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9 Sea Creatures in Disney / Pixar’s Finding Dory

By Yian Lu  /  14 Jun 2016 (Tuesday)
1. Blue Tang Fish

Ellen DeGeneres as Dory

The blue tang fish is a species of Indo-Pacific surgeonfish. Its scientific name is paracanthurus hepatus. What a mouthful! It is probably easier to just call it Dory like we usually do. (Source: Wikipedia)

Dory is a bright blue tang with a sunny personality. She suffers from short-term memory loss, which normally doesn’t upset her upbeat attitude — until she realises she’s forgotten something big: her family. She’s found a new family in Marlin and Nemo, but she’s haunted by the belief that someone out there is looking for her. Dory may have trouble recalling exactly what — or who — she’s searching for, but she won’t give up until she uncovers her past and discovers something else along the way: self-acceptance.

2. False Percula Clownfish

Left: Hayden Rolence as Nemo; right: Albert Brooks as Marlin

Bright orange with three white bands, false percula clownfish are also known as ocellaris clownfish. They are characterised by 11 dorsal fin spines, taller back part of the dorsal fin, much less black outlining the white strips, and more black surrounding the pupil. (Source: Ocellaris Clownfish)
InC-cookie! (Fun fact which you may or may not want to know…)
All clownfish are born male and have the ability to switch their sex.
They will only do this irreversible change to become the dominant female of a group.
Source: National Geographic

One year after his big overseas adventure, Nemo is back to being a normal kid: going to school and living on the coral reef with his dad and their blue tang neighbour, Dory. His harrowing adventure abroad doesn’t seem to have sapped his spirit. In fact, when Dory remembers pieces of her past and longs to take off on an ambitious ocean trek to find her family, Nemo is the first to offer his help. He may be a young clownfish with a lucky fin, but Nemo wholeheartedly believes in Dory. After all, he understands what it’s like to be different.

Marlin may have travelled across the ocean once, but that doesn’t mean he wants to do it again. So he doesn’t exactly jump at the opportunity to accompany Dory on a mission to the California coast to track down her family. Marlin, of course, knows how it feels to lose family, and it was Dory who helped him find Nemo not so long ago. The clownfish may not be funny, but he’s loyal — he realises he has no choice but to pack up his nervous energy and skepticism and embark on yet another adventure, this time to help his friend. 

3. Beluga Whale

Ty Burrell as Bailey

The beluga whale or white whale is an Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean. With a really cool scientific name — delphinapterus leucas, it is one of the smallest species of whale and has a very flexible neck that enables it to nod and turn its head in all directions. (Source: National Geographic)

Bailey is the Marine Life Institute’s resident beluga whale who is convinced his biological sonar skills are on the fritz. The good news — or bad news, depending on who you ask — is that doctors at the MLI can’t seem to find anything wrong with him. Bailey’s flair for the dramatic never ceases to push his neighbour’s buttons: whale shark Destiny can’t seem to get through to him, no matter how hard she tries. Maybe he’ll listen to new friend Dory, who seems to be full of crazy ideas. 

4. Whale Shark

Kaitlin Olson as Destiny

As the largest fish in the sea, whale sharks have an enormous menu to choose from and their favourite meal is plankton. These filter feeders scoop the tiny plants and animals up, along with any small fish that happen to be around, with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water's surface. (Source: National Geographic)

Destiny may be a clumsy swimmer, but she has a big heart. She has a big everything, actually — whale sharks are the biggest fish in the sea. Destiny resides in the Marine Life Institute, where one day an oddly familiar blue tang named Dory falls into her pool. Destiny is admittedly embarrassed by her obvious lack of grace, a product of poor eyesight, but Dory thinks she swims beautifully. And Dory is delighted to learn that her supersized friend speaks whale, too. 

5. Common Octopus

Ed O’Neill as Hank

The common octopus has a unique appearance, with its massive bulbous head, large eyes, and eight distinctive arms. But it also has a wide array of techniques to avoid or thwart attackers, such as its ability to hide in plain sight. Using a network of pigment cells and specialised muscles in its skin, the common octopus can almost instantaneously match the colours, patterns, and even textures of its surroundings. (Source: National Geographic)

Hank is an octopus. Actually, he’s a “septopus”: he lost a tentacle — along with his sense of humour — somewhere along the way. But Hank is just as competent as his eight-armed peers. An accomplished escape artist with camouflaging capabilities to boot, Hank is the first to greet Dory when she finds herself in the Marine Life Institute. But make no mistake: he’s not looking for a friend. Hank is after one thing — a ticket on a transport truck to a cozy Cleveland facility where he’ll be able to enjoy a peaceful life of solitude.

6. Spotted Eagle Ray

Bob Peterson as Mr. Ray

These rays have a very wide diamond-shaped pectoral disc that can reach over 9 feet (~2.7m) wide. As one of the most beautiful rays, the spotted eagle ray has a dramatic spotted pattern across the dorsal side of the body. The small white, bluish-white, greenish, pearly, or yellow spots are distinct against the black, dark grey, or brown body colour. (Source: Florida Museum of Natural History)

Mr. Ray is the tune-loving teacher from the reef, who takes Nemo’s education — and that of his fellow undersea students — very seriously. Nobody enjoys Mr. Ray’s class more than Dory, who serves as his cheerful, albeit unnecessary, teacher’s assistant during their illuminating field trips.

7. Sea Lion

Left: Dominic West as Rudder; right: Idris Elba as Fluke

With a reflective membrane at the back of the eye acting as a mirror, and excellent senses of hearing and smell, sea lions are extremely fit for what might seem like a harsh marine existence to us. The front flippers are also strong enough to support the animal on land and serve to help regulate the sea lion’s body temperature. Never timid about speaking what’s on their minds, sea lions make all sorts of barks, honks, trumpets, and roars. (Source: San Diego Zoo)

Rudder and Fluke are a pair of lazy sea lions who were rehabilitated at the Marine Life Institute. Marlin and Nemo find them snoozing on a warm — and highly coveted — rock just outside the center. These sea lions really enjoy their down time and would rather not be bothered mid nap — but their bark is far worse than their bite.

8. Sea Turtle

Andrew Stanton as Crush

Bennett Dammann as Squirt

Sea turtles are one of the Earth's most ancient creatures. The seven species that can be found today have been around for 110 million years, since the time of the dinosaurs. The sea turtle's shell is streamlined for swimming through the water. Unlike other turtles, sea turtles cannot retract their legs and head into their shells. Their colour varies between yellow, greenish and black depending on the species. (Source: Defenders of Wildlife)

Crush and his Squirt just might be the coolest turtles in the ocean. They’re always happy to lend a flipper to a fish in need. Cruising the ocean for more than a hundred years definitely has its advantages.

9. Sea Otter

The heaviest members of the weasel family, sea otters are also the second smallest marine mammals. Unlike other marine mammals, they do not have a layer of blubber to help them keep warm. Instead, sea otters have the densest fur in the animal kingdom, ranging from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, which insulates them. (Source: Defenders of Wildlife)

Otters are seriously cute. Seriously, who can resist their sweet, furry faces?

Bonus: Common Loon

Torbin Bullock as Becky

Not so much a sea creature, Loons have striking red eyes, black heads and necks, and white striping, checkering, and spotting on their backs. Named for their clumsy, awkward appearance when walking on land, common loons are migratory birds which breed in forested lakes and large ponds. (Source: National Geographic)

Becky is an offbeat, kooky loon who takes a liking to Marlin. Although she inspires little confidence — especially from a certain, skeptical clownfish — she might be smarter than she looks.

If the above description isn't enough, meet Dory’s marine friends in new trailer of Disney / Pixar’s Finding Dory! Various Disney / Pixar’s Finding Dory interactive activities are also happening now at Plaza Singapura, till 22 June 2016. Be sure to check them out when you are in the area. Last but not least, just keep swimming to the theatres to catch Disney / Pixar's Finding Dory, opening InCinemas this Thursday!
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