george mira 
Member since Jun 11, 2017


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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: “Will the Lassics Lupine Survive?

Matthew - Serpentine soils are its exclusive home. It's only been identified on two mt slopes west of Ruth Lake.

Please do contact the biologists at the Arcata Field Office of USFWS with all specifics you might have, because there have been less than 400 plants identified by the team (which has been working with the plant for up to 15 years), only on the two mentioned slopes.

This is a good snowpack year, and previously the biologists had caged some individuals, finding that seed-eating rodents are a factor right now, because of forest succession bringing habitat closer to the few remaining plants.

Glenn,, there's no record of nurseries either saving or offering them. California Native Plant Society would be your first contact outside of the Field Office. Here's an old article on who's been on the project:
https://www.fws.gov/fieldnotes/regmap.cfm?arskey=34040

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Posted by george mira on 06/11/2017 at 10:46 AM

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