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Wisdom Wednesday 07/01/20

Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday

Image of a Sea Salp from Instagram user Michael Patrick O'Neill

Image by Michael Patrick O'Neill

The size of an individual Sea Salp is approximately 10 cm (4 inches) long. When an individual gets big enough, and separates from a chain of others, smaller fish will hitch a ride in their hollow space! The length of a chain of Sea Salps can be upwards of 4.5 meters (15 feet) long. Throughout their lifecycle, the Sea Salp is known to alternate between the solitary free-swimmer and the congregated chains. 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. This chain of Jello strains out any particles from the water that passes through their body and constantly moves this food to the stomach of each individual Sea Salp (think of it as a little particle eating assembly line). The best thing about this feeding strategy is the Sea Salp never gets tired (the constant supply of food leaves them with an unlimited supply of energy), which allows them to make daily migrations from the surface (night time feeding) to deep depths of the ocean (day time feeding).

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