• At this time of the year, Christmas occupies the thoughts of many people in many countries and continents, far beyond the Christian cultures. It also found its place in names of places, plants, and animals. It found its way to coral reefs and other ocean habitats.

    There is the most famos of the christmasy sea creatures, the Christmas tree worm (Spirobranchus). The Christmas tree worm, which feeds by filtering plankton from the water, belongs to the tube-building fanworms. It builds its tube into and onto corals. As those tubes consist of calcium carbonate, just like the stone

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  • As children, we called whales whalefishes (which is quite normal in German language), until we learned that whales are actually mammals. But we never learned that also whalefishes exist! Where whales are huge, whalefishes are rather small, the biggest is about 40 cm long. Both, whales and whalefishes, have big mouths. Where whales have to come to the surface to breath, whalefishes have gills, as fishes are supposed to have. Whales can dive very deep, and come close to the surface, while most of the whalefishes are deep-sea fish, many of the living well below 1000 m. Though actually some

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