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Wisdom Wednesday | Hairy Frogfish

Despite having a hairy appearance, the “hairs” of a Hairy Frogfish are actually skin appendages or spinules which cover the frogfish’s body, head and fins. These spinules can be copious and long or very short or even almost invisible. Hairy frogfish are extremely good at hiding in plain sight and are able to change their color to match their surroundings.

Wisdom Wednesday | Sandpipers

Common sandpiper has long, straight bill, small body and short legs. Common sandpiper spends a lot of time on the ground. Its head and rear part of the body are constantly bobbing while it walks or feeds on the ground. This unusual behavior is known "teetering". Common sandpiper has stiff-winged style of flying. Its flight consists of rapid, shallow wing beats combined with short glides.

Wisdom Wednesday | Shark Research Methods

Wisdom Wednesday | Shark Research Methods
Research on sharks has allowed knowing from their origin and evolution to the applications that they have in different ambits of the human life. It is tough to know about the beginning of the research but it seems that the oldest casual investigations date back to the time of the Renaissance when people assumed that the fossils of the large teeth embedded in the rocks came from dragons or snakes.

Wisdom Wednesday | Black Blotched Porcupinefish

Porcupinefish has spines on the head and body that lay flat, but when threatened they can inflates its body by swallowing water, inflating like a "football with spikes" so the spines are facing outwards to deter prey. The have a plated mouth structure for crushing shells.

Wisdom Wednesday | Dorid Nudibranch

image of a Nudibranch by Instagram user William Soo
Nudibranchs are grouped with snails and slugs in the class Gastropoda, but they differ from snails by having no shell, or at least a greatly reduced one.  As their name implies, nudibranchs are further identifiable by their naked or exposed gills.  The gills are easily visible on the backs of most nudibranchs. While appealing to the human eye, the main two purposes of these nudi’s intricate patterns and bright colors are defense and camouflage.

Wisdom Wednesday | Sea Turtle Hatchlings

Photo of a sea turtle hatchling by Instagram user Cassie Jensen
The hatchlings do not have sex chromosomes so their gender is determined by the temperature within the nest. The temperature varies slightly among species, ranging between roughly 83-85 degrees Fahrenheit (28-29 degrees Celsius), at which embryos within a nest develop into a mix of males and females. Temperatures above this range produce females and colder temperatures produce males. It's estimated that only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood. Once near the surface, they will often remain there until the temperature of the sand cools, usually indicating nighttime, when they are less likely to be eaten by predators or overheat. Once out of the nest, hatchlings face many predators including ghost crabs, birds, raccoons, dogs, and fish.

Wisdom Wednesday | Grouper Fish

In addition to their possible great size, another defense that some groupers have is the ability to change the color of their skin to match their background.. Sometimes this color change is simple, such as turning from dark to light in order to blend in with varying levels of light. They swim slowly, but with power. They're not capable of fast breaks or swimming long distances, but anyone who's been on the other end of one on a deep sea fishing charter in Destin can tell you they have one heck of a dive pull. Some groupers are so huge that when they open their mouths to feed, they create a suction that is powerful enough to inhale small prey.

Wisdom Wednesday | Whale Sharks

Image of Whale Shark by Instagram user Amy Mercer
Whale sharks are filter feeders that eat plankton through their gills for much of their nourishment. They also eat squid, krill, and small fish. A whale shark can process more than 6,000 liters of water an hour through its gills. Whale sharks are in no way related to whales. Although they are sharks, they are very docile. A whale shark’s mouth is at the very front of its head—as opposed to the underside of the head like most sharks.

Wisdom Wednesday | The Dwarf Zebra Lionfish

image of Dwarf Zebra Lionfish by instagram user Danny Lee

The Dwarf Zebra Lionfish is easy to distinguish from the other lionfish species because of the enlarged pectoral fins. The fins are full and fan shaped and the fin membranes extend almost all the way to the end of the rays. They are usually found on sandy areas of reef flats ranging from between 3 meters to 25 meters in Tanzania but can be found down to 80 meters. Dwarf Lionfish feed at night and prey on small fishes and crustaceans and pretty much anything that fits in their mouth. They are ambush predators and move into positions where small fishes are likely to congregate. They use their proportionally large mouths to create a vacuum and suck in and swallow the prey. Being smaller than other Lionfish they go after smaller prey. They will sometimes use their pectoral fins to herd prey into a position where they can trap them. Little is known about their reproduction.

Wisdom Wednesday | The Weedy Sea Dragon

image of a Weedy Sea Dragon by instagram user Danny Lee
A Weedy Seadragon looks just like it sounds.. A mini sea dragon that would blend in with corals and seaweed very well! To avoid mouthfulls of sand when feeding, this animal will feed on its side and suck up tiny mycids! Compared to the leafy sea dragon, weedies have less flamboyant projections and are usually reddish in color with yellow spots. Weedy sea dragons have very long, thin snouts, slender trunks covered in bony rings, and thin tails which, unlike their seahorse cousins, cannot be used for gripping.

Wisdom Wednesday 08/26/20

Photo of a Manta Ray by Instagram user Jim Abernethy
Manta rays have approximately 300 rows of skin-covered teeth in its lower jaw. Their skeleton is composed of cartilage and not bone. Their tails lack skeletal support and are shorter than their disc-like bodies. Their tails also lack venomous tail spikes that all other rays have. Manta rays must swim continuously to keep oxygenated water passing over their gills. They can swim up to 24 kilometers (15 miles) per hour. Mantas visit cleaning stations on coral reefs for the removal of external parasites. The ray adopts a near-stationary position close to the coral surface for several minutes while the cleaner fish consume the attached organisms.

Wisdom Wednesday 08/19/20

Image of a giant clam by Instagram user Amy Mercer
Giant clams were first documented by an Italian explorer, as early as 1521. The largest known specimen of the giant clam, till date, was found in 1817, off the north-western coast of Sumatra. It was 4.49 ft. long, and its shells weighed 510 lbs. In 1956, another giant clam that was about 3.77 ft. long was found in Japan, with its shells weighing about 730 lbs. Because of its sessile nature, the moment the giant clam chooses a spot as its ‘home’, it fastens itself to the same, and then cannot go elsewhere for the rest of its life.