Can you guess what this is?
What is it?
Image courtesy NOAA/NEFSC
I'm writing this post a little early, but tomorrow (June 8) is World Oceans Day. The idea of a day to celebrate the ocean was first proposed in 1992, but wasn't officially designated until 2009, when the United Nations declared that June 8 each year would be World Oceans Day.
What's your favorite thing about the ocean, and are you doing anything to celebrate this occasion? Check out the World Oceans Day web site to find local ocean-related events!
Here's some new content that I've posted this month, in case you've missed it!
Sea turtles have shells to protect them, right? So what would eat a sea turtle?
A sea turtle's shell only goes so far to protect them. Unlike land turtles, sea turtles can't withdraw into their shell for protection. So this leaves their head and flippers especially vulnerable to predators. Animals that prey upon adult sea turtles include sharks (especially tiger sharks), killer whales, and large fish.
Sea turtles are especially vulnerable as eggs and hatchlings. Sea turtles lay their eggs on beaches. Even though the nests may be a couple feet deep in the sand, predators such as coyotes and dogs may dig them up. If the eggs do make it to hatching, the tiny hatchlings need to make a mad dash to the ocean, during which they can be attacked by other predators, such as gulls.
To learn more about the trials and tribulations of sea turtle life, and how you can help sea turtles, click here.
What is it?
What is a whelk? If you see a large "sea shell" on the beach, chances are, it is a shell that belonged to a whelk. Whelks have beautiful spiraled shells that may wash up on the beach.
Whelks are a type of snail. There are many species of whelks, and they may be found as close as your local tide pool. Whelk reproduction varies among species, but may include the production of long strings of egg capsules - something that was featured in a recent Guess the Creature post.
To learn more about whelks, click here.
What is this? Leave your guess in the comments!
Photo Credit: Photo Collection of Dr. James P. McVey, NOAA Sea Grant Program, NOAA Photo Library
What is it?
Image: Jerry Prezioso, NOAA/NEFSC
Gastropods are a group of animals that includes snails, slugs, limpets and sea hares. Many gastropods have a visible shell, although some, like slugs and sea hares, have no shell, or a small, internal remnant of a shell. In gastropods with shells, many are spiraled or coiled, like in the triton shown here.
Speaking of coils, a hint to the Guess the Creature image posted recently is that it is something made by a gastropod. Do you know what it is?
Gastropods move using a muscular foot. With thousands of species of gastropods on the planet, these animals can be found just about everywhere on Earth - both salt and freshwater, and on land.
Do you have a favorite gastropod species?