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Wisdom Wednesday 4/1/20

Photo of Collared Butterflyfish by Manuela Kirschner on Instagram
Many have dark bands across their eyes and round, eye-like dots on their flanks to confuse predators as to which end to strike and in which direction they're likely to flee.

Wisdom Wednesday 3/18/20

Instagram photo box flying fish by Michael Patrick O'Neil
Flying Fish are unique in that they can reach the height of 4 feet in the air, and glide a distance of 655 feet before returning back to the water. They are usually 7 to 12 inches long with the upper side of the body being bluish-grey and their belly grayish-silver. The flying fish has forked tail with the lower piece of the tail longer than upper piece. Pectoral fins of flying fish can be spread into wing-like shape. Flying fish are shaped like a torpedo. Their fins are closed when they swim to ensure faster movement through the water. Before it emerges above the water, flying fish accelerate toward the surface of the water with a speed of 37 miles per hour.

Wisdom Wednesday 3/4/20

Instagram Photo of Sea Foam by Steve Peletz
Algal blooms are one common source of thick sea foams. When large blooms of algae decay offshore, great amounts of decaying algal matter often wash ashore. Foam forms as this organic matter is churned up by the surf. Most sea foam is not harmful to humans and is often an indication of a productive ocean ecosystem. But when large harmful algal blooms decay near shore, there are potential for impacts to human health and the environment.

Wisdom Wednesday 2/26/2020

Longnose Gar photo by Michael Patrick O'Neil on Instagram
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.

Wisdom Wednesday 2/19/2020

Shipwreck artificial reef photo by John Garza on Instagram
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.

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 1/29/2020

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 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 12/04/19

horseshoe crab image from @kristoferlanders on Instagram
The horseshoe crab is a living fossil. It has been on Earth some 220 million years, longer than dinosaurs. And it survives today almost identical to its ancient ancestors. Horseshoe crabs are more closely related to spiders, ticks and scorpions than they are to true crabs.

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.