hey look guys! they took a picture of some guy and made a meme about me!
P7280186 on Flickr.
I had a little trouble with vocabulary, but I think that all the rock here is made of limestone and “melts” slowly in the rain. The guide said that this whole area will disappear someday as time goes on. The plants living on the stone are different from the plant species living in the forested areas because of varying light availability. The trees on the stones are usually very short and need lots of sunlight, so they get outcompeted by the taller trees and can only grow in areas like this, where the trees have a harder time establishing themselves.
This is what quinoa looks like when it’s growing.
Are you all ready for your marine bio lesson?
Soooo, this is a sea star. Sea stars eat mussels (among other things.) Usually, sea stars grab onto the mussel shells using their tiny tube feet (which act as suction cups.) Then they pry the mussel open, just a tiny bit.
Sea star mouths are located in the center of their body, on the underside. In order to eat, they actually push their stomach out of their mouth, and into the mussel shell. Digestion actually takes place inside of the mussel shell, rather than inside of the sea star’s body.
The other day I managed to capture these pictures. Rather than going for a whole mussel, this sea star went for one that I had cut open (we cut some of the mussels open to feed to our crabs.) The mussel got pushed against the glass of the aquarium. In the close up, YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE SEA STAR’S STOMACH.
Pretty cool, huh?
Image description: Bobtail squid shown exhibiting defensive behavior by digging in the sand to cover its body, leaving only its eyes exposed. This may explain the color difference between the body and the upper rim above the eyes. Credit: Nick Hobgood
Euprymna scolopes, also known as the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid, is a species of bobtail squid in the family Sepiolidae. It is native to the central Pacific Ocean, where it occurs in shallow coastal waters off the Hawaiian Islands and Midway Island. E. scolopes lives in a symbiotic relationship with the bioluminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri, which inhabits a special light organ in the squid’s mantle. The bacteria are fed a sugar and amino acid solution by the squid and in return hide the squid’s silhouette when viewed from below by matching the amount of light hitting the top of the mantle (counter-illumination). The bioluminescent bacterium, V. fischeri, is horizontally transmitted throughout the E. scolopes population. Hatchlings lack these necessary bacteria and must carefully select for them in a marine world saturated with other microorganisms. In order to effectively capture these cells, E. scolopes secretes mucus in response to peptidoglycan (a major cell wall component of bacteria). The mucus inundates the ciliated fields in the immediate area around the 6 pores of the light organ and captures a large variety of bacteria. However, by some unknown mechanism, V. fischeri is able to out-compete other bacteria in the mucus. Despite all the effort that goes forth into obtaining luminescent V. fischeri, the host squid jettison most of the cells daily. This process, known as “venting”, is responsible for the disposal of up to 95% of V. fischeri in the light organ every morning at dawn. The bacteria gain no benefit from this behavior and the upside for the squid itself is not clearly understood. One reasonable explanation points to the large energy expenditure in maintaining a colony of bioluminescent bacteria.