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Shore Buddies webblog

Wisdom Wednesday | Bluestripe Snapper

Image of a school of bluestripe snappers swimming in the sea. Photo by @manuela.kirschner on Instagram.
The Bluestripe snapper lives in tropical waters around the world. They live in coral reefs, often near caves, and in shallow lagoons. In the 1950s, the Bluestripe snapper was introduced to the waters of Hawaii as a potential food source, but their low economic value prevented them from being a continued food source. 

Wisdom Wednesday | Caribbean Reef Shark

Caribbean Reef Shark swimming through the ocean. Photo by Steve Peletz.
Caribbean Reef Sharks are the first and only species of shark to rest or “sleep” on the ocean floors inside reef caves. Because of this, they have been given the nickname “sleeping sharks”.

Wisdom Wednesday | Clownfish

Image of a clownfish peeking through sea anemone. Photo by @divercaptain on Instagram.
Did you know that all Clownfish are born male? Clownfish have a strict hierarchy, the most aggressive female is at the top. Because all Clownfish are born male, when the top female dies, the most dominant male will turn itself into a female and take its place at the top of the hierarchy.

Wisdom Wednesday | Jellyfish

Image of a jellyfish drifting through the ocean. Photo by Justin Hofman.
Did you know that Jellyfish may have lived millions of years before the dinosaurs? A Jellyfish fossil found in Utah is thought to be over 505 million years old while scientists believe the dinosaurs roamed the Earth around 245 to 66 million years ago. That means jellyfish were around nearly 250 million years before the dinosaurs!

Wisdom Wednesday | Moorish Idols

Image of a group of Moorish Idols swimming through the ocean. Photo by @divercaptain on Instagram.
Did you know the Moorish Idol supposedly got its name from the Moors of Africa who believed the fish brought happiness? Moorish idols inhabit the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans at depths of between 10 and 600 feet.

Wisdom Wednesday | Green Sea Turtles

Instagram photo of a Green Sea Turtle swimming by coral. Photo by Danny Lee.
Green Sea Turtles are the only species of sea turtle that is an herbivore. These turtles got their name because their diet consists of seagrass and algae which contributes to the green color of their fatty tissue.

Wisdom Wednesday | Great Hammerhead Sharks

Instagram photo of a Great Hammerhead Shark. Hammerhead Shark photo by Jim Abernethy.
Great Hammerheads use their hammer-shaped heads to find and eat their prey, which can include crabs, squids, various fish and occasionally, other small sharks. Their hammer-shaped heads contain electrical receptors that help them find their food, even if their prey is  hidden in the sand. Unlike other species of Hammerheads, Great Hammerhead sharks hunt in solitary. 

Wisdom Wednesday | Manatees

Image of a manatee by Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neill
Manatees are more closely related to the elephant than they are to other marine creatures. The cow-like creatures are thought to have inspired mermaid legends. Manatees typically come up for air every 5 minutes. However, when it is resting, the aquatic mammal can hold its breath for up to 20 minutes. Manatees swim at an average of 5 miles an hour, which is why algae and barnacles can often be found on the backs of manatees. Manatees don’t have the neck vertebra that most other mammals have, meaning that they must turn their entire bodies if they want to look around.

Wisdom Wednesday | Damselfish

Image of a Damselfish by Manuela Kirschner
Unlike many species of reef fishes that broadcast their eggs into the water above the reef, damselfishes stick their eggs to the reef surface and guard them until they hatch. Males try to keep the highest quality gardens in order to have a greater chance at success in courting a female. Together, they aggressively defend the eggs from wrasses and other foraging predators that would love an easy meal of yolky fish eggs.

Wisdom Wednesday | How old are Sea Turtles?

Photo of a sea turtle by Jason  Washington
The actual documentation of the age of any species of sea turtle is difficult. What we do know is that sea turtles live a long time based on their species. Of the seven species of sea turtles on the globe, the hawksbill has the shortest lifespan at 30 to 50 years, and the green turtle has the longest at 80 years or more. The largest and smallest sea turtles–the leatherback and the kemp's ridley, respectively–both have an average lifespan of 45 to 50 years.  The oldest sea turtle documented survived to be 150 years young! Most marine turtles take decades to mature—between 20 and 30 years—and remain actively reproductive for another 10 years.

Wisdom Wednesday | What's in a Whale's Mouth

image of a humpback whale by Derek Troxell
Whales have HUGE mouths, extending to their belly buttons! This allows them to swallow a volume of water larger than themselves. Their throat stretches down to their navel. Tongue is the size of an elephant. You and 400 of your friends could fit in its mouth! Whales can be divided into two groups: the toothed whale and baleen whale.

Wisdom Wednesday | Giant Kelp

Image of Giant Kelp by Danny Lee
Once and individual giant kelp reaches the sea surface, it continues to grow horizontally, floating in large mats that shade the water column and sea floor below. In order to remain upright, each giant kelp blade (leaf) includes a gas-filled pod that floats. Sea otters wrap themselves in giant kelp to keep from floating away while sleeping. Humans have been known to harvest giant kelp and use them in food dishes and medical purposes due to their high potassium and iodine content.