Would you like to have a cloak of invisibility and then play hide-and-seek with your friends? Do you wonder how they could possibly find you ? Sounds impossible, right ? And yet, there is a fish whose body is a bit transparent and it's called the common goby. Its nickname is “the Invisible”. This little fish can be spotted though, all thanks to the black dots on the sides of its body. Let’s count how many dots there are: 1,2,3,4… even up to 10!more
If any of you would like to dress up for Halloween as the garfish's skeleton, well, you would really cause some confusion! Why? You see, the bones of this fish are green! That is why our garfish gained its nickname of “the Green”. Its mouth is elongated and is finished off with sharp little teeth. It looks like a bird's beak!more
The body of this jellyfish is gelatinous and transparent, because its made in 98% of water. Hence, we gave it a nickname “the Gelee”. The moon jelly’s mouth is not used just for eating. When it can’t eat its whole dinner, it actually excretes it through its mouth. “The Gelee” stings its enemies in self-defence and in order to get its food. Luckily, it can’t really hurt humans. Its venom is not dangerous to us.more
This little fish likes to experiment with its looks and is a fan of a mohawk. How is it possible? On its back, the three-spined stickleback has got three moving spines and some more are located on its belly and on the side of its body.more
This fish is lo-o-o-ng and thin, it grows up to 28 centimetres in length. It’s got two notably sharp little teeth. On its body, you will find a lot of folds. It is very similar to another little fish, the lesser sand eel. In contrast to it, the great sandeel has got a little black spot on the side of its mouth.more
Have you ever checked how you would look like with a moustache? There is such an elegant, big fish, which has got a barbel on its chin. “The Elegant Moustache's” huge mouth proves its passion for a predatory lifestyle. Being a fourteen-year-old wrinkly, this enormous fish reaches the length of 120 centimetres. Cods can live up to 20 years old! “The Elegant Moustache” loves it when it’s cold, so it swims in the great depths of the Baltic Sea.more
It’s the biggest seal in the Baltic Sea. Male grey seals are much bigger and heavier than females. It’s easy to distinguish them. This seal’s snout is elongated, just like with doggies, and its back is darker than its belly - grey, with small, dark spots. The grey seal loves to feast on fish.more
This transparent shrimp has got a lot of brown dots on its body. It’s big, black eyes are set close together on short stalks. Its front pair of hands serves them very well, especially as it is finished with moving little claws. The common shrimp “the Black Eye” is a frequent resident of the sands near the Baltic coastlinemore
Quack quack quack! What’s that noise? Oh, it’s a mallard! This “Fancy-Pants” decorated its legs in orange and now is showing off ! This species of duck inhabits lakes and ponds and in winter it moves together with its family to the coastline of the Baltic Sea. There it becomes attached to one specific place and lives nearby from September to May.more
It’s the biggest Baltic crustacean and has got a huge carapace. Its front hands are armed with claws, which in the case of male crabs are very hairy and look like fur gloves. Where does its fighting attitude come from? The Chinese mitten crab likes to boss and it drives other crustacean out. What a bandit it is! On top of that, it eagerly devastates fishnets and water plants.more
Being transparent is not difficult for our Baltic creatures. Let us introduce another animal which is almost invisible. We are talking here about the common prawn, a small crustacean. It’s got wide a pair of goggly eyes located widely apart from each other on stalks. Its front legs are finished off with delicate claws. What a grace!more
Sea scorpion is a fish which can’t compete to be one of the most beautiful fish in the world. In a beauty contest there would be little chance for it to win. That is probably why its name contains a word “scorpion”. It’s a predatory fish without scales. It’s got an enormous head with six spines on top and a few more on the sides of its body. In the Baltic Sea it lives up to the age of seven and reaches the length of 33 centimetres.more
Do you know that the mute swan is the biggest Baltic bird? It’s huge! We can often meet it in city parks, swimming proudly in ponds. Our “Lover Boy” likes dark footwear, so its legs are black. When Mr Swan likes Mrs Swan, he ruffles his feathers. How can we tell whether the swan we see is an adult? If it’s not a child, it’s got a big, black spot on the top of his orange beak.more
A fox in the Baltic Sea? Wow, that’s something! This fish has got a distinctive little nose and lots of short whiskers on its chin.more
This majestic fish can reach up to 1 metre in length! It’s got silver scales on its body and black spots that cover its back. When it smiles to us, it shows a beautiful row of teeth in the middle of its mouth. This large toothed jaw tells us this fish lives a predatory lifestyle. “The Pink King” reigns near the sea surface. The atlantic salmon flesh is pink and highly valued in the best cuisines of the world.more
Oh! What a big shell! It’s the biggest clam in the Baltic Sea. Its shell reaches up to 7 centimetres in length. The shell is thick, but delicate. It’s got an oblongly oval shape with a slightly opened end as the tube coming out of the shell does not fit in it.more
This little blondie is a black-headed gull. In spring and summer, it dyes its feathers black. Around August, it loses almost all of its black feathers. Only one black spot remains and it’s just around its ear. Young gulls stand out with their extraordinary pattern on their open wings. The gull likes a blazing red colour, so its sweet beak and legs are in it. Its voice doesn’t resemble singing, but rather a loud “kittiwake”.more
Do you know that the cousin of a dolphin swims in the Baltic Sea? The harbour porpoise is smaller than its cousin, it reaches up to 180 centimetres in length. Its streamlined body is wonderfully adapted to the life in water. The porpoise has got a dark back, grey sides and a white belly. Ah, and look what a flipper it has! It’s beautiful!
The harbour porpoise likes to have smooth and firm skin and that’s why its body is hairless but with a thick layer of fat. That 'Fatty” likes to play on its own or only with its closest friends. It’s a rather fearful animal. The harbour porpoise doesn’t form bonds with people, as its cousin does, and that is why it cannot be persuaded to live in captivity.
This animal has got the longest body of all the animals of the same class called polychaetes. If straightened, it’s almost as long as a pen. Its small legs have quite long bristles.
This dark seashell, reaching up to 2-5 centimetres in length, is called a blue mussel. Both halves of its shell are connected with each other almost without any toothed edges. This mollusc has got threads, which enable it to attach to hard objects. Its favourite places are rocky and stony seabeds.more
Is it a snake? No, it’s a fish. A butterfish! Its body is long as a notebook. Our little snaky fish is turning its mouth upwards, as if it wanted to give you a kiss. It’s unique, because its dorsal fin spans its whole body. Along its back you can see 9-13 round, black spots. Maybe we should give it a nickname of “the Speckle”? What do you think?
It looks like a pigeon, but its feathers are black-and-white. What a proud colour of its beak and legs - red! Each foot of this bird has got three toes, which are partly connected with one another. How many toes do you have?
A unique crustacean. The bay barnacle has got a little armour made up of six plates, and at the top, it’s got a cover, which can be unzipped sideways. That is why it looks like a flower. Instead of legs, it’s got beautifully curling whiskers. They are used for eating, but they also purify water. The bay barnacle is small, it only reaches the length of 1.5 cm. What shape is it? It depends if “The Little Tulip” lives near other barnacles. If it likes loneliness and lives alone, it is wide and short. If it lives with its family, it is thin and high, because it lives in a real jam. When it grows up, it leaves its weaker relatives behind, and ascendsmore
What a huge worm! No wonder saduria entomon is the biggest crustacean in the Baltic Sea. It reaches up to 8 centimetres in length. Our “Giant” has got a flattened body with a teeny head. At the back of its body, we see a fat thorax that is its bottom, which is narrowing at the end.
It’s a small mussel with a light and shining shell. Its favourite play is to hide in the seabed, exposing above the surface only two ends of its tubes. With these tubes, it searches for food. “The Pink” purifies the water and is in its element on muddy seabed.more
The common tern is a bird with beautiful, narrow wings. This little bird likes the game of colours. Its head is black, but in the winter its forehead becomes white. Its beak is red, often with a black end, but in the winter it is all brown. Only its little legs stay red. Maybe we should call this bird “The Colour”? A common tern has got its tail beautifully open, so it can show its elegance. At karaoke this bird would be the loudest one. If only there is something that it doesn’t like, it screams: " kirri-kirri-kirri" or "krek krek krek".more
Oh, what a love-struck mussel it is! Why? When we put together two halves of its shell, they will form a shape of a heart. Our “Lovey” likes the shallow Baltic seabed. No water pollution scares it. An adult lagoon cockle lives on the seabed. Its offspring is often spotted while having fun together on the plants, being attached to them by the strands they themselves produced.more
It’s a big and predatory fish. In the Baltic Sea its flat body can reach up to 60 cm in length. If you wanted to outline it, excluding the tail, you would get a circle!more
What is shining so much in the waters of the Baltic Sea? Is it some kind of a treasure? Princess’ tiara? No, it’s a herring! It’s got silver scales, so it glitters near the surface of the sea. The herring easily loses its scales, though.
The Flounder is a fish which, just like the already-mentioned turbot, likes to camouflage itself lying on one side of its body. Most of them prefer the left side, but there also some fans of the right one. In the Baltic Sea, the flounder reaches up to 20-30 cm in length. The Flounder is a fish resistant to oil pollution.more
It is a small fish, very similar to the herring. If you would like to stroke it from its tail to the mouth, you would feel under your fingers that its scales are quite sharp. Its dorsal fin is located in a slightly different place.
Does this fish do the boxing? Its body is contorted and awkward, as if it was just fighting on a ring. No… it’s a lumpsucker! Its looks are not typical. On its belly, there is a sucker, thanks to which the fish can attach strongly to the stones or big algae. Let’s call this fish “the Suckie” then.
What is this little tail? It’s a fish! It looks like a ribbon. Our wiggly little animal reaches up to 30 cm in length. It’s called a straight-nosed pipefish. Before it grows up, it already has a fin on its belly. The straight-nosed pipefish doesn’t have a fin on its tail, which distinguishes it from the similar fish called just pipefish.
This little snail is one of the smallest in the Baltic Sea. Its shell reaches only 3 mm in height. The shell is twisted in a fancy way. This snail's mouth is white and often has two spots at the front of it. The rest of its mouth is covered in black spots.more
This crustacean has got some majestic antennae. The sand hopper reaches up to 2 cm in length. The most beautiful place for it is wet sand on a dry beach. It avoids the crowds of people. During the day, it hides in the sand under pieces of wood and seaweed. When it sees the sun, it runs away jumping fast. It looks for a shelter to hide from the sun. How to find a hidden sand hopper? Look for little holes in the sand. Our sand hopper most probably spends its time there.
The descriptions were created on the basis of “The Animal World in the Baltic Sea” by Ludwik Żmudzinski. Publishing house: Wydawnictwo Szkolne i Pedagogiczne, 1990.