Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teen is First to Witness Hagfish Slurping

Have you ever met a hagfish? 

I ask that question to kids from around the world when I'm with the elephant seals in California

A 14-year-old from the Ukraine caught an elephant seal snag a hagfish.  It's a first.

What's the big deal?  Well, every scientist I know has NEVER seen an elephant seal eat a hagfish, yet they know that these big seals do like to dine on the slimy, eel-like fish that dwell at the ocean's floor cleaning up dead cetaceans.
Female northern elephant seal with newborn. C. Coimbra photo.

The exciting video is not on You Tube yet.  But this link will amaze you:  Ukrainian teen makes rare discovery



And amaze your friends with this from BioTechnology:  "One of the world’s creepiest creatures may be the source of new kinds of petroleum-free plastics and super-strong fabrics, according to research by scientists in Canada studying the hagfish, a bottom-dwelling creature that hasn’t evolved for 300 million years and produces a sticky slime when threatened. The gooey material is actually a kind of protein that turns into choking strands of tough fibers when released into the water."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dolphin Ask Divers For Help

This video is kind of long, but it is an amazing video because:

1) The manta rays are gorgeous;
2) The dolphin asks for the attention of the divers;
3) The divers discover that the dolphin  needs help.  It is entangled with fishing line.  (Fishing line that someone might have carelessly thrown into the ocean.);
4) How the divers and the dolphin work together to cut and remove the fishing line from the dolphin's fin.

Fishing line tossed into creeks, rivers, lakes and oceans is dangerous to the creatures that live there.  Birds also get entangled with fishing line. Fishhooks are also dangerous, as seen in the video above.

When you go fishing watch for a fishing line recycling container like the one pictured here.  

This way you will be a friend of fish, mammals, sea turtles, and birds.

What should you do if you see a marine mammal or sea turtle entangled?

  • Keep your distance.  Injured, sick or entangled animals can be unpredictable and dangerous.

  • Please call the NOAA Marine Mammal Hotline: 1-888-256-9840
What are your thoughts about this video?  You can comment below.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Gray Whale Winter Migration Continues

A gray whale in San Ignacio Lagoon.  C. Coimbra photo
Strung like gray beads along the west coast of the Pacific Ocean are thousands of gray whales swimming to the warm waters of Mexico.

Yesterday a gray whale swam thru the kelp in the waters near Big Sur, California, while over 1000 miles away, in San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California, whale watchers  just reported: 46 gray whales in the Baja California lagoon and that 15 were adult females with their newborn calves (baby gray whales)! 

There are several places in Mexico where migrating gray whales will spend their winter.  Besides San Ignacio Lagoon, there is Scammon's Lagoon--also knowns as Laguna Ojo de Liebre,and  Magdalena Bay.