TO MOST DIVERS, SEA CUCUMBERS WOULD SEEM LIKE THE INACTION FIGURES of the oceans. Mainly, they come off as inert, sausage-shaped lumps lying randomly on the sandy bottom and perhaps the least interesting objects on the reef. It’s time for real sea cucumber facts. Actually, some of them have real Captain Echinoderm moves in them. For one thing, they’re nocturnal so what you see in the daytime isn’t what you’d get at night, when theyRead more
Highlights from the Poseidon’s Web archives.
WHAT’S MORE ENDEARING THAN WATCHING A TRUNKFISH SWIM? Watching a baby trunkfish jiggle about trying to. Trunkfishes at their best are relatively inept swimmers, with bulky, triangular bodies and limited tailfin propulsion. They row furiously, they move slowly and awkwardly. As juveniles, they’re small and round. Their tails are barely there, almost negligible, making for less control, with a certain amount of yeeing and yawing. It’s both irresistible to watch them work to master theirRead more
SHARKS’ REPUTATION AS FIERCE, MAN-EATING APEX PREDATORS of the oceans takes a hit when you consider the bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo), a small variety of hammerhead found mostly in warm waters along the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines of North and South America. Along with their normal carnivorous diet, bonnetheads eat grass, as in seagrass. How much grass? It accounts for as much as 62 percent of its gut content in some juvenile populations. The bonnetheads’Read more
WHILE THERE ARE NEARLY 70 SPECIES OF SEA SNAKES in the Pacific and Indian Ocean basins, there are exactly none in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic. Even though sea snakes almost certainly could prosper in the warm Caribbean tropics, their absence is a factor of timing, geography and ocean currents. “WHY ARE THERE NO SEA SNAKES IN THE ATLANTIC? That was the question explored in an article in the journal Bioscience. Also, the article’s title. Unfortunately,Read more
ONE OF THE JOYS OF THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS are the blue-footed boobies. Not only are they goofy waddlers on land but they do a funny, slow-motion courtship dance. And they let you get right up in their beaks, so to speak. ACES IN THE AIR In the air and sea, they’re something else – daredevil flying machines that dive like kamikazes seeking a fishy smorgasbourd. HINT: THE BLUE COMES FROM THEIR DIET New York Times’Read more
– THERE ARE LOTS OF FISH IN THE SEA, the saying goes, and it turns out that most of them are bristlemouths, a fish you probably never heard of. TRILLIONS OF THEM It’s a small fish “of the middle depths that glows in the dark and can open its mouth extraordinarily wide, baring needle-like fangs – is the most numerous vertebrae on earth,” says science writer William J. Broad in a recent article in the NewRead more