Are you managed or monitored?
Shiny things collected by an easily distracted marine biologist. Here you may find fish and other marine critters, land and aerial critters, fannish things, especially of a science fishin' -y, Sherlock-y or cartoonish nature, art and fanart by other people (and very rarely by myself), tea oddities, occasionally my offspring, neurodiversity, cats, and other oddments. Enjoy!
The ask is open, and while I may bite, my teeth are pretty dull.
I am a biologist. That means I find creepy crawlies fascinating. There will be occasional spiders, bugs, and other invertebrates. I do try to tag liberally for those who screen - but if there's anything I need to add, just ask.
Btw, if you'd like to leave a real comment instead of liking or reblogging, Disqus comments are enabled; just click the date, and scroll to the bottom.
Terracotta fish plate
27.6cm in diameter (10 7/8.) and 6.7cm high (2 5/8.)
Greek Period (Sicilian), Late Classical Period, 375 - 360 BC.
Source: metropolitan Museum
Heathy Habitat, Essential Fish Habitat and Ecosystem Management. And some animation.
(via How to control invasives? Put a fork in them! :: NOAA Fisheries)
Northern snakeheads - Do you think a fish as invasive and ugly as the northern snakehead could be yummy to eat? There’s a grassroots movement to create a market demand to control the spread of this species.
Um, I thought I’d read that’s kind of how they got to the US in the first place. To eat. You’d think it would be a fine way to get rid of them, but once people start liking something, they tend to want to keep it around, and markets want a steady supply.
We have a similar problem with Chinese mitten crabs in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento Delta area - not only invasive but they damage the flood-control dykes in the Sacramento River Delta by burrowing. They’re also a delicacy in their home range, but I believe they got here through larvae in ship ballast water. I think you’re allowed to take them recreationally (no limit), but not commercially, thus no incentive to create a fishery with a monetary value.
Anchovy school at Scripps Pier, July 8, 2014
Some of my coworkers in La Jolla could see this from their office yesterday. Pretty amazing!
Loosing it, in fact.
Felt like drawing some tuna!lock, whoever invented this thing, THANK YOU ❤
Scientists in Australia tagged a healthy 9-foot great white shark as part of program to track these animals. Four months later they found the tracking device washed up on a beach. Something—something really big—had eaten this apex predator. But what creature could dine on such ferocious prey?
Scientists: A mysterious animal ate an entire 9-foot great white shark
My first thought was how did they they know it was eaten? Because tags often are shed, especially if not attached properly; however, there’s a link at the bottom to the mystery, solved.
(And damn my scatological sense of humor, one of the last comments on the second article tickled me.)
Hint: a 9’ great white is really not all that great.
Whoa! Had Disney elected to make Finding Nemo scientifically accurate, Marlin would have turned into a female and mated with Nemo. Freaky. I’m glad they didn’t.
Welcome to the wonderful world of protandric hermaphroditism!! It’s surprisingly common among fish, who probably think that we land-lubbing air-breathers are pretty weird for being so set in our gender ways. Being able to change sexes is a great survival adaptation for Nemo’s kind, a way to make sure that there are always enough breeding partners to go around, and that everyone has an spread their genes.
The size difference between male and female clownfish or anemone fish is also an example of something called sexual dimorphism, which is seen in all kinds of species (including us). There’s many kinds of sexual dimorphism in nature, and all kinds of reasons for it, but bigger clownfish females may be able to produce more eggs, while smaller males may be able to migrate more easily between anemones to find a mate. Any know of other theories?
Destin, judging by your kids’ reactions, I’m not the only one who would enjoy watching the scientifically accurate Finding Nemo.
As opposed to California sheephead (Semicossyphous pulcher), which are protogynous hermaphrodites, like many in the wrasse family. They’re all born females, which are slender and uniformly pink to red. If the local large male disappears, the largest and most dominant female will begin a rather dramatic transformation into a male, developing a black head and tail, heavy jaws, and a characteristic forehead bump - while retaining the species white lower jaw, red middle, and large, dog-like teeth. Sometimes you can see individuals that are in the midst of the change, heads and tails graying but bodies still slender.
It’s an invertebrate, here in California, that’s a protandrous hermaphrodite. Spot prawns (Pandalus platyceros), a handsome deep water shrimp with four white dots on its abdomen, stripey cephalothoraxes and an extremely long pointy rostrum, are all males when small, while larger ones above a certain size have morphed into females. In the spot prawn’s case, sexual dimorphism is only in size.
Coincidentally, both of these species are popular with restaurants that specialize in keeping aquariums of live animals just prior to being cooked and served - partially because they’re fairly hardy and stand up to transport. Female sheephead are prized in certain Asian restaurants because they look similar to a fish on the other side of the Pacific, considered auspicious because of their red coloring.
Sorry for so many images crammed into one post. I’m very short on time and I wanted to make sure I posted all of the ponds I’m taking to Omni Expo this weekend.
- The water is clear resin.
- No, the fish/frogs/turtles are not real; they’re made from polymer clay.
- Yes, I did make them all by hand.
- They are not for sale right now. You can maybe grab one after my show is over next weekend.
- My commissions are closed at the moment and will reopen May 30. You can commission your own pond then, but please be aware there is a queue for pond commissions at this time.
And if you’re near or in Orlando this coming weekend, here’s some info on Omni Expo:
When: May 23 - 25, 2014Where: Marriott World Center in Orlando, FL
I will be there all three days at Table 15 in the Artist Alley. :)
Quirky miniature porcelain sculptures made by Ukranian artists website Anya Stasenko and Slava Leontyev
Ooh, remember liking this one a very long time ago - glad it showed up again… the owls and the fish one especially.
(Source: asylum-art, via isocil)
The American paddlefish, Polyodon spathula
… is a paddlefish living in slow-flowing waters of the Mississippi River drainage system. It appears to have been extirpated from Lake Erie and its tributaries. They are closely related to the sturgeons.
This large Chondrostean freshwater fish may grow to 220 cm (7 feet) and weigh up to 100 kg (220 lbs). The paddlefish takes its common and scientific names from its distinctive snout, which is greatly elongated and flattened into a paddle shape. The American paddlefish is believed to use sensitive electroreceptors on its paddle to detect prey, as well as to navigate while migrating to spawning sites. It feeds primarily on zooplankton but also feeds on crustaceans and bivalves…
(read more: Wikipedia)
illustration by Timothy Knepp, USFWS
Shrimpfish, in the same order as seahorses and pipefish. It’s thought they adopt this head down posture because they like to hide among sea urchin spines and vertical weeds; but they swim - horizontally, but vertically - pretty well that way too…
This was also at AOP; please forgive the weird reflections and slight blurriness. Last time I was there they had maybe three or four in a tiny tank of maybe two gallons, and now they have a school of them! The tank is this sort of wedge-shaped thing with no air surface on the display side.
Note: there are also ribbon pipehorses near the bottom in this video.
Not sure what’s going on here - it plays on my dash and posts page but not on my main page. If you can’t see it let me know and I’ll put up a link.
Goldfish (Carassius cenularisustergum)
…a small species of cyprinid fish that is endemic to a wide variety of mountain lakes in Switzerland. A collector in the United States had introduced a captive population in 1937 into a lake in her Connecticut property but, after a unfortunate series of ecological events the population of C. cenularisustergum had escaped and has become an invasive species in a number of countries around the world. Goldfish are highly adaptable and can occupy a wide range of habitats across the globe, which has lead to their reproductive success worldwide. Like other members of the genus Carassius goldfish are often seen in large groups (known as a “bag”) with individuals packed as close together as they can. The exact reason for this behavior is still unknown but it is thought that this is done to prevent predators from singling out an individual to eat. However, some experiments disprove this theory, stating that predators will attempt to eat as many of the small fish as possible, and that congregation would not heighten an individual’s chances of survival.
Due to their cosmopolitan distribution C. cenularisustergum is preyed upon by a large number of predators, from all walks of life. Their main predator is humans (Homo sapiens) which will farm the small cyprinids by the millions. By using a special devise known as a Pepperidge Farm. Even though they are harvested in millions, farming had no significant effect on their population as C. cenularisustergum has a high reproductive rate, with individuals capable of producing thousands of young in special nests known as “Cartons”. C. cenularisustergum is sometimes known as the “smiling fish” due to its wide gape, it uses this wide but thin mouth to efficiently graze on algae that grows on smooth rocks.
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Trying out the camera on my new phone @ AOP last weekend. Really like the HDR function used on the 1st pic with oldest fry contemplating the live coral tank. And I don’t think I’d seen the life-size model blue whale from that angle before…