Many animals use their teeth and paws to fight enemies. Others don't need to struggle as they use camouflage so they will not become easy targets. Some species come already prepared for battle by being born with body parts that shouts, "Don't touch me, or else!" Just like these underwater creatures.
This echinoderm can grow to more than one meter in diameter, making
it the world’s second largest seastar. It was named for its long, sharp,
venomous spines that cover its entire upper body. Seastars are
typically known to have five arms but the crown-of-thorns has 7 to 23
toxic spines. Being voracious predators of corals, they are notorious
for their devastating impact on coral reef ecosystems.
Urchins are small, spherical sea creatures with bodies covered in
spiny shell. Despite their sharp spines, they are a big hit
gastronomically among wolf eels, triggerfish, sea otters and humans.
Their gonads are a culinary delicacy in many parts of the world. These
slow moving creatures eat algae, sea cucumber, and many kinds of
invertebrates, including mussels and brittle stars. Their movable
spines, which can cause a painful wound when they puncture human skin
are not dangerous.
don’t simply have spines. It has 13 grooved, needle-like dorsal fin
spines packed with potent neurotoxins. Anytime the fish is disturbed,
the spines will stick up and secrete venom. Should a human step into
them, the sensation is not just painful, it is excruciating and
deadly; it may cause paralysis, shock and tissue death.
While most sharks are covered with rough, sandpaper-like skin called
dermal denticles, the prickly shark’s scales are sharp and
thorn-like. Although bottom-dwelling in nature, this slow swimmer
frequents shallow waters making it susceptible to incidental capture.
Prickly sharks are harmless and you will not hear of any prickly
sharp recipe because their meat, being soft and of poor quality, have
no commercial value.
The Spiny King Crab, also known as California King Crab, is a deep
sea crab measuring 6 inches across with legs reaching 1 foot in
diameter. They eat sea stars, other crabs and also food scraps that fall
to the ocean floor. They are distinctively spiny, with their
carapace and legs covered in very long spikes. Like other king crabs,
spiny kings are widely caught for human consumption.
Lionfish are native to the reefs, lagoons and rocky crevices of the
Indo-Pacific. They are distinguished by their attractive red, white
and black stripes, showy pectoral fins and venomous spiky fin rays.
Their 11-18 needle-like dorsal fins can sting humans and cause nausea
and breathing difficulties. Sharp fins aside, lionfish meat have been
found to be a wonderful addition in seafood cuisine. They are also
highly valued in the aquarium trade.
It is a furry marine worm that looks and moves like a mouse,
burrowing and creeping in the sandy or muddy seabed as it scavenge for
food. Sea mice have oblong bodies that can reach up to 30 centimeters
(12 inches) long. Their back is either partially or completely
covered with dense hair and stiff spines called setae which glow with
iridescent colors when it reflects sunlight. The sharp bristles can
cause severe irritation when it pricks the skin.
This poor swimmer has large eyes and beak-like teeth. They can be
found in shallow waters in tropical seas worldwide. Their short and
broad bodies are surrounded with spines that lie flat. When
threatened, they swallow large amounts of water or air so they will
balloon to almost three times their normal size and their spines stick
out making them look intimidating. Some species are also armed with
tetrodotoxin, a poison that makes them foul-tasting and deadly to their
Seahorses are a kind of fish that have long, equine-like look and a
curled tail. Instead of scales, they are covered in armored plates and
spines throughout their bodies. They have no teeth and no stomach.
These upright-swimming fish can reach up to 14 inches (35 cm) long.
They are known to be the only animal in the planet in which the male
gets pregnant and gives birth to babies. They are also known for being
monogamous and mate for life.