the table until we get to the grand finale.
– Yes, the grand finale creature. Okay, these are related to our star creature. These are pipefish. Look at it’s face. Very elongated and that snout is like a little vacuum cleaner, and that’s how they catch their prey. They suck the prey up through their mouth, they have a fixed jaw, so they don’t actually have teeth, they can’t chew, they actually don’t have stomachs, either. As the food works through their mouth it just disintegrates in their body and then they poop it out. – [Mark] That one looks even more like a seahorse. Oh yeah. – There you go. – [Mark] Cool. – Look at that face. You may be wondering to yourself, well, “Do they have gills?” Yes, like all fish they have gills, they do have a skeleton and then this hard exoskeleton on the outside is what keeps them rigid and also protects them. – [Mark] Very neat. – I’m gonna put him back down. Okay, if you guys are ready, I know you’ve all been anticipating the reveal of that little, tiny seahorse that I caught out there in the seagrass.
Now they tell me they only catch about three seahorses a week, so I said we were pretty lucky to be out there for an hour and actually come across one of these amazing little creatures. Look at that, it’s tiny, right? This is one of the slowest fish species in the world. Actually the slowest is the dwarf seahorse. Now let’s look at this creature’s head. Notice that long, tube-like snout. Just like the pipefish they do not have teeth. That snout works like a vacuum cleaner, so they’ll hunt around in crevices of rocks searching for little tiny shrimp and then, swoosh! They suck the shrimp in, and have a meal.
What’s really cool is that I can see it’s little pectoral fins fluttering very quickly, and they use that dorsal fin on their back as locomotion. Wow, look at that, just swimmin’ around. I wonder if he can see his own reflection in the bottom of that– – [Mario] Hey! – Yeah? – [Mario] Look what I got! – [Mark] What is it? – You didn’t catch that! – [Mario] I did not but one of the students did! – What? – [Mark] Oh, man. – Look at that! – [Mark] Somebody caught a bigger seahorse than Coyote! – I thought I had the seahorse of the day! So, if you guys remember, there might have been some B-roll shots in there of a bunch of kids out there also with us trying to catch creatures.
There were around 100 of them with nets also looking for seahorses and sure enough they caught a big one. This is actually perfect because this will give me the chance to take the seahorse out of water… Wow! – [Mark] That’s a good one! – Look at that! That’s a great one. – [Mark] A lot darker. – Yeah a lot darker. And, it’s very rigid. They have a very strong outer exoskeleton and unlike fish they do not have scales. They have gills, they have eyes, they have fins, they do not have scales. I’m gonna put it back down into the water here. Actually I’m gonna put it in with the little seahorse. – [Mark] Yeah, let’s see them next to each other. – [Coyote] Yeah, get that top of there, here we go. – [Mark] Seahorses live in packs, right? – Yeah, do you know what a group of seahorses is called? – [Mark] I don’t know.
– What do you call a group of horses? – [Mark] A herd. – A herd, that’s right. A group of seahorses is called a herd. And do you know what you call a baby seahorse? – [Mario] A pony? – [Mark] A pony! – No! – [Mark] A colt! – Although it would make sense. Or, no, not colt. A fry! So, imagine a very itty bitty, tiny seahorse, it’s a small fry, right? – [Mario] Nice. – [Mark] So you caught a small fry. – [Coyote] I guess, yeah, I caught a small fry, or maybe mine’s a female and this one’s a male, that could be the case. Now one of the coolest things about the seahorse is its eyesight. They have excellent eyesight and their eyes are actually capable of working independently from one another, which means that they can look forward and backward at the same time.
This is what allows them to be such excellent predators. You look at a creature like this and you would think “Is that thing really a great hunter?” And it really is. And they will eat 30 to 50 times a day, so when this creature wakes up in the morning, basically its function is to swim slowly and search out food. – [Mark] Do seahorses… Are they known to hang on to each other? – Yeah, they will. They have an actually a really incredible courting display. Males and females, they actually pair for life, if you didn’t know that, which makes them very unique amongst other fish.
In the morning when the sun’s coming out they will actually dance back and forth with each other, sometimes that dance can last for up to two hours. Isn’t that crazy? And then they go about their day hunting for food, but they do pair for life. So, when we take these seahorses back out there, we need to make sure that we let them go right in the same spot that we found them. – [Mark] Well, we will do that. – And we will certainly do that. Well this was pretty excellent. Spending the day here at the Biscayne Nature Center getting up close with all of these amazing sea creatures. The only thing left to do now is get ’em back out into the ocean. I’m Coyote Peterson, be brave, stay wild! We’ll see you on the next adventure. Aww, they’re still holding tails. Spending time searching for sea creatures was an educational experience I will always remember. The coolest part is that this is an adventure you can go on. To learn how, visit the Biscayne Nature Center’s website. Become a part of their conservation effort.
If you thought catching sea creatures in the Atlantic Ocean was exciting, make sure to go back and watch our adventure to the Pacific side of Costa Rica, where we got up close with some seriously bizarre looking animals. And don’t forget, subscribe, so you can join me and the crew on our next aquatic adventure. Did you see how quickly I was able to collect them? There are probably about 60 or 70 of them right in this pocket, and look at that. You can see ’em so much better now that they’re in this clear container. (dramatic music) (coyote howling).
As found on Youtube
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