What Kinds of Sea Creatures Live in a Tropical Ocean?

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Coral reefs are home to many of the ocean's sea creatures in the tropics.
Coral reefs are home to many of the ocean's sea creatures in the tropics. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

From the tiny barnacle to the giant hammerhead shark, tropical oceans are home to a wide array of sea creatures. The species in the world's tropical oceans also run the gamut in terms of threat level, from the harmless clownfish to the stinging porcupinefish.

Coral Reef

Coral reefs are home to literally thousands of different sea creatures. Among them is the 2.25-inch clown anemonefish of the western and central Pacific Ocean which actually lives inside another reef organism, the anemone. Despite the anemone's stinging tentacles, clown anemonefish are immune and use the anemone as a safe place to live and lay eggs. Barnacles are also well-known inhabitants of the reef. They have antennae they attach to rocks and coral, leaving 12 legs to filter organisms from the salty water and ingest for food.

Below the water, a coral reef teeming with life awaits.
Below the water, a coral reef teeming with life awaits. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Blue Marlin

Found globally in tropical and temperate oceans, the blue marlin weighs an average of 400 lbs. and measures in at an average length of 12.5 feet. It uses its long, pointed snout to stun schools of fish and squid for its meals. Blue marlins are quick, their streamlined bodies helping them move through the water fast. Every winter throngs of marlin venture from their homes in tropical oceans globally, migrating to the equator.

Impressive in size, the blue marlin lives in tropical waters across the globe.
Impressive in size, the blue marlin lives in tropical waters across the globe. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Great Barracuda

Found worldwide, especially in the Caribbean and western Atlantic Ocean, the great barracuda grows an average of 6 feet in length. It is known for its long, slender body, pointed head and a jaw that seems to jut out like an underbite. One of the ocean's predators, barracudas have been known to attack humans on rare occasions. They are usually found alone, only with appearing other great barracudas during spawning season.

The great barracuda is not a creature to mess with below the waves.
The great barracuda is not a creature to mess with below the waves. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Porcupinefish

Living on a diet of shellfish and coming it at an average 35.75 inches long is the porcupinefish of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. These creatures are related to the pufferfish, which is seen in its ability to inflate its spine-covered body as its main line of defense. A slow-moving fish, it has no pelvic fins, only using its small dorsal and anal fins to get around. Its two, fused teeth make it seem as though the porcupinefish has a beak; it uses these teeth to crush its diet of crabs, mollusks and sea urchins.

A porcupinefish, related to the blowfish, uses its spiky spines to ward off predators.
A porcupinefish, related to the blowfish, uses its spiky spines to ward off predators. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Smooth Hammerhead

The easily recognizable smooth hammerhead shark, with its flattened, side head projections, is a native to the tropical areas of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. It grows to an average 14 feet in length and is one of 10 species of hammerhead. Not only are hammerhead eyes on the outer edges of their elongated heads, but their nostrils are far apart as well, possibly helping with sensory abilities or maneuverability. While the smooth hammerhead mainly dines on rays, they have also attacked humans on occasion.

Hammerhead sharks wait for the right moment to catch their dinner.
Hammerhead sharks wait for the right moment to catch their dinner. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Green Turtle

The green sea turtle dines mainly on seaweed. It can grow to be up to 4 feet in length and lives in areas across the globe that never fall below 68 degrees F. The only time these turtles come to land is to sleep and lay eggs, as well as bask in the sun on occasion. Exploited for their meat, skin and eggs, the green turtle is an endangered species.

The green turtle has made the endangered species list as its population dwindles due to poaching.
The green turtle has made the endangered species list as its population dwindles due to poaching. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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