Are you managed or monitored?
Shiny things collected by an easily distracted marine biologist. There will likely be fish, critters, science, other people's art, fannish stuffs (mostly of a science fictiony, Sherlocky, or cartoonish nature), teapots, things that make me laugh, and occasionally, kids.
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Some divers call them “ping pong balls with fins.” Their real name is just as good: the Pacific spiny lumpsucker. We just added six to our Kelp Touchpool, hatched behind the scenes earlier this year.
You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but many Wolffish are surprisingly friendly creatures. If you meet with their approval you can even hand-feed them and they’ll allow you to keep your entire hand!
If you’re a sea urchin or crustacean then Wolffish are as savagely evil as their despicable appearance suggests. Their obnoxious fangs and powerful molars will crack you open and they will feast upon your naked flesh. Their one saving grace is they look EXACTLY like the kind of thing that would do just that.
Images: Norm Despres/Eirik Mikkelsen/Gaellery
Most wolffish live in the northern Atlantic (except for the Bering wolffish), while another family member, the wolf eel, lives in the North Pacific. They have similar faces, but wolffish have a caudal fin, while wolf eels have a tapering tail like their namesake - they are not actually eels themselves.
The Newport Aquarium in Oregon has a few of them that, last time I visited, which was quite a while ago, were hand fed by a diver. They were like big wrinkled toothy puppies.
Arial shot of leopard sharks in La Jolla
[x][x] by Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Before they moved across the street to the new building, my former boss could see these guys from his office. And every year they show up (this happens at certain coves on Catalina Island, too), the news has some vaguely panicky story about Sharks Off Our Beaches!, until they interview someone, often from his office, who says (again!) that they’re harmless. They’re mating aggregations, and they’re far more interested in other sharks than you.
(via What Killed The Giant Oarfish In California - Business Insider)
It’s thought that oarfish are not actually all that strong of swimmers. They hang vertically in the water - head up, tail down - and undulate their dorsal fins to move around, a bit like a sea horse. So unusual currents pushing them into unaccustomed shallow areas may well have been the culprit. Staff at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, whose staff got to dissect one of them, seems to agree with Deep Sea News, as otherwise it seemed fairly healthy and in good condition.
Jumbo squid ARE fairly strong swimmers, and they manage to beach themselves here in Southern California pretty regularly.
18-foot Oarfish Discovered in California (but not the first...)
CNN: A marine science instructor’s late-afternoon snorkel off the Southern California coast last Sunday was first met with shock and soon excitement when she discovered a gigantic oarfish, a deep-sea creature that remains little known to the science world and people outside.
While they were still grad students, some co-workers of mine found another one, still alive, near the Wrigley Marine Lab at Catalina Island in 2006. I jounalled about it and some other cool fish here…
What most people don’t realize is that these guys don’t swim like other fish. Instead, they hang vertically in the water column - head up, tail down - and move by undulating their dorsal fin. You can see some video of it here:
These are juveniles:
I love these, best thing since motivational megafauna.
But I also feel like every one of them should be followed by “…but I’m going to eat you anyway.”
A series of six little (5” x 7”) Complimentary Fish I made for the shop. The fish are pen-and-ink on scrap intaglio paper (mostly Somerset, I think), shaded in with some ink and watercolour washes. Afterwards, I cut them out and glued them to some scrapbook paper, then popped them into simple frames.
I probably spent a good three weeks drawing miscellaneous deep sea fish—some of them mermaids, which I’ll have to dig up and post later.
Insprational viper/anglerfish- I love them!
"The Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker is a lesser known creature, but that doesn’t stop it being any less cute (at least I think so). They grow up to 1-5 inches (5 being exceptionally huge). The weirdest thing about them is that they have little sucker pads on their tummies, which makes them stickable to almost anything. You know, like those ornaments you sucker to the inside of car windows. Most of them are apparently found in the North Pacific."
There are a few of these guys at AOP as well, but none of my photos of them have turned out all that well. Too kyoot, with the balloons…
This is the aptly-named “black swallower” (Chiasmodon niger), a fish known for eating bony fish up to 10x its mass and 2x its length.
It’s found worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters at a depth of 700-2,745 meters.
Most specimens of this fish have been collected after one attempted to swallow prey too large for it to handle, and the prey could not be digested before decomposition set it. The release of gases forces the black swallower to the surface.
This particular specimen was found washed up on the shore in 2007. The black swallower measures 19cm long. The fish in its stomach is a snake mackerel measuring 86 cm.
Image credit: Phillippe Bush, Department of the Environment
WHY DO YOU EXIST?
I call this optimism.
Talk about eyes bigger than stomach…
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