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Shore Buddies webblog

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 | Baby Blue Marlin

Picture of a baby blue marlin fish by Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neil
The blue marlin is one of the open ocean's fastest, strongest predators and one of the most highly sought after game fishes everywhere that it lives. Reaching weights of at least 1800 pounds (~820 kg) and lengths of more than 16 feet (~5 m), the blue marlin is one of the largest species of bony fishes. Because blue marlin undergo such an amazing transformation in size (from being nearly microscopic to being one of the largest open ocean predators), they eat a wide variety of prey, throughout their lifetimes.

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. 

Wisdom Wednesday 08/12/20

Image of Long Nosed Fur Seals by Instagram user @submerged_images
Fur Seals are named for their two-layered fur: an outer layer, and an undercoat that helps their skin stay dry underwater. Now protected, this species was hunted almost to extinction for the fur trade in earlier centuries. Fur seal has very thick, reddish brown, brownish gray or black fur. Females of some species have light-colored fur on the front side of the body. Fur seal has small ears, long, muscular front flippers and stocky body. Seals move swiftly and gracefully through the water using their powerful fore flipper and can be quite agile on land, walking on all four of their flippers. 

Wisdom Wednesday 08/05/20

Photo of a flying fish by Instagram user @jillma2sh21

Flying fish are marine oceanic fishes of the family Exocoetidae. They are about 50 species, and they live worldwide in warm waters. They are noted for their ability to glide. They are all small, with a maximum length of about 45 cm (18 inches), and have winglike, rigid fins and an unevenly forked tail.  From 1900 to the 1930s, flying fish were studied as possible models used to develop airplanes. There are at least 40 types flying fish and they can reach 37 MPH underwater. They do not fly actively: their fins do not flap. What they do is speed towards the surface and keep on going. 

Wisdom Wednesday 07/29/20

Image of a Sargassum Fish by Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neill
The sargassum fish has an upturned mouth with an illium over the margin of the eyes. All frogfishes have a “lure” which is a fine antennae which stems from the top of the frogfishes head and dangles a bait-like looking appendage directly in front of the frogfish to attract prey. When frogfishes have prey in front of them they are incredibly fast to open their mouths and they suck in their prey whole, without chewing.

Wisdom Wednesday 07/22/20

Image of sea otters from Instagram user @jillma2sh21
Sea otters need to constantly fuel their little bodies to keep up with their constant energy output, and typically eat around a quarter of their weight in food on a daily basis. Humans generally eat between three and four pounds of food each day. If you weigh 140 pounds, that’d be like you eating around 34 pounds of food every day. 34 pounds is equal to somewhere around 74 of the average six-inch subs from Subway.

Wisdom Wednesday 07/15/20

Image of a male yellowhead jawfish holding eggs in his mouth from Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neill
With this species, the male assumes all parental responsibilities and will incubate and protect hundreds of tiny eggs in his mouth for about 10 days until the babies hatch. To mix and aerate their eggs, males occasionally partially spit out and quickly suck clutches back in, a behavior known as churning. This extra special care results in more fry surviving the crucial first days of life.

Wisdom Wednesday 07/01/20

Image of a Sea Salp from Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neill
These mysterious creatures have been known to be more populous than the ever-abundant Krill in certain seas. The creature is able to move by pumping water through its body, and they imply feed on small particles in the water column. Since there is an abundance of ocean particles, they never need to look for food.

Wisdom Wednesday 6/24/20

Photo of playful Humpback Whales by Instagram user Jill (@jillma2sh21)
Humpback Whales are known to be one of the most playful and acrobatic whales on earth. Of all cetaceans, the Humpback Whale seems to be the most athletic, impressing observers with breaching, spy hopping and other playful behaviours. They can be seen laying on their side "pec slapping", raising their large pectoral fins straight out of the water and slapping it hard against the surface. They are often seen swimming like this, passing vessels close by, but ignoring them.

Wisdom Wednesday 6/17/20

Photo of a Cusk Eel by Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neil
Not much is known about the Cusk Eel due to its elusive nature and deep water habitats. What we do know is this eel is mesmerizing in appearance. Not many have been spotted being of how deep they live, but when one is spotted it is fast to dart away into the dark waters. Looking at their lineage, Cusk Eels aren't actually eels (they have ventral fins, which in true eels are typically missing or underdeveloped) but were given their name as a nod to their snake-like appearance.

Wisdom Wednesday 5/27/20

Photo of a sea turtle my Amy Mercer on Instagram @amy.mercerphotos
All seven species of sea turtles are listed as threatened or endangered. This is a reflection of the growing issues surrounding coastal development and ocean conservation. To help ensure that sea turtles have a future in our oceans, the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center™ aids sick and injured sea turtles in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).