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.
Seals spend much of their life in water! Their thick fur and blubber offer protection against freezing temperatures. Seals have more blood in their body than other animals. Since blood cells keep the oxygen, seal can dive longer than other animals. Seal can hold its breath for 2 hours which is a record in the animal world. They can dive up to 1000-1300 feet deep when they are searching for food.
Swimming with dinosaurs! Longnose Gar (and other species of this family) are ancient fish perfected suited to thrive in conditions that would easily kill most fish. They can gulp air when necessary, allowing them to survive in low oxygen and higher salinity water than most fish.
In some instances, however, the negative ecological impacts of artificial reefs may outweigh potential economic gains. For example, development of artificial reefs may cause an increase in overall visitation to an area, meaning more visitors to both artificial and natural reefs.
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.
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.
Fossils place the earliest penguin relative at some 60 million years ago, meaning an ancestor of the birds we see today survived the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. Because they aren't used to danger from animals on solid ground, wild penguins exhibit no particular fear of human tourists.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.