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Key West Wildlife Guide

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Parrotfish- The Rainbows of the Sea

Do you like going to the beach? Sunbathing and playing in the sand? Have you ever wondered if it was imported or not? I’m pleased to inform you that the sandy beaches of the Florida Keys are all natural, recycled excrement of the beautiful, locally fed parrotfish. That’s right, excrement! Parrotfish adopted their name from […]

Ultimate Guide To Fishing In The Florida Keys

Among the many great things of the Florida Keys, fishing is by far one of the most popular activities. There are about 6 types of fishing you can find down here: light tackle, back country, deep sea, reef, bridge, and party boat. Light Tackle: the most flexible and almost any species is achievable: tarpon, sailfish, […]

A Living Fossil

With fossils dating back to nearly 350 million years ago, it’s hard to believe that our favorite shoreline friends were once crawling across the oceans floor the same time dinosaurs were around. These sea creatures have adapted to their ecosystems over the eons and still remained ultimately unchanged. Their flexible exoskeleton (made of chitin) has […]

Sea Stars in the Florida Keys

What we once called a “starfish” now goes by the name “sea star” because well, it’s not much of a fish, now is it? It’s an echinoderm, closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars. Sea stars have no brains and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and their “blood” is […]

Learn About Key West Dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins can reach speeds of over 18 miles an hour. They surface often to breathe (two or three times a minute). Bottlenose dolphins travel in groups and communicate with each other by a complex system of squeaks and whistles, and track their prey through the expert use of echolocation. They can make up to […]

Key West Marine Life You Might See On Vacation

Key West is surrounded by a unique ecosystem at the fusion of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Here, you’ll find the third largest coral barrier reef in the world, much of it protected by NOAA’s Marine Sanctuary, and miles of shallow backcountry sand flats. This environment supports a diverse ecology of marine life […]

Sea Urchins

Sea urchins are commonly found along a rocky ocean floor in both shallow and deeper water, and coral reefs. There are nearly 200 different species of recognized sea urchin, that come in all shapes and sizes. The main predators of the sea urchin are crabs, large fish, sea otters, eels, birds and humans. The sea […]

Time to get Crabby

Hermit Crabs: There are at least 9 species of “hermit crabs” in the Florida Keys. As with many species in Florida, the hermit crab grows quite large due to the warm waters and mild winters. Hermit crabs are “mobile home” dwellers using abandoned sea shells as their home. As they grow, a new larger home […]

Your Friendly Neighborhood Iguana

An herbivore, originally from Central, South America and the Caribbean, the iguana is a large species of lizard. Large in size, males usually reach up to nearly 5 feet in length. With sunny skies and sub-tropical temperatures, it’s no wonder that iguanas have found another home in the Florida Keys. It’s believed that the first […]

Save the Seahorses

What exactly is a seahorse? Well, it’s a fish! It’s horse-shaped head gives it it’s name. Other features include their monkey-like tail, and their color changing abilities like chameleons. What makes seahorses endangered? Their preferred habitats are coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds and estuaries, which are threatened by development and water pollution. Threats to […]

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