Who … What … Me?

Can you guess the common name designated to the animal pictured to the right?ugly-fish

Here are some facts about the critter:

  • Found in Antarctica
  • Has watery-jelly like flesh
  • Lives in the deep part of the ocean

Image (c) of newscience.com

6 reasons why Jacques is cooler than punk rock

It may not come as a surprise, but a lot of my friends and family consider George Costanza as the most famous marine biologist they know. Long before Seinfeld, Jacques  Cousteau, the world’s most well known deep sea explorer, made studying marine science seem fun JacquesCousteauand not as intimidating as people once thought.

So here are some reasons why Jacques  Cousteau continues to be an inspiration and a legend in the field:

Cousteau co-developed the aqua lung in 1943.

Cousteau co-created the Cousteau Society, dedicated to protecting ocean life, in 1973.

Cousteau’s television show, “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau,” was narrated by Cousteau himself and Rod  Sterling.

Cousteau received the Presidential Medal of Honor from Ronald Regan in 1985.

Cousteau received the United  Nations International Environmental Prize, with Peter Scott, in 1975.

Cousteau was honored by John Denver in the 1975 song titled, Calypso. Calypso was his boat’s name.

image (c) yarnela.com

Simeon the whale may die without king salmon.

Environmental News  Network sent a news release out today about a new report that states how Orca orca may die off if the numbers of king salmon continue to drop.

The research was published in the Royal Society Biology Letters. The leading cause of the death of the killer whales is actually “nutritional stress” from not being able to find the king salmon. So that is potentially what could happen to me when I do not get a happy fixing of peanut butter once in a while.

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The story of the hurricane …

Bob Dylan explained it once, but I’ll explain the natural phenomenon from another angled. A hurricane develops due to the hot, hot air temperatures of summer moving along the hot, hot ocean. This collision of heat joins forces to form a mass of air and water that starts swirling, blowing, sinking, and rising in a path that you see on the weatherman tracking device.

You probably begin paying attention to the tracking system when a hurricane begins to move close to the shore. A hurricane close to shore will undoubtedly cause massive storm surges. A storm surge is when the ocean may increase its high tides above what it normally may be. It is not uncommon to have a storm surge of 25 feet (about 6 kids standing on top of each others shoulders)!

The wind speed of the hurricane can get up to 150-200 miles per hour! Even once the winds slow down to next-to-nothing, it is important to remember that they are going to start back up again – but, go in the opposite direction. The respite you experienced was the ‘eye’ of the storm. A hurricane is a big doughnut of wind and water constantly cycling around destroying everything in its path. It can be up to 300 miles across.

Image (c) environment.nationalgeographic.com

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How do fish float?

Bony fish have a swim bladder, a gas filled sac. The swim bladder originates as part of the belly. The swim bladder aids in creating an equilibrium with what is going on inside the fish and the surrounding water.

Some fish have a bladder that is part of the respiratory system, called an air bladder. It even creates a drumming sound. Croaker, red drum and black drum are part of the group.

Fish that have a skeleton made of cartilage do not have a swim bladder.

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Do sharks really never stop moving?

In order to breathe sharks have to keep moving. They have to engulf water to extract the oxygen in the water and then the rest of the water filters out of their gills. If the water current is very strong they can stay still.

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Armed to the teeth

People often wear shark’s teeth around their neck. But, what is the significance and how do they get them? As the internet research states a sharks tooth symbolizes virility. I am not going to get any further into that aspect of the question. To each his or her own.

Here is some information on the rest of the question.

Shark teeth are plentiful. They may have up to 20,000 teeth in their lifetime! Once we lose our baby teeth we have only 32 adult teeth for the rest of our lives. However, sharks are constantly replacing their teeth whenever they get torn out. They may get torn out when teethroxsripping apart prey. This may seem like it will hurt, but, a shark’s entire skeleton is made out of cartilage. Cartilage is the very flexible material we have in our ears and nose. The shark’s stock supply of teeth act like a conveyor belt constantly ready to replace one that has fallen out (pictured).

Here are really great places to go exploring for shark teeth: Shark River, N.J.; Flag Pond Beach, MD; Amelia Island, FL; and Cooper River, S.C.

Also, again, Happy Shark Week!

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image (c) sharkfact.org

No, sharks do not have a sixth sense

Sharks really do have a sixth sense.

It is the electrosensory organ that we spoke of with the hammerhead sharks. The electrosensory organ is called the ampullae of Lorenzini. Sounds intimidating, however, it’s really just a jelly filled canal that starts near the nose and helps them find food under the sand and figure out what direction they are going.

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Everyone loves Shark Week!

It really feels like a phenomenon – especially when Poets.org is also celebrating Shark Week!

Here is a good one from the site by Isaac McLellan  (poem “The Bluefish“):

The weaker tenants of the main
Flee from their rage in vain,
The vast menhaden multitudes
They massacre o’er the flood;
With lashing tail, with snapping teeth
They stain the tides with blood.

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Break it down. It’s hammertime … (doooo doo doo dut .. doo dut ..doo dut.)

The hammerhead shark has evolved the interesting looking skull cap to accommodate its extra collection electrosensory organs. All sharks do have these electrosensory organs, but, the hammerhead has a bit more than the average shark species. hammerheadThe electrosensory organ are useful for traveling far distances in the open ocean. It is like a internal GPS system.  (I am not sure if it comes with a funny British accent like the one in my uncle’s car though.)

Also, another reason that the hammerhead may have evolved that shaped head is because it loves to eat squid. That head will surely be able to tangle up those tentacles lurking around the corners.

Again, Happy Shark Week!

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Image (c) animalport.com