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Sea Creatures

Most Dangerous Sea Creatures

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                                                         Anemone

  • Common Habitat: All Hawaiian waters from tide pools to deep offshore waters
  • Prevention: Avoid direct contact with skin. While tide pooling use footwear and don't put fingers or hands into holes and crevices
  • Injury Mechanism: Tentacles have stinging cells that are used for catching prey
  • Signs and Symptoms: Burning and itching sensation, redness and swelling where contact was made; severe reaction may include shortness of breath or loss of consciousness
  • First Aid and Treatment: Rinse thoroughly with fresh or salt water; apply ice for pain

                                                    Barracuda

  • Common Habitat: Open waters and bay areas in the shadows, under floating objects
  • Prevention: Don't wear shiny objects. They are attracted to reflective things that look like dinner
  • Injury Mechanism: Sharp jagged teeth with strong tearing jaws
  • Signs and Symptoms: Slashed and jagged tears in your skin
  • First Aid Treatment: Stop bleeding with pressure

                                                    Cone Snail

  • Common Habitat: Tide pools, sandy areas, shallow to deep offshore waters
  • Prevention: Do not handle (even with gloves), especially near tip
  • Injury Mechanism: Poisonous, dart-like mechanism near tip used for stunning and fish and invertebrates
  • Signs and Symptoms: Stinging, burning pain, numbness, coma or cardiac arrest
  • First Aid Treatment: Scrub the wound

                                                       Coral

  • Common Habitat: All depths
  • Prevention: Protect feet while tide pooling or reef walking. Don't touch coral and stay out of rough shallow waters
  • Injury Mechanism: Sharp edges cause abrasions and lacerations
  • Signs and Symptoms: Bleeding, torn skin causing irritation, and mild swelling
  • First Aid Treatment: Stop any bleeding with pressure, clean thoroughly with soap and water

                                                     Jellyfish

  • Common Habitat: Very common in all water bodies
  • Prevention: Don't go into areas where sighted, or if ones are seen on the beach
  • Injury Mechanism: Stinging tentacles
  • Signs and Symptoms: Stinging, burning, redness, swelling of lymph nodes; severe reaction: difficulty with breathing and cardiac arrest
  • First Aid Treatment: Douse with vinegar and apply ice for pain

                                                     Moray Eel

  • Common Habitat: Rocky areas, in holes, under rocks, crevices and tide pool ledges
  • Prevention: Keep hands out of rocky areas, holes and crevices
  • Injury Mechanism: Razor sharp teeth, powerful jaws
  • Signs and Symptoms: Bleeding, severe muscle damage, but more commonly tendon and nerve damage
  • First Aid Treatment: Stop bleeding with pressure and clean thoroughly

                                                       Needle Fish

  • Common Habitat: Near surface in bay areas and open waters
  • Prevention: Use caution when night lighting/fishing
  • Injury Mechanism: Long pointed jaw
  • Signs and Symptoms: Pointed jaw may puncture and break off leaving a puncture wound
  • First Aid Treatment: If point doesn't break off, clean with antiseptic if stabbed. If point breaks off do not remove it. Stop any with pressure.

                                          Portuguese Man of War

  • Common Habitat: Open ocean; bays and beaches during strong onshore winds
  • Prevention: Avoid areas where they are frequent. Usually found when winds blow in from the ocean onto land
  • Injury Mechanism: Long blue threadlike tentacles
  • Signs and Symptoms: Stinging, burning, redness, swelling of lymph nodes
  • First Aid Treatment: Pick off any visible tentacles. Rinse with fresh or salt water. Apply ice for pain

                                                     Scorpion Fish

  • Common Habitat: Protected ledges, rocky areas, and shallow inshore areas
  • Prevention: Do not handle. Keep crevices and places into which you can't see.
  • Injury Mechanism: Toxic dorsal, pelvic, and anal spines
  • Sicns and Symptoms: Punctured skin, extreme pain, throbbing for hours. Sometimes convulsions and cardiac arrest.
  • First Aid Treatment: Immerse in hot water to tolerance

                                           Yellow Bellied Sea Snake

  • Common Habitat: Seldom found in Hawaiian waters
  • Prevention: If sighted stay clear, leave the area
  • Injury Mechanism: Venom through fangs
  • Signs and Symptoms: Paralysis, severe pain, and cardiac arrest
  • First Aid Treatment: Keep the victim calm and warm. Transport to a medical facility.

                                                  Sea Urchin

  • Common Habitat: Shallow reef areas to 100 foot depths
  • Prevention: Wear foot protection. Don't walk on rocky areas with poor visibility. DO NOT HANDLE!
  • Injury Mechanism: Long, extremely brittle spines
  • Signs and Symptoms: Trobbing pain and purplish discoloration
  • First Aid Treatment: Pull out protruding spines

                                                    Shark

  • Common Habitat: Shallow inshore waters to open ocean
  • Prevention: Avoid murky waters. Leave water if sighted, if you have an open cut or are pulling a string of speared fish. Try not to look like food.
  • Injury Mechanism: Jaws and rows of razor sharp teeth. Abrasions from sandpaper like skin.
  • Signs and Symptoms: Severe bleeding, injury to or excision of muscle, bone and appendages
  • First Aid Treatment: Control bleeding with pressure

                                             Squid or Octupus

  • Common Habitat: Squid; Open ocean, free swimming

         Octupus; On bottom in rocky areas from tide pools to deep waters

  • Prevention: Do not handle
  • Injury Mechanism: Beak like teeth
  • Signs and Symptoms: Bleeding, mild stinging and throbbing
  • First Aid Treatment: Stop bleeding with pressure  and clean thoroughly with soap and water

                                                Stingray

  • Common Habitat: Shallow, sandy areas to deep oceans
  • Prevention: Shuffle feet when walking in shallow inshore waters. Stay clear of disturbed (swimming) ray
  • Injury Mechanism: Tail with poisonous barb near base of body
  • Signs and Symptoms: Lacerations and severe pain. Punctures in abdomen or chest are very serious
  • First Aid Treatment: Stop any bleeding and clean thoroughly with mild soap and water. Immerse in hot water to tolerance for pain

                                              Surgeonfish

  • Common Habitat: Wave zone to 150 foot depths
  • Prevention: Take care in handling
  • Injury Mechanism: Spine and knife like razors near tail
  • Signs and Symptoms: Throbbing pain, itching, bleeding and numbness
  • First Aid Treatment: Stop bleeding with pressure, clean thoroughly with soap and water

                                                     Tube Worm

  • Common Habitat: Shallow reef areas
  • Prevention: Use protective footwear and gloves
  • Injury Mechanism: Hardened, razor sharp opening to worm's shelter
  • Signs and Symptoms: Circular cut with fragments that may be embedded
  • First Aid Treatment: Stop bleeding with pressure, clean thoroughly with soap and water