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Shipwrecks

Unearth lost artifacts and come face-to-fin with the curious creatures that live amidst mysterious shipwrecks that have captivated imaginations for centuries.

What Will You Discover?

Let your imagination set sail as you explore the aquatic animals and invasive species that surround one of Canada's most notorious naval disasters, the Edmund Fitzgerald. From peacock mantis shrimp to parrotfish and giant isopods: a world of marine species awaits, along with carefully curated artifacts and video footage from the sea floor. 

Swallowtail Seaperch Swallowtail Seaperch

Swallowtail Seaperch

The swallowtail seaperch can be found up to 600 feet deep, along rocky slopes and close to caves. They have a preference for seabeds rich in sea fans. This fish is a gregarious species that travels in groups mainly comprised of females and a single male recognizable by his fins that are larger than the females.

Diet

Zooplankton

Size

Up to 11 inches

Range

Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea

Did You Know?

These fish have been observed to co-operatively feed: some fish feed while others herd the prey, and then they reverse roles, allowing all of them to feed.

Kelp Perch Kelp Perch

Kelp Perch

The kelp surfperch is found within the canopies of giant kelp beds, eelgrass, and surfgrass over boulders and sand substrate from the intertidal zone to depths up to 250 feet. They are found as solitary individuals or in small groups and large groups during the summer.

Diet

Crustaceans

Size

Up to 9 inches

Range

Eastern Pacific Ocean

Did You Know?

The kelp surfperch may act as a cleaner fish by eating external parasites from the bodies of larger fish.

Swell Shark Swell Shark

Swell Shark

This sluggish, nocturnal shark prefers the rocky, algae-spotted shallows of the eastern Pacific Ocean, where it ambushes prey and grows to a maximum size of 43 inches long.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Diet

Fish, crustaceans

Range

Eastern Pacific Ocean

Did You Know?

This shark is not aggressive and, when threatened, can curve its body into a U-shape and gulp water into its stomach, swelling to almost twice its size and becoming difficult to bite.

Zebra Seabream Zebra Seabream

Zebra Seabream

As a juvenile, the zebra seabream may be found in small groups of four to five individuals, but they become solitary as they mature, moving to deep water rocky slopes and wrecks.

Size

Up to 5-6 cm

Diet

Urchins, worms, mollusks, algae

Range

Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea

Did You Know?

Zebra seabream is characterized by the striking black and white stripes that run horizontally along its body, resembling a zebra's pattern. This unique coloration makes it easily recognizable among other reef fish.

White Seabream White Seabream

White Seabream

The white seabream will move into brackish water and can be found in lagoons and estuaries as deep as 100 feet. It is a fairly common fish around wrecks, using the wreck as a food resource and a hiding place when alarmed. Juveniles can be found in groups, though adults are more solitary.

Size

Up to 18 inches

Diet

Crustaceans, mollusks, algae, coral

Range

Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea

Did You Know?

White seabreams start life as males, and some become female later.

Common Twobanded Seabream Common Twobanded Seabream

Common Twobanded Seabream

Common two-banded seabreams inhabit rocky, sandy bottoms, and seagrass beds. On sandy bottoms, they can often be found following species that dig in the sand, trying to steal their food.

Size

Up to 18 inches

Diet

Crustaceans, worms, mollusks

Range

Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea

Did You Know?

This fish is a very important catch for artisanal fishermen and can often be found fresh in local fish markets.

Oldwife Oldwife

Oldwife

Generally, oldwife fish live in large schools but can also be found as solitary individuals. Juveniles are typically found over seagrass beds, while adults move to deeper water, where they prefer rocky reefs and under wharves.

Diet

Crustaceans

Size

Up to 20 inches

Range

Indian Ocean; Coastal South Australia

Did You Know?

Theo oldwife was originally classified as a butterflyfish, but it is now the sole modern species of its own family Enoplosidae and genus Enoplosus. Some extinct species have also been added to the genus.

Rainbow Surfperch Rainbow Surfperch

Rainbow Surfperch

Adult rainbow surfperch can occasionally be found over sand but never in surf zones, preferring the edges of kelp forests and shallow reef areas, particularly at about 10 ft deep, near lots of algae. They often rummage around in the sand looking for prey or through low-lying kelp, browsing for invertebrates.

Size

Up to 12 inches

Range

Eastern Pacific Ocean

Diet

Crustaceans, mollusks, worms

Did You Know?

This species is the only member of its genus.

Tompot Blenny Tompot Blenny

Tompot Blenny

Most active at dawn and dusk, the tompot blenny has sharp, comb-like teeth, which they use to scrape food from the substrate. These fish are very territorial of the crevices in the rocky reef that they use for shelter. If you return to the same spot, day after day, you will likely see the same fish protecting its hidey-hole.

Size

Up to 12 inches

Diet

Anemones, crustaceans, worms

Range

Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea

Did You Know?

Individuals can be identified by the unique markings on the scales of their faces.

Sea Lamprey Sea Lamprey

Sea Lamprey

Sea lampreys are unique from many other fish in that they do not have jaws or other bony structures and instead possess a skeleton made of cartilage. While sea lampreys resemble eels, they are not related and are set apart by their unique mouth, which is comprised of a large oral sucking disk filled with sharp, horn-shaped teeth surrounding a razor-sharp rasping tongue. Sea lampreys attach to fish with their suction cup mouth and then dig their teeth into the prey's flesh for grip. Once securely attached, sea lampreys rasp through the fish’s scales and skin with their sharp tongue and feed on the fish’s body fluids by secreting an enzyme that prevents blood from clotting, similar to how a leech feeds off its host.

Size

Up to 47 inches

Diet

Parasitic; flesh and blood from other fish

Range

Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea; invasive in Great Lakes

Did You Know?

Sea lampreys have remained largely unchanged for over 340 million years and have survived at least four major extinction events.

Redside Dace Redside Dace

Redside Dace

The redside dace is an aerial insect feeder that can leap over an inch into the air in pursuit of prey. This species has a very large mouth and protruding lower jaw, which is an effective adaptation for capturing prey from below. They prefer cool, clear, spring-fed streams, creeks, and small rivers.

Diet

Insects

Size

Up to 5 inches

Range

North America; Southern Ontario, Midwestern USA to Pennsylvania

Did You Know?

The redside dace can be used as an ecosystem health indicator, as it is sensitive to environmental disturbances. They are currently listed as endangered in Indiana and Ontario.

Mottled Sculpin Mottled Sculpin

Mottled Sculpin

The mottled sculpin is often the most abundant fish in its preferred habitat of cold water spring-fed streams. They live on the bottom, spending considerable time lying motionless in one spot and moving in short, quick dashes. It is a rather sedentary fish, often restricting its activities throughout the year to about 150 feet of stream.

Diet

Insects, crustacens, fish

Range

Freshwater of North America

Did You Know?

As a group, sculpins are bottom-dwelling fish that lack a swim bladder. Their flattened bodies and enlarged pectoral fins are adaptations for maintaining their position in stream currents.

Rainbow Darter Rainbow Darter

Rainbow Darter

The rainbow darter prefers creeks and rivers with rocky substrates and swift-moving riffles, which are shallower, faster-moving sections of a stream where rocks break the water surface. Riffles are important to fish habitats because they add oxygen to the water.

Size

Up to 3 inches

Diet

Insects, larvae, fish eggs, crustaceans

Range

Eastern USA including Great Lakes Basin, Southern Ontario

Did You Know?

Rainbow darters have the ability to detect chemical cues and behaviors from one another. If a rainbow darter is being attacked by a predator and its skin is torn, it can release a chemical pheromone cue that alerts other fish in the area to the danger.

River Chub River Chub

River Chub

The river chub inhabits large creeks to small rivers with rapid, cool waters and rocky substrates. During the breeding season, sexually mature males develop pinkish-purple coloration and swollen heads with tubercles between the eyes and snout tip.

Size

Up to 13 inches

Diet

Insects, larvae, crustaceans

Range

Eastern USA including Great Lakes Basin, Southern Ontario

Did You Know?

The river chub is an important keystone and engineer species in the Eastern United States, primarily through its construction of its nesting habitat, which is shared with other species in a mutualistic relationship.

Bluntnose Minnow Bluntnose Minnow

Bluntnose Minnow

Perhaps the most abundant freshwater fish in the Eastern United States, bluntnose minnows prefer living in clear, rocky streams and small to medium-sized creeks. They can be found swimming in large groups or alone.

Size

Up to 4 inches

Range

Eastern USA, Southern Quebec and Manitoba

Diet

Algae, detritus, insects, larvae, crustaceans

Did You Know?

Males make a variety of pulsed sounds when acting aggressively with other males. It is unknown whether these sounds are also used in courtship or spawning.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

The peacock mantis shrimp can be found roaming the reef day and night, usually searching for prey or an upgraded burrow, which is typically just a small coral cave. Mantis shrimp burrows may be considered unimpressive compared to the tunnel systems built by other mantis shrimp species, but as they are active hunters rather than ambush predators, they rely less on an elaborate place to lay low.

Habitat

Coral reefs

Range

Indo-Pacific region

Diet

Mollusks, crustaceans

Did You Know?

The peacock mantis shrimp is one of the pound-for-pound strongest punchers on the planet! Using club-like appendages on the front of their body, they can strike prey at the speed of a bullet! So quickly that the movement results in a shockwave of bubbles that produce light in a phenomenon called sonoluminescence.

What's Inside

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