Οκτώβριος 16, 2021

Violet snails

Last week we talked about the buoy barnacle and how it makes its own float, so this week I wanted to talk about the violet snails, another animal that makes its own float. Violet snails, or purple snails, (Janthina janthina) are brilliant creatures with beautiful purple shells that often have bubbles attached to them. These bubbles function as a raft or a float for the snails. They create their bubble floats by trapping air bubbles in their bodies, then wrapping the air bubbles in sticky mucus. Recently beached violet snails can often be seen with their floats still attached because the bubbles have this mucus covering. Violet snails eat many surface animals including By-the-wind Sailors, Blue Buttons, and Portuguese Man-o-Wars!

Happy beach walking!
Ari Puentes

Αναρτήθηκε στις Οκτώβριος 16, 2021 0318 ΠΜ από goseascience goseascience | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Οκτώβριος 08, 2021

Oh, Buoy!

Hi everyone, we now have 100 people in our project!!! I want to thank all of you for helping us reach this milestone. It was great to talk to the people who came to the meeting last week, and it’d be great to hear from more of you as well! Feedback and questions are always welcome and appreciated. You all are helping us vicariously live our beach fantasies through your amazing observations, keep it up!

This week I want to highlight the buoy barnacle. The buoy barnacle (Dosima fascicularis) is a very special barnacle because it is the only one that creates its own float! The buoy barnacles can float alone or in clusters, and they sometimes attach to foreign objects. Buoy barnacles are filter feeders and eat mostly small crustaceans. Much like the other floating surface animals, they can be found washed ashore in various quantities.

Happy hunting!
Ari Puentes

Αναρτήθηκε στις Οκτώβριος 08, 2021 0549 ΜΜ από goseascience goseascience | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 25, 2021

Blue Buttons

Blue buttons are making an appearance in Florida this week! Blue buttons are jelly-relatives, and have two main parts: the float, which is the round structure in the middle (the button), and the tentacles radiating out the side, which are usually bright blue! Although Blue Buttons resemble jellyfish with their tentacles, they can’t swim like jellyfish and instead float on the surface, using their tentacles for prey capture. Some of their favorite foods include small shrimp and other crustaceans, and they are often preyed upon by sea slugs and floating snails.

As always, it has been great seeing what everyone is finding! We would love to chat with our iNaturalist members during our first virtual meeting on October 3rd at 2:00 pm EST (11 am PST, 8 am HAST, 7 pm BST) anyone is welcome to join, just message us for the link!

Thanks for sharing your finds!

-Ari Puentes

Αναρτήθηκε στις Σεπτέμβριος 25, 2021 0345 ΜΜ από goseascience goseascience | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 10, 2021

Portuguese man-o-war

The Portuguese man-o-war (Physalia physalis) definitely earns its name with a powerful sting! The name is inspired by their very stylish sail that floats above the ocean’s surface, resembling 18th-century Portuguese warships. Although these organisms are mostly recognized and feared due to their sting, they are also an important part of the ocean surface ecosystem.  Man-o-wars are clones colonies, with each clone performing a unique job. There is the bag-like float above the surface and multiple specialized clones that make up the tentacles and underwater portion of the man-o-war below. Some clones specialize in feeding, others for prey capture, and others for reproduction. The tentacles of the Portuguese man-o-war can be anywhere from 50-100 feet long, and they primarily eat fish and fish eggs. They often wash up on shore in large numbers, but these should still be avoided as they can still sting even on the beach. Next time you see one of these take a moment to appreciate these strange creatures.

In the past 3 weeks, our GO-SEA members have more than doubled and we now have over 500 observations!! I want to thank all of our members for their participation and would like to let everyone know that we are planning our first virtual meeting with our iNaturalist participants to discuss the experience of joining our project, more details about the project, and answering any questions anyone might have! If you would be interested in attending please direct message us for details!

That's all for this week, happy hunting!

-Ari Puentes

Αναρτήθηκε στις Σεπτέμβριος 10, 2021 0418 ΠΜ από goseascience goseascience | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 03, 2021

By-the-wind Sailors

Animal highlight! By-the-wind Sailors, or Velella velella, live on the surface of the ocean where they literally go wherever the wind blows, hence their name. These jellyfish relatives are also related to sea anemones and corals, though one of their closest relatives on the oceans surface is the Portuguese man-of-war, which they are often mistaken for. By-the-wind Sailors, like much of their relatives, have stinging tentacles that they use to capture small prey such as krill, plankton, and fish eggs. They also have a special type of algae in their body that they can harvest for food. As many of you know, these eager sailors can be found very far from their home in the open ocean and often wash up on shore in large numbers. Currently, they are our most observed species!

I will be making weekly posts to highlight cool organisms and to keep everyone updated on what is going on with our project! If anybody has any suggestions or feedback on the project so far I would love to hear it, since we are just getting started, we are still trying to figure out how to make this page as easy to navigate as possible.

I hope everyone has a great week, I can’t wait to see what you all find!

-Ari Puentes

Αναρτήθηκε στις Σεπτέμβριος 03, 2021 0435 ΜΜ από goseascience goseascience | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Αύγουστος 24, 2021

Project Update

Hello everyone! First and foremost I want to welcome everyone to GO-SEA, we are very glad to have you all as a part of our team. Seeing your observations thus far has been incredible and inspiring, so thank you all for your contributions!!! I wanted to update everyone on some of the parameters of the project that weren’t very clear before. Since our primary focus is on tracking floating surface life, we do have some specific organisms that we are looking for including:

-Porpita (blue button jellies)
-Velella (by-the-wind sailors)
-Physalia (Portuguese man-o-war)
-Dosima fascicularis (buoy barnacle)
-Lepas (gooseneck barnacle)
-Janthina (violet snail)
-Glaucus (blue sea dragon)
-Floating algae and plants

(for a comprehensive list visit https://goseascience.org/field-guide/)

The goal is to have each of you report at least one observation each time you visit the beach. Any of our desired organisms found on your walk can be reported regardless of quantity, and a note on how many you saw is always helpful as well! When none of our desired organisms are found on a walk, we ask that you pick one cool observation (species is completely up to you!) to report to the project. This negative/absence data is very important because it shows us when and where our desired organisms are not being found, but keeping this limited to one observation per beach visit will help us to keep our project from becoming overloaded. I apologize that this was not clearer earlier, and nobody needs to worry about removing previous observations!

I hope this clarifies things and if you have any questions about anything please don’t hesitate to reach out!

-Ari Puentes

Αναρτήθηκε στις Αύγουστος 24, 2021 0330 ΜΜ από goseascience goseascience | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

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