Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back again, and I want to talk octopi

I was at the Seattle Aquarium at a hosted event of the NW Science Writers Association, and since I didn't see alot of people there I knew- first group event I'd attended - I decided to talk beaches and critters with the volunteers. Since I am a beach naturalist, I can talk their language about starfish, craps, groupers and the like.

But the most fascinating creature of the night, that night, and any other for me was the octopi in an dual tank. The male was white and sleeping in his, while the female, a pretty color of coral, then white, then pink and back to deep red, was having a great time checking out her tank and slipping her tentacles through the holes where the male's side began and her's ended.

The volunteer said that come valentine's day, they'll let the two check each other out, to see if romance blooms. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. If I was an octopus, I'm not sure I'd be so eager to find my forever love, since that's sort of what it is.

They are terminal breeders, so once they mate, the male, apparently dies quickly and then the female hangs around for a few weeks, and then dies as well (or is it months?).

I did learn that they smell with their suckers (didn't know that), and could operate all their arms independently (their intelligence made me swear off calamari).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Taking a holiday break

To retool a bit. From now on, this blog is going to focus on the passion I have of the month, and that alone. So next up, raptors. I'll see you in a week or so. Think of raptors in the Kent Valley or eagles down at PLU.

See you then. Barbara

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Endangered Sparrows?

Really? I had to read this twice to believe it. Apparently, sparrows are dying out in England, because everyone is paving over their front yards, and therefore reducing the insect population the birds need to feed they young, which often starve to death. Here is a video, and here is the link to the story.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Changes in the smallest organisms mean big changes for the big ones

Came across this on my yahoo account feed. Apparently fresh water is traveling through the artic to the atlantic ocean for the first time in 800,000 years. And it means big changes for the phytoplankton, which of course, means big changes further up the food change for both oceans.

Such as our orcas starving to death, because they can't get enough salmon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Marbled Godwits at Willipa Bay

This just in from the Seattle Times if you wish to go bird watching. Sounds fun!

Photo for Jeff Larsen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Biodiversity abounds

Despite our best effort to stamp it out in the oceans. Take a look at this newest marine census!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Love the Boston Legal about the salmon

I was going to post a rather grim report about farm salmon in Canada nuking all the wild stock up there, but how about this instead? If you haven't already, watch the recap of Boston Legal from this week about the election, fish, sex and mad cow. It's great.

There's a wonderful exchange between Denny and Allan regarding why Denny is voting for McCain.

Allan presses Denny, so Denny finally deadpans that it's to save the wild salmon stocks in Canada.


"Yes, you see if McCain wins, many Americans, smart Americans will move to Canada, and they'll figure out how to save the wild salmon."

Obv., McCain didn't win, so the Canadians are going to have to figure out how to save their own fish.