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Shore Buddies webblog

Wisdom Wednesday 08/12/20

Image of Long Nosed Fur Seals by Instagram user @submerged_images
Fur Seals are named for their two-layered fur: an outer layer, and an undercoat that helps their skin stay dry underwater. Now protected, this species was hunted almost to extinction for the fur trade in earlier centuries. Fur seal has very thick, reddish brown, brownish gray or black fur. Females of some species have light-colored fur on the front side of the body. Fur seal has small ears, long, muscular front flippers and stocky body. Seals move swiftly and gracefully through the water using their powerful fore flipper and can be quite agile on land, walking on all four of their flippers. 

Wisdom Wednesday 08/05/20

Photo of a flying fish by Instagram user @jillma2sh21

Flying fish are marine oceanic fishes of the family Exocoetidae. They are about 50 species, and they live worldwide in warm waters. They are noted for their ability to glide. They are all small, with a maximum length of about 45 cm (18 inches), and have winglike, rigid fins and an unevenly forked tail.  From 1900 to the 1930s, flying fish were studied as possible models used to develop airplanes. There are at least 40 types flying fish and they can reach 37 MPH underwater. They do not fly actively: their fins do not flap. What they do is speed towards the surface and keep on going. 

Wisdom Wednesday 07/29/20

Image of a Sargassum Fish by Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neill
The sargassum fish has an upturned mouth with an illium over the margin of the eyes. All frogfishes have a “lure” which is a fine antennae which stems from the top of the frogfishes head and dangles a bait-like looking appendage directly in front of the frogfish to attract prey. When frogfishes have prey in front of them they are incredibly fast to open their mouths and they suck in their prey whole, without chewing.

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 07/15/20

Image of a male yellowhead jawfish holding eggs in his mouth from Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neill
With this species, the male assumes all parental responsibilities and will incubate and protect hundreds of tiny eggs in his mouth for about 10 days until the babies hatch. To mix and aerate their eggs, males occasionally partially spit out and quickly suck clutches back in, a behavior known as churning. This extra special care results in more fry surviving the crucial first days of life.

Wisdom Wednesday 07/01/20

Image of a Sea Salp from Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neill
These mysterious creatures have been known to be more populous than the ever-abundant Krill in certain seas. The creature is able to move by pumping water through its body, and they imply feed on small particles in the water column. Since there is an abundance of ocean particles, they never need to look for food.

Wisdom Wednesday 6/24/20

Photo of playful Humpback Whales by Instagram user Jill (@jillma2sh21)
Humpback Whales are known to be one of the most playful and acrobatic whales on earth. Of all cetaceans, the Humpback Whale seems to be the most athletic, impressing observers with breaching, spy hopping and other playful behaviours. They can be seen laying on their side "pec slapping", raising their large pectoral fins straight out of the water and slapping it hard against the surface. They are often seen swimming like this, passing vessels close by, but ignoring them.

Wisdom Wednesday 6/17/20

Photo of a Cusk Eel by Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neil
Not much is known about the Cusk Eel due to its elusive nature and deep water habitats. What we do know is this eel is mesmerizing in appearance. Not many have been spotted being of how deep they live, but when one is spotted it is fast to dart away into the dark waters. Looking at their lineage, Cusk Eels aren't actually eels (they have ventral fins, which in true eels are typically missing or underdeveloped) but were given their name as a nod to their snake-like appearance.

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 6/3/20

Tiger Shark photo from Instagram user Jason Washington
And maybe the most bizarre fact of all.. One individual tiger shark found itself in the middle of a murder mystery! In April 1935, Coogee Aquarium in Sydney, Australia was looking for a big fish to occupy its newly-built pool. On a fishing trip off Coogee beach, Bert Hobson snared a 13-foot tiger shark for the aquarium. The shark was a big hit at the aquarium, but it didn’t last very long. Seven days after its arrival, it got sick and vomited up a bird, a rat, some nasty-looking brown goo—and a human arm, which had a rope tied around its wrist and a forearm tattoo of two boxers. An amateur boxer named James Smith had recently gone missing, and he had the exact same tattoo on one arm.

Wisdom Wednesday 5/27/20

Photo of a sea turtle my Amy Mercer on Instagram @amy.mercerphotos
All seven species of sea turtles are listed as threatened or endangered. This is a reflection of the growing issues surrounding coastal development and ocean conservation. To help ensure that sea turtles have a future in our oceans, the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center™ aids sick and injured sea turtles in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

Wisdom Wednesday 5/20/20

Image of a Sea Robin from Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neill
Sea robins are good swimmers but they also can use their pectoral fins to “walk” along the bottom of the ocean, looking for prey. The sensitive fins let the fish feel things they encounter and they can be used to move and manipulate small objects. It also uses its head as a shovel to dig down and uncover small sea creatures to eat. Sea robins will eat just about anything they can find, including segmented worms, crustaceans, shrimp, squid and mollusks. Sea robins vibrate their swim bladders to make a croaking sound that is easy to hear when the fish are lifted out of the water. They head for the bottom and quickly burrow into the sand when threatened, leaving only their eyes and a bit of their heads exposed.