Wild Wednesday: Watch Two Cuttlefish Fiercely Fight For a Mate

I had meant to create aΒ seriesΒ of posts for “Wild Wednesday” since I first started my blog. I’m not sure why, but I never have managed to make very manyΒ posts. There are so many interesting sea creatures out there, and so much we don’t know about them. I’d like to make this a regular feature and share more about them. πŸ™‚

Let me know how you like the idea.

This is the first time researchers caught the creatures locked in a vicious fight in the wild

Source:Β Watch Two Cuttlefish Fiercely Battle Over a Mate | Smart News | Smithsonian

The video is cool, the article is really pretty interesting and worth reading. πŸ™‚

SoCS Virgin- Frankenstein

This is my first time. I’m a SoCS virgin. I’m not really sure what I’m doing here. I’ve seen these SoCS badges around, but I never really figured out what was going on.

I’ve been participating in Linda’s Just Jot It January challenge and the prompt for today was: “SoCS- Title“. So, from what I gather, the idea with the SoCS post is to just write -freely- whatever comes to mind.

Then there is the prompt: title. I found a post that suggests we are to just pick a movie title. Just whatever comes to mind first. So, mine was “Frankenstein”. I was thinking of one of the old black and white versions (there have been a lot of movies featuring Frankenstein), but then I started thinking about Young Frankenstein. I loved that movie!

THAT was definitely my favorite version! I love scary (or supposed to be scary) movies. I love all those corny monster movies with the BUMs (bug-eyed monsters). I remember waking up early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons and we would always watch “Creature Feature”.

I loved Dracula and Frankenstein and the Werewolf. I really loved watching the Addams Family and the Munsters on TV. I read all kinds of stories on those kinds of things.

I really loved Young Frankenstein. Gene Wilder was cool, Marty Feldman was hilarious as Igor, the whole cast was great. A great Mel Brooks movie. I love Mel Brooks! Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, History of the World Part 1, High Anxiety. He’s up there with Monty Python. πŸ™‚

Anyone who hasn’t seen Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks, do yourself a favor and watch it. πŸ™‚

Wild Wednesday: Sea Angels

It’s been a (long) while since I’ve done one of these Wild Wednesday posts (and yeah, I’m late).

I was googling around with a little spare time and came across these ‘cute’ lil’ buggers. Sea Angels.

Yeah, they look sweet and innocent. Fluttering around the ocean. Their translucent bodies and ‘wings’ might make them seem like the angels they’re named after.

But they’re really just snails. Snails without shells. Hunting snails. Carnivorous snails. Sneaky snails. Sexy snails (they’re ‘simultaneous hermaphrodites’ which means they can reproduce any time- they don’t actually need a partner to do it tho). According to Joseph over on his very interesting blog Real Monstrosities, they’re really little devils. πŸ˜‰

It’s a good thing they’re all pretty small, the largest of them only grow to a couple of inches long. I’ve never seen them (at least not that I know of). Have you?

 

Wild Wednesday: Mola-Mola

I’ve spent a lot of time at sea in my life. I grew up around the water and on boats. My father had a boat that he used for commercial fishing for a while. I used to go out commercial fishing before I got into working in the offshore sector. I even went deep sea for a while.

In all those years, I’ve never seen a mola molaΒ (ocean sunfish) in the ocean until recently. I had heard about them and seen them in pictures and on TV and they fascinated me.

They just look so weird.

It looks like a shark or something chomped off half their body but they still manage quite well.

I finally did see a wild one recently. I was on watch on the bridge on my last ship and one was floating around. It must have been a pretty big one for us to be able to see it at all from the bridge.

I couldn’t leave the bridge to get a good look at it. I could only see it from the bridge wing which is about 75 ft above the water and about 200 ft forward of where it was. We were able to pick it up in the camera but not very well.

I hope to see some more of them around here. So far this hitch we have not seen much wildlife, but this evening there was a school of dolphins just off the bow. That’s always a good sign. πŸ™‚

PS- it is Wednesday here.

Bizarre Barreleye Fish

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the ‘editorial calendar’ I made up for the Blogging 201 challenge. I hope you haven’t been too disappointed. πŸ˜‰

Here’s something I found online recently with the “Creature Feature”/”Wild Wednesday” in mind.

This has got to be one of the weirdest fish I’ve ever seen. It’s head is transparent! ONLY it’s head is transparent!

There are lots of other sea creatures that are transparent all over, or mostly clear. It makes them less obvious to predators.

Supposedly, the transparent domed head helps this fish steal food from certain types of stinging ‘siphonophores‘ (colonial organisms- one common type is a Portuguese man-o-war).

It’s eyes are INSIDE that dome. What looks like it’s eyes are really it’s nostrils (or close enough). Weird. πŸ™‚

These barreleye fish (or spook fish) live in deep water. This video is one of the first to ‘catch’ one alive. They’ve been caught before, but these types of deep sea creatures are not in the best shape when they come up to the surface. The changes in pressure are usually enough to seriously damage them (if not kill them outright).

I just think its amazing how much we still don’t know about what’s in the water all around us. There are so many beautiful and fascinating creatures out there and we haven’t even scratched the surface.

I think it’s a shame that through our actions we are doing such damage to pretty much everything else on the planet. I would hate to see that continue til it’s too late and we won’t even know all the things we lost.

I do think the other things that share the planet with us have a ‘right’ to be here too. Yes, I do think everything on this planet is here for a reason. Everything is connected. We are all part of the whole.

I think humans are completely unbalancing the entire world. Most of the problems we have to deal with now are the predictable end result of the fact that there are over 7 BILLION people on the planet (and we are STILL increasing that number daily)!

The crowding is not good for us or for anything else that has to share the planet with us. We are NOT the be-all and end-all of everything. Too bad most of us think we are. πŸ™

Top 10: Amazing Sea Creatures

I might have picked some different ones, but stumbled on this video while I was looking at something else.

It was made by Incredible World. They look like they have some very interesting stuff on utube. I thought this one was pretty cool.

That MOUTH!!

Pirogue- Lost at Sea

I’ve been working for the last couple of weeks on an ROV job. We’re working in the Walker Ridge area. It’s about 178 nautical miles SW of Fourchon, LA. Not much around all the way out here.

The other night on DP watch, we saw something flashing in the light around the windows. A bird? A bug? (Sometimes we get some pretty big moths out here). Turns out, it was a tiny little hummingbird.

Our crane operator Shane crept up on it and managed to catch it. It was so exhausted, it just sat calmly in his hands while we tried to give it something to drink. We mixed up some sugar and water and fed it by hand with a coffee straw.

Shane named the bird ‘Pirogue’. We don’t know why. We don’t know why Shane does anything he does. πŸ˜‰

At first we put Pirogue in a water bottle so he would have a little room to move around in. It was just the only thing we could think of that we had handy. We cut the top off it, turned the top around upside down and stuck it back into the bottle. We fed Pirogue more sugar water and he started to perk up. We made the mistake of leaving the top off the bottle a little too long, and Pirogue was off like a shot! πŸ™‚

He flew around the wheelhouse til Shane (the bird-whisperer) managed to catch up with him again. We put him back in the bottle and kept the top on to feed him from then on. πŸ˜‰

Itchy (one of our ABs- don’t ask how he got that name) came up with a big 5 gallon water bottle (with the top cut off and some holes drilled in it) for us to move the bird into. We fixed him up a little nest of shredded newspaper in a cool whip tub. Shane made a perch for him out of a pencil. We put a cup of water in there with him but he preferred to drink the sugar water from the straw.

We hand fed him every half hour. Eventually, we figured he needed some rest so we put a dark towel over the ‘cage’ and left him alone til morning.

When I took the cover off him in the morning, I thought he would already be up and alert, but he surprised me, he was still very groggy. I almost thought he was dead, but he would blink his eyes at me verrrry slooooowly…

After about a half hour or so, he gathered his wits about him and started buzzing around his ‘cage’. Letting us all know he was HUNGRY. Everyone who came up to the bridge would stop by and take a few minutes to give him a few sips from the straw.

Pirogue has been making great progress. I think he might be able to make it the rest of the way home by himself now. Only one thing, the weather is pretty nasty out here now and is supposed to continue that way for the next few days. I’d hate to turn ol’ Pirogue loose, just to see him blown away in a heavy thunderstorm. πŸ™

That’s probably how he wound up on our boat in the first place. He might not get so lucky again.

So, I’ve decided to keep him here til we make crew change in a couple of days. I’ll turn him loose when we get to the dock in Fourchon. Hopefully he’ll be able to find his way from there.

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These birds live all over the Eastern part of North America. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only ones that regularly nest east of the Mississippi. With a name like Pirogue, ours might be happy enough to settle in South Louisiana (but hopefully not in Fourchon itself). πŸ˜‰

Since we’ve adopted Pirogue on here, some of us have spent some time on google. We’ve wondered how he would wind up all the way out here in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. We don’t usually see hummingbirds out here.

Turns out, hummingbirds migrate all the way from Central America to the US every year. I’m reading online that “many cross the Gulf of Mexico in a single flight’.

Well, they would have to, since there’s nothing out here for them to eat or drink. Until we started drilling for oil out here in the last few years, they had no way to stop for a rest either.

Imagine, flying for 500 miles or more without a break! Scientists have found that they fatten up a lot before they make their yearly migration. They may double their body mass.

Pirogue is a ruby-throated hummingbirdΒ (Archilochus colubris) . They’re bright emerald green on the back and grey-white underneath. Males have a bright, ruby-red throat patch, tho it only really shows very bright at certain angles. Pirogue is a male, he has a very obvious red throat. He looks almost iridescent. πŸ™‚

They usually eat nectar. I know people use bright red feeders to attract hummingbirds so the red coffee straw was a good way to get Pirogue to eat and drink here. I learned that they also eat small bugs for protein. We don’t have any of those handy out here. (Good thing!).

Wikipedia says that these birds can live to be 9 years old, tho the males rarely make it past 5. I have no way of telling Pirogues age, but I hope he makes it through another migration. Maybe he’ll have learned to stop by another ship to get some help next time too. πŸ™‚