@ Lorib12 Yes they are. The Christmas tree worms are great to see when scuba diving, because all the different colours can be on one big rock. As you swim over them and your shadow goes over they all suck back down into their tubes to hide.
@dmath56 Oooo! yes tiger sharks are really cool, they have a nice pattern on their side. I’ve seen tiger sharks waiting in the surf for baby turtles to hatch, Dinner time! I think I would stay out of the water if I saw a tiger shark.
@ kwald27 This is a good question. Yes I have had this happen many times. It can be very frustrating. There are a few reasons why I have done this.
1) I might be using an old key that doesn’t have all the new species in it. I have to go look in libraries, on the internet or in scientific journals for an updated key.
2) I might be using a key that only looks at the animals from a particular region. for example: I might have a key for Darwin Harbour animals but my animal was found in Sydney, then I need to get a key for Sydney animals.
3) this one is a bit embarrassing. I just might be answering the questions wrong or I might not know enough about this animals to use the key (this happens to me when I try to name sea fleas, they are very hard). To solve this I take the animal to a Museum curator or I contact another scientist who has more experience with this animal then I do. I usually spend time with them so they can teach me.
3) I might also have a new species and it doesn’t fit the key because it is different. If it is a new species then I have to collect all the scientific journals articles about species in this group and compare the known species to my new species. This is a long process, it can take a years or more to publish a new species name.
Sometime a species can’t be named quick enough for a monitoring project, which only lasts 12 months and we need to give an answer to the client. so in the mean-time we give animals taxonomic-unit names. So we identify the animal as far as we can with the keys and give them a number, for example Hermundura sp.1 or Hermundura sp.nov.1 which means new species of Hermundura no1.