CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Pygmy seahorse

This minute master of camouflage survives by adapting its body to closely resemble sea fans, the soft coral it calls home. It's just one of the many creatures that could disappear along with the Great Barrier Reef because of global warming. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Reinhard Dirscherl/Getty Images
1
of 15

Reef stonefish

The stonefish hides itself among the coral using its crusty exterior as camouflage. It's earned the title of most venomous fish in the world, thanks to two sacs of poison on each of its 13 spines. The spines have pierced the soles of shoes, so look out!

Published:Caption:Photo:Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild/Getty Images
2
of 15

Spotfin lionfish

Don't touch those pretty dorsal fins -- they're venomous. Stealthy during the daylight hours, the spotfin lionfish is active at night, feeding on small fish and crustaceans.

Published:Caption:Photo:Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild/Getty Images
3
of 15

Potato cod

These prehistoric-looking fish are large, curious beings, reaching lengths of nearly 9 feet. They're fond of reefs off northeast Queensland. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Auscape/UIG/Getty Images
4
of 15

Clownfish

Pixar's 2003 "Finding Nemo" brought these guys to the big screen, acquainting us with their symbiotic relationship with sea anemones. They start life as males and later develop into females, a process known as sequential hermaphroditism.

Published:Caption:Photo:Barcroft Media/Getty Images
5
of 15

Nudibranch

Vividly vibrant, shell-less and often referred to as "sea slugs", these gastropods are known to come in 2,300 individual species. 

Published:Caption:Photo:The Ocean Agency
6
of 15

Humphead wrasse

This predator of the coral-munching crown-of-thorns starfish has been classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Published:Caption:Photo:Auscape/UIG/Getty Images
7
of 15

Green turtle

These endangered turtles can live to be up to 80 years old. Nearly all of that time is spent underwater. They routinely dive for four to five minutes, before surfacing for a gulp of air.

Published:Caption:Photo:Craig Parry/Barcroft Media/Getty Images
8
of 15

Giant oceanic manta ray

As the name suggests, these rays are, well, giant. The largest type of ray in the world, they can reach up to 7 meters in width.

Published:Caption:Photo:The Ocean Agency
9
of 15

Giant clam

Listed as "vulnerable" by the IUCN, these bottom feeders can live more than a century and have been recorded weighing more than 200 kilograms.

Published:Caption:Photo:Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild/Getty Images
10
of 15

Dugong

Affectionately dubbed the "sea cow", these creatures normally eat seagrass, which grows abundantly at the Great Barrier Reef. They can live as long as seven decades.

Published:Caption:Photo:Reinhard Dirscherl/Getty Images
11
of 15

Cuttlefish

Despite the name, these alien-looking creatures are actually molluscs. They're also among the most intelligent of invertebrates, with a huge brain-to-body ratio.

Published:Caption:Photo:The Ocean Agency
12
of 15

Crown-of-thorns starfish

These spiky, venomous invertebrates are one of the Great Barrier Reef coral's chief nemeses. Scientists estimate these creatures are responsible for nearly a quarter of coral destruction over the past three decades.

Published:Caption:Photo:Education Images/UIG/Getty Images
13
of 15

Box jellyfish

Extremely venomous and nearly invisible, the box jellyfish can extend its translucent tentacles up to 3 meters. Good luck, swimmers.

Published:Caption:Photo:Auscape/UIG/Getty Images
14
of 15

Barrel sponge

Sponges filter and clean the ocean, as well as serve as homes for smaller invertebrates. Similar to coral, these animals are also suffering because of changes in the ocean's temperature.

Published:Caption:Photo:Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild/Getty Images
15
of 15
Up Next

Inside the Sea Simulator mimicking the Great Barrier Reef