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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 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 6/10/20

Harlequin Shrimp photo by Instagram user William Soo
The Harlequin Shrimp is a small but vividly colored resident of the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific. The species only grows to about 5cm (2 inches) long. Thanks to their brightly patterned shells, they are sometimes also called painted shrimp or clown shrimp. They can also be recognized because of their large flattened claws. They may stay in monogamous male-female couples over relatively long periods of time.  The mated pairs share territory and prey – and they have been noted to be territorial against other shrimp. Once the pair finds a suitable home within the reef, they are known to stay within the area for months or even years. The pair mate after a female molts, and can produce anywhere from 100 to 5,000 eggs per breeding season. 

Wisdom Wednesday 4/29/20

Photo of a Portuguese Man O'War by Chelle Blais on Instagram
It’s not a jellyfish! The Portuguese Man o’ War may look like a bloated jellyfish, but it’s actually a siphonophore—a bizarre group of animals that consist of colonies made up of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of genetically-identical individual creatures.

Wisdom Wednesday 4/22/20

Photo of a Spiny Devilfish by Manuela Kirschner on Instagram
Not much is known about the Spiny Devilfish, but what is known mostly revolves around it’s spines. It has poisonous spines on the dorsal, anal and ventral fins. This fish is predominantly well camouflaged (and so easy to miss) and lies buried up to the eyes and mouth, waiting for prey to swim by to ambush by lunging forward and inhaling their prey with their large mouths.

Wisdom Wednesday 4/8/20

Photo of a blue ringed octopus by William Soo on Instagram
This venom is more toxic than of any land animal. It is said that the venom of this octopus could kill 26 adults in just a few minutes. There is no antivenom for treatment.

Wisdom Wednesday 1/29/2020

Penguin photo by Justin Hofman on Instagram
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.

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 4/24/2019

Kelp forest with fishies

Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday

Between 70 and 80 percent of our planet’s oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants, mainly marine algae, in the ocean. Although humans cannot survive drinking salt water, many creatures in the oceans and seas rely on salt water for their existence. It is possible to...