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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 | Humpback Whales

A Humpback whale swims through the ocean. Photo by @creationscape on Instagram.
When a Humpback whale is born, it can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and reach up to 15 feet in length. These young whales, called calves, stay with their mothers to nurse for anywhere between 6 to 10 months, until they are about 24 to 27 feet long. 

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 | Dolphins

Wisdom Wednesday | Dolphins
Dolphins are incredibly intelligent animals. They have been seen using tools, in the form of sponges, to protect their snouts while looking for food. They are also able to identify each other based on their signature whistle sounds. Just as each dolphin has a signature sound, they also each have unique dorsal fins which can be helpful in identifying them.

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 | 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.