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Shore Buddies webblog

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 | Water Lilies

Wisdom Wednesday | Water Lilies
Water Lilies are a fresh water plant, with about 70 species in total. Although most water lily species prefer the still waters of ponds and lakes, some can be found growing in slow-flowing rivers and creeks. Most species of water lilies have rounded, variously notched, waxy-coated leaves on long stalks that contain many air spaces and float in quiet freshwater habitats. The stalks arise from thick, fleshy, creeping underwater stems that are buried in the mud.

Wisdom Wednesday | Jumping Dolphins

Image of a dolphin jumping by Instagram user Jill @Jill ma2sh21
Dolphins do not have gills like fish. Dolphins need to breathe oxygen from the air but also remain in the water. Jumping out of the water, allows the dolphin to remain wet, while also taking in oxygen. Dolphins jump out of the water for fun, to increase visibility, to remove parasites, and to improve navigation.

Wisdom Wednesday | Sandbars

Wisdom Wednesday | Sandbars
Barrier bars or beaches are exposed sandbars that may have formed during the period of high-water level of a storm or during the high-tide season. During a period of lower mean sea level they become emergent and are built up by swash and wind-carried sand; this causes them to remain exposed. Barrier bars are separated from beaches by shallow lagoons and cut the beach off from the open sea.

Wisdom Wednesday | Underwater Statues

Image of Underwater Statue by Instagram user Manuela Kirschner
Across the world statues have been sunk into the oceans for a variety of reasons—as memorials, to offer protection to a fragile marine environment, or simply as art. Colored with algae and populated by coral, some of the statues have become tourist destinations in their own right.

Wisdom Wednesday | Hairy Frogfish

Despite having a hairy appearance, the “hairs” of a Hairy Frogfish are actually skin appendages or spinules which cover the frogfish’s body, head and fins. These spinules can be copious and long or very short or even almost invisible. Hairy frogfish are extremely good at hiding in plain sight and are able to change their color to match their surroundings.

Wisdom Wednesday | Sandpipers

Common sandpiper has long, straight bill, small body and short legs. Common sandpiper spends a lot of time on the ground. Its head and rear part of the body are constantly bobbing while it walks or feeds on the ground. This unusual behavior is known "teetering". Common sandpiper has stiff-winged style of flying. Its flight consists of rapid, shallow wing beats combined with short glides.

Wisdom Wednesday | Shark Research Methods

Wisdom Wednesday | Shark Research Methods
Research on sharks has allowed knowing from their origin and evolution to the applications that they have in different ambits of the human life. It is tough to know about the beginning of the research but it seems that the oldest casual investigations date back to the time of the Renaissance when people assumed that the fossils of the large teeth embedded in the rocks came from dragons or snakes.

Wisdom Wednesday | Black Blotched Porcupinefish

Porcupinefish has spines on the head and body that lay flat, but when threatened they can inflates its body by swallowing water, inflating like a "football with spikes" so the spines are facing outwards to deter prey. The have a plated mouth structure for crushing shells.