Comment Archives: stories: Life + Outdoors: Washed Up

Re: “You're No Mola

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Posted by Humboldtdan on 10/18/2018 at 4:01 PM

Re: “Fish, I Might Be

thank you for the informative yet entertaining article

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Posted by Chris Stone on 09/17/2018 at 6:59 PM

Re: “The Name of the Blob

I think worship camps are pretty awesome to get family and friends all together, I remember we do a detailing one summer

Posted by theman on 04/26/2018 at 7:15 PM

Re: “Naming the Sharky Looking Thing on the Beach

Is it okay that that think makes me shudder as much as would a great white. I'm really sorry...they're probably amazing creatures but them and alligators....*shudder*

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Posted by beachcomber on 03/15/2018 at 10:45 AM

Re: “Naming the Sharky Looking Thing on the Beach

I think it most resembles the salmon shark. But I am no expert.

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Posted by Pootamus Maximus on 03/15/2018 at 5:39 AM

Re: “Dig Those Razor Clams

This is great, I am also a great appreciator of the razor clam (

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Posted by Critical Dispatches on 02/02/2018 at 6:19 AM

Re: “Cannibal Lancetfish

George Mira - great comment. I think they consider the lancetfish to be slow in terms of sustained speed. I suspect that its dorsal fin and body shape allow it to maneuver quickly during feeding lunges. But as you point out, what we think we know about aquatic animals requires a lot of speculation...

Posted by MSidKelly on 11/18/2017 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Cannibal Lancetfish

From time to time we see these beautiful fish washed up on local shores. Their home range extends down over a mile deep. While I had thought from some morphological composition, that they stayed pretty deep (about 2,000 ft in the day), I suspect that they rise and descend in that happy crowd called the deep scattering layer by early navy sonarmen.

the Lancet's huge gape along with the rather transparent teeth are characteristics of those who live in the dark with limited access to lots of food including those on the chain up from organisms that fix calcium.

These are astonishingly beautiful animals, and strangely that large dorsal fin is a trait of some of the fastest fish existing. The sailfish extends its very similar back fin in order to change course as agilely as the smaller prey it eats, and their narrow bodies are indicative of the magnificent ambush predator, the Great Barracuda who, when moderate in size, can flash to different positions more quickly than the eye can follow.

But I suppose we have to go with any discoveries by cellular biologists, who must have been the source of the suggestion that Lancets are slow. Perhaps their morphology is relative to the other more benthic fish, some of whom only catch dinner a few times of year, and so benefit from a torpid existence.
On the other hand, exploring the hormonal and smooth muscle of someone like the rattlesnake, we find that some bodies actually develop in response to a NEED for lunch. That particular beauty increases anabolic activity that restores a digestive system withered from the once-a-month or twice-a-year dining event. We have only recently learned some of the cognitive and social capacities of fish, and know far less about the periodic physiological changes that occur in aquatic species. We mostly see 'em when they are drowning in a foreign milieu, close to or already dead.

When you come across a Lancet or a giant red squid, or some other mysterious old relative of ours (I have only come across two salps in my life, both on the same day!), it's a lot of fun to identify and find out more about its life and home.

I spent much of the first decades of my life in the sea, and have been saddened by the absence of the tremendous densities of fish and other organisms I can still picture, only in my mind. You can't imagine how once common were 16-18 ft. sharks, opaque walls of schooling fish and birds, or 500 pound grouper and even larger rays, flying through the world outside our knowledge. There are two generations older than me still living, and so the loss has been lightning fast as well as catastrophic.

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Posted by george mira on 11/17/2017 at 2:32 PM

Re: “Squid Pro Quo

Thank you Mike for the educational and entertaining monthly column. BTW, I have a recipe for the giant salp if you are interested.

Posted by Andrew Bundschuh on 11/07/2017 at 4:01 PM

Re: “The Name of the Blob

I liked reading this.

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Posted by Andrew Bundschuh on 11/07/2017 at 3:54 PM

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