10 Stunning Animals of Atlantis Paradise Island

Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas is renowned for its waterpark that features a nearly-vertical slide that plummets through a shark tank as well as housing the largest casino in the Caribbean. But this week’s episode of Fish Tank Kings showcases another side of the popular vacation spot: its impressive collection of marine habitats. Atlantis boasts a sea creature population of 50,000 animals from 250 different species, mostly indigenous to the surrounding area. Tonight on Fish Tank Kings: Jellyfish Jackpot, the Living Color team makes paradise even better when they’re asked to create an ornate 4,000-pound jellyfish aquarium for the casino’s high roller’s room. This is an extreme job for a resort that already boasts over 11 million gallons of water in its diverse collection of aquariums. Here are some of the other stunning animals you can find at the resort:

1. Red Lionfish

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Red Lionfish with extended spines
(Photograph by lilthlita / Thinkstock)

If you are a diver in the Bahamas, no doubt you’ve been warned about the striking but venomous Red Lionfish.  Their distinctive red, white, and black coloring and spines are warning signs to divers and prey alike that this fish is not to be trifled with.  They are hostile and attack anything near their territory, including humans; although their venom is rarely fatal for healthy humans, it does cause excruciating pain, difficulty breathing, and even convulsions in some cases.  As such, these beautiful creatures can be deadly to children and the elderly.  Long story short: lionfish are stunning… from afar.

2. Queen Angelfish

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Beautiful yellow and blue Queen Angelfish
(Photograph by Jacopo Werther)

Another territorial, but beautiful creature on display in Atlantis is the Queen Angelfish.  They get their name from the black crown on their heads, and it is easy to see that they definitely rule what they consider their territory.  They are fairly large in comparison to other reef fish and tend to be very aggressive toward other fish, so they require big tanks with plenty of algae.  Their amazing blues and brilliant yellows help them blend in with the reefs they live in, allowing them a pretty decent life span of around 15 years in the wild.

3. Pacific Sea Nettles

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Group of Pacific Sea Nettles
(Photograph by Magnus Manske)

Pacific Sea Nettles are the poster children of jellyfish.  Their golden bells can be up to three feet in diameter and their 24 tentacles up to ten feet.  Their genus name Chrysaora comes from the Greek myth of Chrysaor, the son of Poseidon and Medusa, whose name means “he who has a gold armament.”  This makes sense because sea nettles are usually golden and strike an impressive image with their long tentacles and large bells.  These jellyfish are 95% water and use light-sensing organs called ocelli to navigate up to 3,600 feet a day from dark, deep water to sunny, surface water.

4. Butterflyfish

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White and yellow Butterfly Fish
(Photograph by chameleonseye / Thinkstock)

Butterflyfish are amazingly colored and one of the most common reef fish, so it is no wonder that Atlantis boasts several of the 114 species.  Most of them are extremely brightly colored with blues, reds, oranges, or yellows, but several also have dark spots around their eyes or on their fins to confuse possible predators.  They are not particularly social creatures as they tend to travel alone until they find a lifelong mating partner.

5. Spotted Eagle Ray

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Spotted Eagle Ray swimming
(Photograph by lilthlita / Thinkstock)

The Spotted Eagle Ray definitely creates a striking image with its beautiful patterns.  These creatures usually live 262 feet deep in the warm parts of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but they are also known to propel themselves out of the water repeatedly and sometimes jump onto nearby boats.

6. Squirrelfish

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Red and gold Squirrelfish
(Photograph by Robert Dewit)

These anxious-looking animals are called Long-Spine Squirrelfish, and they are one of about 150 species of squirrelfish.  They tend to be silver and red with gold stripes.  Don’t let the huge eyes deceive you, though; these fish are extremely territorial and known to grunt or make other noises to intimidate larger predators such as the moray eel, which is a formidable foe.

7. Queen Triggerfish

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Queen Triggerfish in a reef
(Photograph by Tom McDow)

Another queen in Atlantis is the Queen Triggerfish.  These odd-shaped fish are known for their bright blues, purples, greens, and yellows that change in a chameleon-like manner to match their surroundings or if they are stressed.  Triggerfish are named after their smaller upper spines that lock their larger upper spines upright after the fish wiggles into a tight hole in the reef to sleep or escape a predator.  This ensures that the triggerfish cannot be pulled out and made vulnerable.

8. Hawksbill Sea Turtle

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Bright Hawksbill Sea Turtle
(Photograph by Albert Herring)

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle are a critically endangered species in part due to how stunning their upper shells, called the carapace, are with their overlapping and colorful plates.  Their carapaces even change color and brightness depending on the surrounding water temperature.  Their name comes from their beak-like head and the claws they have on each flipper.

9. Cichlids

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Spotted Orange Discus
(Photograph by Nednapa / Thinkstock)

The fish in the picture is a Spotted Orange Discus, one member of the cichlid family out of an estimated 2,000 to 3,000.  This family is extremely popular for aquariums due to their bright colors and small size, so it is no wonder that Atlantis has many different species on display, including several species of the graceful, long-finned angelfish.

10. Moon Jellyfish

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Group of blue Moon Jellyfish
(Photograph by Salih Külcü)

Tonight’s episode of Fish Tank Kings primarily features the ever-beautiful Moon Jellyfish that float along in the giant tank behind Atlantis’ new exclusive lounge.  To learn more about these translucent beauties, tune in tonight!

Moon Jellyfish

Don’t miss Fish Tank Kings: Jellyfish Jackpot tonight at 10P on Nat Geo WILD!