Posts Tagged With: oceans

Back to Basics- Fish

Back to Basics- Fish

Time to brush up on your fish knowledge with professor Sylvia the Seahorse!

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Number of fish species- 24,000 and growing! Scientists discover new species all the time! We fish were the first vertebrate animals on the earth! We occupy the world’s oceans and fresh water bodies of water; including lakes, rivers and ponds.

Fish traits:

  • Fish have gills that we use to extract oxygen from water and expel carbon dioxide. They serve the same function as a mammal’s lungs.
  • Fish have scales. Our scales are different, some are smooth and some are rough. Sharks’ scales are called dermal denticles. Some fish like hagfish have no scales.
  • Fish have fins for swimming. Fins are shaped for the type of swimming a fish does- some are built for speed and some are small (like mine).
  • We fish are vertebrates, we all have back bones.
  • Most fish are exothermic, cold blooded.

Fish are classified in three groups; jawless fish (hagfish and lamprey- they also have no scales), cartilaginous (sharks and rays) and bony.

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Some fish lay eggs, some incubate their eggs in a womb and some incubate their young in wombs similar to mammals.

We fish can detect chemicals and vibrations. We often have keen eyesight and a great sense of smell.

Fish do have ears! Not big goofy ones like some mammals, but internal ones.

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We also have an extra “organ” to help us “hear” and detect vibrations. This is called the lateral-line. This line of cells runs the length of our bodies and helps us detect motion. Schooling fish who swim in synchronized groups use their lateral line to swim in these formations.

Sharks and rays have yet another “organ” that helps them detect electrical fields. It’s called the ampullae of Lorenzini, gel filled cells that help our cartilaginous cousins detect even the faintest of electrical fields. This is something no other animal can do!

We also have a swim bladder that keeps us buoyant in the water. Fresh water fish have a bigger swim bladder than salt water fish. Bony fish swim bladders are filled with a gas that is less dense than water. In cartilaginous fish, their swim bladder is a large oil rich liver that is less dense than water! 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Catching Oysters with an Oystercatcher

Catching Oysters with an Oystercatcher

It’s the last week of Camp E&E by the Sea! Can you believe it? This week we’re hanging by the beach to meet shore birds. First up is the American Oystercatcher! This neat bird is easy to spot with its bright orange beak. So let’s head out to spot some campers!

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American Oystercatcher Fun Facts: 

  • These brightly colored birds call salt marshes and shores their home.
  • They feed on shellfish, mussels, clams, oysters and sea stars.
  • American oystercatchers tend to spend more time on the ground than flying.
  • They often grab the shellfish inside the shell before it can close. They severe the muscle and swallow the meat whole.
  • They nest in higher areas away from the high tide line.

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We could sit on the beach and watch shore birds all day! These funny birds with their long legs are one of our favorites. What’s your favorite shorebird?

Categories: adventure, Animals, birds, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wear Your Bonnet

Wear Your Bonnet

Can you imagine a shark wearing a bonnet? That would be funny looking- not to mention hard to swim with- hahaha! Today we are meeting a relative of the hammerhead- the bonnethead shark!!

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Bonnethead Shark Fun Facts: 

  • Bonnetheads are smaller sharks- they can grow up to 59 inches- about the length of a refrigerator.
  • They call estuaries, bays and sandy bottoms their home.
  • Their heads are more rounded than that of the larger hammerhead species.
  • Like all other sharks they are carnivores.
  • Bonnethead sharks live in small groups.
  • They can live up to 15 years.

 

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These smaller hammerheads are so cool. A recent study by scientists may suggest that they eat sea grass, which would make them omnivores! Wow! That would be super cool!

Categories: adventure, aliens, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, fish, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Know Your Sharks

Know Your Sharks

Today we have four coloring sheets for you in our continued series- know your sharks! So head on over to the craft cabin and grab something to color with and get to know your sharks!

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Pocket Sharks have two pouches or pockets, one on each side of their body in front of their fins. Scientists are unsure of their purpose.

 

 

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Bamboo Sharks are mostly nocturnal and only grow up to 37 inches long. 

 

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Zebra sharks lose their stripes as they grow. Adults are actually covered in spots!

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These large sharks (up to 14 ft) often rest on the ocean floor. They pump water over their gills using spiracles to pull in water. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Finding the Sandbar

Finding the Sandbar

We are heading out on the S.S E&E to meet a shark today! Often when you are at the beach, you’ll see where more sand has accumulated and even sticks out of the water- this is called sandbar! Well today we are meeting the sandbar shark! They are found around bays, estuaries and sandy bottoms.

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Sandbar Shark Fun Facts: 

  • These streamline sharks can grow up to 8 feet long.
  • Sandbar sharks have large dorsal fins.
  • These carnivores eat mollusks, crustaceans and fish.
  • Sandbar sharks are also called brown sharks.
  • They are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
  • Sandbar sharks give birth to live young!

 

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These relatives of the bull shark are not aggressive like their cousins. Like other sharks, they are threatened by humans- due to shark finning, pollution and over fishing.

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, sharks, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rocking with the Guitar

HRocking with the Guitar

It’s SHARK WEEK here at Camp E&E by the Sea! We love our cartilaginous friends and we are so excited for our campers to meet a few sharks and one of their relatives in the ray family. These creatures have been calling the world’s oceans home for over 400 million years. Today we’re going to meet a member of the ray family- the shovelnose guitarfish.

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Shovelnose Guitarfish Fun Facts: 

  • Shovelnose guitarfish are members of the ray family.
  • They look like you combined a ray and shark all in one.
  • They range in color from olive to grey to tan.
  • Females are larger than males.
  • These bottom dwellers eat mollusks, crustaceans and fish.
  • Shovelnose guitarfish are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
  • They have a row of spines along their back near the tail.

 

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These amazing fish are so neat! Can you guess why they are called guitarfish? They are shaped like a guitar, but they have no strings attached! Hahaha!!

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s a Garden of Eels!

It’s a Garden of Eels!

We have one more animal to meet and another day of diving! We are so excited to meet these little fish who bury themselves in the sand.

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Spotted Garden Eel Fun Facts:

  • They are around 40 cm long- about the size of two pencils.
  • Spotted garden eels have gills and tiny pectoral fins.
  • They dig a burrow where most of there body is protected.
  • You will find them living in small to large colonies.
  • They grab tiny plankton as it drifts by.
  • Spotted garden eels rarely leave their burrow.
  • Spotted garden eels have excellent eye sight.

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Whew! We are so tired after 3 days of diving with our campers! We know you guys must be tired too! Tomorrow we head back to base camp and it will be time for crafts! Woohoo!

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Meeting a SeaEdmond

Meeting a SeaEdmond

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Our week of diving is continuing at camp and we are meeting a seahorse- or a SeaEdmond as we like to call them! Everyone ready? Grab those flippers and let’s goooooo!

Lined Seahorse Fun Facts:

  • These tiny crustacean eaters are fish!
  • Lined seahorses camouflage in with their surroundings and ambush their prey.
  • Their eyes can rotate around and move independently of each other.
  • Males are larger and have longer tails than females.
  • They mate for life.
  • Like other seahorses, the males incubate the eggs in a pouch. They give birth to the baby seahorses. They are about the size of a flat thumbtack.
  • These little guys are not strong swimmers and attach to sea grass or other substrate to protect themselves.

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Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Peacock in the Ocean

Peacock in the Ocean

We’re loading up the SS E&E- our research boat with campers for the next three days as we head out to sea! It’s time for all our campers to grab their scuba gear and go diving! We’re exploring the ocean floor today! If we’re looking for a flat fish, so keep those eyes peeled for the Peacock flounder!

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Peacock Flounder Fun Facts:

  • They are known as the flowery flounder.
  • Peacock flounders have flower shaped blue spots.
  • They have have two eyes on the left side of their body.
  • Each eye can move in all directions. They can move independently of each other.
  • Flounder fry (babies) swim like normal fish. Their eyes on each side of their body. As they mature the eyes move to one side! CRAZY!
  • Peacock flounders prey on crabs, shrimp and small fish.
  • Peacock flounders have specialized skin cells that allow them to change their color to match their surroundings! They can do this in as little as 8 seconds.

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Peacock flounders are amazing animals! These flat fish are masters of camouflage! We are glad our campers were able to spot a few! Hehehe!

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thorny Sea Star

Thorny Sea Star

We are meeting our last sea star of the week!  This one is best to be observed but not to touch! Ouch- watch out for the crown-of-thorns sea star.

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Crown-of-thorn sea star fun facts: 

  • The thorns on this sea star are venomous.
  • These indimidating looking sea stars predate on coral!
  • They have only one predator- giant triton sea snail.
  • As you can see they have more than five arms.
  • They do have tube feet to move them along the reefs.
  • Unfortunately these predators have grown in numbers. Too many of them and that can mean trouble for a reef. They can destroy large areas.
  • Scientists and conservationists now will actively remove them when there is population boom.

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We love sea stars of all kinds, but this one might have gone to the dark side. Keeping a balance in habitats is crucial for all the animals that live there.

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, oceans, sea stars, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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