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Shore Buddies webblog

Wisdom Wednesday 2/12/2020

Photo of camouflaged octopus from Steve Peletz on Instagram
They can match the colors and even textures of their surroundings, allowing them to hide in plain sight. If a predator gets too close octopuses can escape quickly, shooting themselves forward by expelling water from a muscular tube called a siphon.

Wisdom Wednesday 2/5/2020

Photo of swimming pigs in the Bahamas by John Garza on Instagram
How did the pigs get to Pig Beach? We don't know for sure. Big Major Cay is uninhabited and the pigs are not native to the island. Some say they were left by a group of sailors, who planned to come back and cook them. Or that the pigs swam over from a shipwreck nearby. The pigs are thought to have initially survived on excess food that was dumped by passing ships, and currently they are fed by tourists and locals from surrounding islands.

Wisdom Wednesday 1/22/2020

Moon Jellyfish photo by Justin Hofman on Instagram
They do sting, but their nematocysts do not fire strong enough to break human skin. The individual size of a given mature moon jelly can vary considerably, typically ranging between 2 and 15 inches in diameter. The moon jelly is composed mainly of water, which in fact accounts for 95% of its entire body composition. It is a carnivorous animal, feeding on protein-rich aquatic animals.

Wisdom Wednesday 1/15/2020

Sea Slug photo by William Soo on Instagram
This Sea Slug, called the Costasiella usagi, or Strawberry Slug, is very rare to see. Because of that, not much information about their behavior is known. This tiny and superbly camouflaged slug is often found on solitary fan greens seaweed, which they also feed on. At low tide, many slugs are often seen on one sea fan, usually clustered near the base of this seaweed

Wisdom Wednesday 1/8/2020

Arapaima photo on Instagram by Manuela Kirschner
Also known as the paiche or the pirarucu, the arapaima is an air-breathing fish that plies the rainforest rivers of South America's Amazon Basin and nearby lakes and swamps. They have primitive lungs which allows them to breathe air from the surface and gills that allow them to breathe underwater. Their bodies have adapted due to the low oxygen levels in their habitat.

Wisdom Wednesday 1/1/2020

Barracuda photo by @jim_abernethy on Instagram
Generally, adult barracudas are considered to be solitary when it comes to hunting, though young barracudas tend to gather in large ‘schools’, sometimes in hundreds or even thousands. Schooling offers the young fish protection from predators on the basis of safety in numbers. Often, when a predator attacks a school, the school will form a confusing ‘tornado’, preventing any one barracuda being fixed upon as prey in the eyes of the predator.

Wisdom Wednesday 12/25/19

Basket Star image by @justinhofman Instagram
This extraordinary invertebrate has a mass of twisting and turning arms that can measure a meter long.  The middle is a five-pointed body that’s up to a few inches across. An arm extends from each point. Each arm may have two main branches, with many smaller ones extending from each of the bigger ones. Each branch has tiny sharp hooks, allowing the creature to capture prey.

Wisdom Wednesday 12/18/19

Sea Turtle image by @zackvibes on Instagram

This week we’re switching up our Wisdom Wednesday blog to be more of an update about a popular topic in ocean pollution: Sea Turtles. Sea turtles are affected by plastic during every stage of their life. They crawl through plastic on the way to the ocean as hatchlings, swim through it while migrating, confuse it for jellyfish (one of their favorite foods), and then crawl back through it as adults. Researchers estimate that over half of all sea turtles in the world have ingested plastic. And a single piece of plastic has a 20% chance of killing them. If sea turtles disappear from the ocean, it wouldn’t only be a huge loss for future human generations but it would also threaten the longevity of other marine life. Scientists believe that sea turtle species are essential to the health of marine ecosystems.



Wisdom Wednesday 12/11/19

Pineapple Fish image by @divercaptain on Instagram
Pineapple fish have very unusual feeding habits.  They have thin, tiny teeth and feed at night with a small green patch on their lower jaw that is covered in small bacteria that glow in the dark. This glow attracts small shrimp. This patch turns from green to red as they get older.

Wisdom Wednesday 11/20/19

Barrier Reef photo from Instagram @javifigs
Barrier reefs help to protect lagoons and other shallow waters. It is essentially a coral reef running parallel to the shore but separated from it by a channel of deep water. A barrier reef is usually pierced by several channels that give access to the lagoon and the island or continent beyond it.

Wisdom Wednesday 11/13/19

Rock-dwelling cichlid picture from Instagram @mpophotography
Not much is known about this cichlid due to it being endemic to Lake Malawi, meaning they are only found in this particular lake. There are a total of 12 genera of very active and aggressive personalities in this group. Regardless of the drastically different personalities in a group, a single group won't swim much more than about 3 feet away from the particular rock island they have designated as their home.

Wisdom Wednesday 11/06/19

Ocean Sunfish picture from Instagram @jim_abernethy
Ocean Sunfish lay more eggs than any other vertebrate animal...roughly 300,000,000, and they are voracious predators feeding mostly on jellyfish. In German, they are called “swimming heads”, but they may or may not be plankton. Despite its massive size, the sunfish has been classified for years as a type of plankton,