Comment Archives: stories: Life + Outdoors: Last 30 Days

Re: “Best-smelling Plant on Earth

Eight years later and not much has changed.

Posted by steve801 on 11/19/2017 at 2:11 PM

Re: “The Sound of Bells

Many may not know the story of the bell at the College of the Redwoods. This 3,340 pound bell was cast at Mare Island in 1883 and installed at Alcatraz Island as a fog signal until 1914. After serving the LA Inner Harbor Fog Station from 1915 to 1928 it was relocated to the Carquinez Lighthouse in San Pablo Bay. The bell last served at Shelter Cove from 1936 to 1945. It remained on site but was no longer used as a fog warned after being replaced by an offshore fog whistle and bell buoy. Tony & Mario Machi rescued it from falling off the cliff it perched on in 1964. The Coast Guard became aware of its precarious situation and, under protest from the Machi brothers, gave guardianship to the Humboldt County Historical Society. It was later donated it to the College of the Redwoods where it resides today.

Posted by Mary Ann M. on 11/18/2017 at 6:03 PM

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.

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

Re: “Myth of the Invisible Ships

Another explanation could be that they very well sighted the ship but interpreted it as something "supernatural" of an evil kind and therefore regarded it dangerous to focus with their eyes.

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Posted by Lars Vegus on 11/03/2017 at 3:52 AM

Re: “Sharktober, Part Four

Good read and great points. We are all fated to shuffle off someday and we rarely get to choose how that will happen. Until it does, we have work to do.

Posted by Ken Campbell on 10/30/2017 at 9:36 AM

Re: “Sharktober, Part Four

Again ALL about a fish. NEVER mention the slaughtered Children by the glorious sharks.

Posted by Glen James on 10/26/2017 at 11:37 AM

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