Wild Wednesday: Watch Two Cuttlefish Fiercely Fight For a Mate

I had meant to create a series of posts for “Wild Wednesday” since I first started my blog. I’m not sure why, but I never have managed to make very many posts. There are so many interesting sea creatures out there, and so much we don’t know about them. I’d like to make this a regular feature and share more about them. πŸ™‚

Let me know how you like the idea.

This is the first time researchers caught the creatures locked in a vicious fight in the wild

Source: Watch Two Cuttlefish Fiercely Battle Over a Mate | Smart News | Smithsonian

The video is cool, the article is really pretty interesting and worth reading. πŸ™‚

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Meet the Adorable “Sea Bunny” Taking Over the Internet

I started a series I was calling ‘Wild Wednesdays’ a while back. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the time to look for any interesting creatures to post about there. This one just popped up in my email one day recently and I thought- how perfect for a Wild Wednesday post! Too bad I’ve been too busy to make the post on Wednesday.

Not actually getting anything done, but busy as hell regardless. So, it’s late but I hope you enjoy it. I think it’s cute. πŸ˜‰Β Despite its cute and cuddly appearance, this little sea creature is actually a kind of slug.

Source: Meet the Adorable “Sea Bunny” Taking Over the Internet

Wild Wednesday: Mola-Mola

I’ve spent a lot of time at sea in my life. I grew up around the water and on boats. My father had a boat that he used for commercial fishing for a while. I used to go out commercial fishing before I got into working in the offshore sector. I even went deep sea for a while.

In all those years, I’ve never seen a mola molaΒ (ocean sunfish) in the ocean until recently. I had heard about them and seen them in pictures and on TV and they fascinated me.

They just look so weird.

It looks like a shark or something chomped off half their body but they still manage quite well.

I finally did see a wild one recently. I was on watch on the bridge on my last ship and one was floating around. It must have been a pretty big one for us to be able to see it at all from the bridge.

I couldn’t leave the bridge to get a good look at it. I could only see it from the bridge wing which is about 75 ft above the water and about 200 ft forward of where it was. We were able to pick it up in the camera but not very well.

I hope to see some more of them around here. So far this hitch we have not seen much wildlife, but this evening there was a school of dolphins just off the bow. That’s always a good sign. πŸ™‚

PS- it is Wednesday here.

Bizarre Barreleye Fish

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the ‘editorial calendar’ I made up for the Blogging 201 challenge. I hope you haven’t been too disappointed. πŸ˜‰

Here’s something I found online recently with the “Creature Feature”/”Wild Wednesday” in mind.

This has got to be one of the weirdest fish I’ve ever seen. It’s head is transparent! ONLY it’s head is transparent!

There are lots of other sea creatures that are transparent all over, or mostly clear. It makes them less obvious to predators.

Supposedly, the transparent domed head helps this fish steal food from certain types of stinging ‘siphonophores‘ (colonial organisms- one common type is a Portuguese man-o-war).

It’s eyes are INSIDE that dome. What looks like it’s eyes are really it’s nostrils (or close enough). Weird. πŸ™‚

These barreleye fish (or spook fish) live in deep water. This video is one of the first to ‘catch’ one alive. They’ve been caught before, but these types of deep sea creatures are not in the best shape when they come up to the surface. The changes in pressure are usually enough to seriously damage them (if not kill them outright).

I just think its amazing how much we still don’t know about what’s in the water all around us. There are so many beautiful and fascinating creatures out there and we haven’t even scratched the surface.

I think it’s a shame that through our actions we are doing such damage to pretty much everything else on the planet. I would hate to see that continue til it’s too late and we won’t even know all the things we lost.

I do think the other things that share the planet with us have a ‘right’ to be here too. Yes, I do think everything on this planet is here for a reason. Everything is connected. We are all part of the whole.

I think humans are completely unbalancing the entire world. Most of the problems we have to deal with now are the predictable end result of the fact that there are over 7 BILLION people on the planet (and we are STILL increasing that number daily)!

The crowding is not good for us or for anything else that has to share the planet with us. We are NOT the be-all and end-all of everything. Too bad most of us think we are. 😦

Top 10: Amazing Sea Creatures

I might have picked some different ones, but stumbled on this video while I was looking at something else.

It was made by Incredible World. They look like they have some very interesting stuff on utube. I thought this one was pretty cool.

That MOUTH!!

Pirogue- Lost at Sea

I’ve been working for the last couple of weeks on an ROV job. We’re working in the Walker Ridge area. It’s about 178 nautical miles SW of Fourchon, LA. Not much around all the way out here.

The other night on DP watch, we saw something flashing in the light around the windows. A bird? A bug? (Sometimes we get some pretty big moths out here). Turns out, it was a tiny little hummingbird.

Our crane operator Shane crept up on it and managed to catch it. It was so exhausted, it just sat calmly in his hands while we tried to give it something to drink. We mixed up some sugar and water and fed it by hand with a coffee straw.

Shane named the bird ‘Pirogue’. We don’t know why. We don’t know why Shane does anything he does. πŸ˜‰

At first we put Pirogue in a water bottle so he would have a little room to move around in. It was just the only thing we could think of that we had handy. We cut the top off it, turned the top around upside down and stuck it back into the bottle. We fed Pirogue more sugar water and he started to perk up. We made the mistake of leaving the top off the bottle a little too long, and Pirogue was off like a shot! πŸ™‚

He flew around the wheelhouse til Shane (the bird-whisperer) managed to catch up with him again. We put him back in the bottle and kept the top on to feed him from then on. πŸ˜‰

Itchy (one of our ABs- don’t ask how he got that name) came up with a big 5 gallon water bottle (with the top cut off and some holes drilled in it) for us to move the bird into. We fixed him up a little nest of shredded newspaper in a cool whip tub. Shane made a perch for him out of a pencil. We put a cup of water in there with him but he preferred to drink the sugar water from the straw.

We hand fed him every half hour. Eventually, we figured he needed some rest so we put a dark towel over the ‘cage’ and left him alone til morning.

When I took the cover off him in the morning, I thought he would already be up and alert, but he surprised me, he was still very groggy. I almost thought he was dead, but he would blink his eyes at me verrrry slooooowly…

After about a half hour or so, he gathered his wits about him and started buzzing around his ‘cage’. Letting us all know he was HUNGRY. Everyone who came up to the bridge would stop by and take a few minutes to give him a few sips from the straw.

Pirogue has been making great progress. I think he might be able to make it the rest of the way home by himself now. Only one thing, the weather is pretty nasty out here now and is supposed to continue that way for the next few days. I’d hate to turn ol’ Pirogue loose, just to see him blown away in a heavy thunderstorm. 😦

That’s probably how he wound up on our boat in the first place. He might not get so lucky again.

So, I’ve decided to keep him here til we make crew change in a couple of days. I’ll turn him loose when we get to the dock in Fourchon. Hopefully he’ll be able to find his way from there.

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These birds live all over the Eastern part of North America. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only ones that regularly nest east of the Mississippi. With a name like Pirogue, ours might be happy enough to settle in South Louisiana (but hopefully not in Fourchon itself). πŸ˜‰

Since we’ve adopted Pirogue on here, some of us have spent some time on google. We’ve wondered how he would wind up all the way out here in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. We don’t usually see hummingbirds out here.

Turns out, hummingbirds migrate all the way from Central America to the US every year. I’m reading online that “many cross the Gulf of Mexico in a single flight’.

Well, they would have to, since there’s nothing out here for them to eat or drink. Until we started drilling for oil out here in the last few years, they had no way to stop for a rest either.

Imagine, flying for 500 miles or more without a break! Scientists have found that they fatten up a lot before they make their yearly migration. They may double their body mass.

Pirogue is a ruby-throated hummingbirdΒ (Archilochus colubris) . They’re bright emerald green on the back and grey-white underneath. Males have a bright, ruby-red throat patch, tho it only really shows very bright at certain angles. Pirogue is a male, he has a very obvious red throat. He looks almost iridescent. πŸ™‚

They usually eat nectar. I know people use bright red feeders to attract hummingbirds so the red coffee straw was a good way to get Pirogue to eat and drink here. I learned that they also eat small bugs for protein. We don’t have any of those handy out here. (Good thing!).

Wikipedia says that these birds can live to be 9 years old, tho the males rarely make it past 5. I have no way of telling Pirogues age, but I hope he makes it through another migration. Maybe he’ll have learned to stop by another ship to get some help next time too. πŸ™‚

Ready for this jellyfish? Giant species found down under

Ready for this jellyfish? Giant species found down under.

Today’s Creature Feature is this story from Tasmania. It’s a couple of weeks late, but hopefully it’s still interesting.

I love the description of these jellyfish as ‘snotty’. What would you do if you were walking down the beach and came upon a 5 foot long glob of ‘snot’? πŸ˜‰

I’d probably do the same thing as the kid that found it! πŸ™‚

I think it’s cool that the scientists are still finding things this big that they haven’t really had the chance to study yet.

Slaughterhouse Said to Process “Horrifying” Number of Whale Sharks Annually

Slaughterhouse Said to Process “Horrifying” Number of Whale Sharks Annually.

 

Well, here it is again already: Wild Wednesday (Creature Feature). I’ve been so busy, I haven’t really had time to keep up with things here as much as I’d like to. I’m working nights (1800-0600) and for some reason that schedule just really keeps me messed up. I’m always SO tired. 😦

I saw this article and thought it would make a good one to post here. First of all because I’ve always really liked these giant fish. They’re so big, but they never bother anybody. They grow up to about 40-45 feet long and yet they only eat plankton. They’re one of the longest lived sharks, they can live up to 100 years!

I’ve always wanted to do a trip where I could swim, snorkel or SCUBA with them. I think that would be something really special. I see the pictures of people doing it and it just looks fantastic. They are just awesome! πŸ™‚

I hate to think of people just catching these fish and slaughtering them willy-nilly, even though they are endangered. Most sharks and rays are now on the endangered species list. 😦

I know a lot of people probably think: ‘good riddance’, but sharks and rays are actually beautiful creatures and are very well adapted to their environments. There are over 470 species of sharks and rays.

They live in every ocean, from the surface to the depths. They’ve been around for over 420 million years! There are some very interesting stories about sharks (I loved Jaws). They have interesting lives.

 

They have interesting history with people around the world. The Hawaiians were just one people who worshiped a shark god. People do seem fascinated with sharks.

Maybe it’s because they can (and sometimes do) eat us? πŸ˜‰

They’re one of the very few animals that we ever feel even slightly threatened by anymore. Although there were only 4.3 on average unprovoked fatalities from shark attacks worldwide (2001-2006).

Hopefully that fact will quell some fear and we won’t allow the indiscriminate killing to continue. It’s estimated that over 100 million sharks are killed EVERY YEAR!

Sharks serve a purpose in this world. Just like every other living thing on this planet. They deserve to have a place here just as much as we do and we really ought to stop killing off every other thing around us just because we can.

One of these days those kinds of actions WILL come back to bite us.

Maybe with shark teeth. πŸ˜‰

Video: Dolphin Asks Diver for Help

I’d like to be able to do more this week, but my schedule is just not allowing me much time to spend on the computer. Hopefully, things will improve soon. πŸ™‚

I can’t believe it’s already been a week! For the second of my creature feature posts, for ‘Wild Wednesday’, I’ll put up this video I saw online last week. I just had to say awwww… the cute factor is pretty high up there.

I’ve always loved dolphins. That was my choice to come back as, if I ever got reincarnated. I’d love to be a dolphin! Every time I see them out at sea, they always bring a smile to my face.

They have a reputation for being helpful to sailors. It’s nice to see a favor returned. πŸ™‚

We’d admire these dog-sized crabs, if we weren’t so busy screaming!

We’d admire these dog-sized crabs for being good at recycling, if we weren’t so busy screaming | Grist.

Two-coconut-crabs-opening-coconut-on-beach

Good thing they don’t swarm like army ants!

I wouldn’t worry too much. They are endangered. 😦

Probably because they’re pretty good eating. At least the islanders where the crabs can be found do like to eat them when they can still find them.

They are pretty scary to watch a bunch of huge crabs like these crawling around the beach where you’re trying to get a tan. I mean they do get pretty damn big! Luckily, they PREFER to eat coconuts. πŸ˜‰

 

Zero to Hero- Day 29: Editorial Calendar

Todays assignment for the Zero to Hero Challenge is to create an Editorial Calendar.

I’ve actually been thinking of doing that for awhile (tho not in those terms). I was thinking about doing a weekly ‘Creature Feature’ showcasing some kind of cool animal. I love to go to the zoo (and aquarium, and even insectarium) and I have lots of beautiful pictures.

I thought it might also be interesting to post about the amazing things that live in the ocean. Everything from whales and walrus to the smallest zooplankton. I might even branch out to things that used to live in the ocean. Or things we used to think lived in the ocean. πŸ˜‰

I’ve always been interested in animals. I used to read entire encyclopedia sets describing wildlife from all over the world.

When I was younger I was going to be a doctor, (my fathers parents were both pharmacists), until I decided I just don’t really like people all that much. πŸ˜‰ Then I was going to be a vet instead. πŸ™‚

Those plans all got derailed when I went away to school on the sailing ship and decided I wanted to be a ship captain instead! πŸ˜‰

I do still love nature and all aspects of it. Plants, animals, weather, the ocean, space. It’s all so interesting. A lot of it is really beautiful too. Even things you wouldn’t think of. Try looking at things in a good microscope. Almost everything in nature has that beauty.

So, I’ll be posting a weekly ‘Creature Feature’ on Wednesdays from now on. Maybe later, I’ll add some other regular features.

For now, that’s all the time I have to be sure I can get to it. I’ll continue to post as I have been. Whenever I find something interesting. I’ll try to join in on a challenge every so often. I’ll keep on posting Maritime Monday when I can keep up with it. Same with the music, food, photos, movies, books, politics, maritime, travel, drinks, etc.

Anybody have any suggestions for the first post? Something special you’d like to hear from me about?