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You'll find the darndest things in the sea

These pictures are from mainly parts two and three of the same series as those on the previous page.

What does one expect to find in the sea? Well, fish. Mostly of the fish-shaped kind, but there are variations.

Fish-shaped, but no fish: this fin is not a shark's, but belongs to an orca. The next pic shows a fellow-mammal basking in its native element: the sea otter, one of the few non-finned mammals to never leave the water.

The same cannot be said of its streamlined relative, the seal. How beautifully the sun illuminates the denizens of the deep, whether they be seals or a group of rays. The last picture shows what appears to be one of those enormous silvery shoals of fish that catch the light as they flit and turn, except they're squids and flitting backwards.

The octopus, lucky thing, moves forwards, backwards and any way it pleases. It also has good eyesight, a well-developed brain and a talent for camouflage; this pic should really have gone on the previous page.

This little chap, while just as versatile a swimmer, has no brain at all.

Molluscs again: two sea cucumbers, marine slugs and distant relatives of the octopus. The first one crawls, the last one moves by convulsing itself sideways in what appears to be a lively dance.

Both for its majestic appearance underwater and the fact that it is threatened with extinction, the turtle often stars in nature documentaries. Not so, however, this flightless waterfowl which dives for its prey.

And still less this reptile with the appearance of weathered stone that keeps the bird company. It alternates between sunbathing on rocks and grazing underwater, using its long, flattened tail as a rudder.

An even more unlikely reptile: the sea snake, known for its deadly venom. It winds over the shallow seabed as easily as over dry land...

Then dives down among the outcrops of the coral reef, using its tail, which also comes with a flattened end, to propel it.

Most unlikely of all: the sea spider. It traps bubbles of air in the fur on its legs, and thrashes about wildly when swimming. A spider in the sea? You'll find these crawlers anywhere.

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