Posts tagged ‘Sea’

How does coral grow?

Coral

Beneath the surface of the sea lie coral formations of many shapes and colors.  The formations may look like branching trees tinted green or lavender, lacy sea fans, or even like tiny organ pipes.  Coral is formed by millions of tiny sea animals called “coral polyps.”  Coral polyps look much like little flowers.

They wave food into their mouths with a circle of tiny tentacles.  Young coral polyps attach themselves to older ones and build limy, cup-like skeletons around their soft bodies.  When the polyps die, their hard skeletons remain as part of the growing coral formations. – Dick Rogers

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What is a Grebe?

Grebe

If you visited a pond or lake this summer, you may have seen a ducklike bird that quickly vanished underwater if you approached too closely, only to come up far away.

What you probably saw was a kind of waterbird know as a grebe (pronounce as greeb).

Grebes grow to be less than two feet long and have softly patterned plumage of white, gray, black or brown tones.  They feed on fish, crawfish, and water bugs.

Though expert swimmers, grebes are clumsy on land.  Their feet are placed so far back on their bodies that they can hardly walk.

Baby grebes are born on a raftlike nest woven of reeds and pond weeds.  They can swim and dive as soon as they are hatched.

In winter, grebes desert their reedy ponds and lakes for more open water and maybe found far out at sea. – Dick Rogers

What is a gooney bird?

The playful and sometimes comical sea birds commonly seen on Midway Island in Pacific Ocean are often call gooney birds.

The gooney bird is really a large albatross, resembling an overgrown sea gull.

Albatross

Its long, narrow wings, often stretching seven feet from tip to tip, allow it to glide and sail over the water for hours with barely a wingbeat.

It sometimes follows a ship for days, feeding on scraps of food thrown from the ship.

When not nesting, the gooney ranges the high seas, seldom coming close enough to be seen from land.

After several months at sea, the bird seems to have forgotten how to land when it arrives at its nesting grounds.

The touchdown speed is usually far too great, and the once graceful flier becomes an undignified gooney bird awkwardly sprawling across the ground. – Dick Rogers

 

What is an abalone?

Abalone

An abalone is a kind of sea snail useful for its meat and colorful shell.  It is a kind of sea snail that can be found living in most mild seas.

In many places abalones are known as “ear shells” because their single flattened shell somewhat resembles a human ear.

The abalone spends most of its life clinging to submerged rocks with its flat muscular foot.  It can fasten itself to a rock so tightly that only a knife can pry it loose.

It feeds on the plants that it can scrape off the rocks with its rasp-like tongue.  Its hard shell, which may grow from a few inches to nearly a foot long, protects the abalone’s soft body.

Abalone steak, the snail’s large foot, is a popular seafood dish in many countries.  The pearly inner lining of the shell, called “mother-of-pearl,” is used in making buttons and other ornaments.

The abalone builds its shell out of lime from the water.  The shell grows as the abalone grows. – Dick Rogers

What Kind Of Cat Is A Manx?

Manx

Manx cats are the only cats born without tails.  They run with a hopping, rabbit like gait, because of their long hind legs.

Have you ever seen a cat running with no tail and a sort of hopping like a rabbit?   Such a cat is the Manx.  The Manx cat is very strange one as it is the only cat born without a tail.

Its hind legs are longer than the front ones, giving it a hopping gait when running.  A Manx can run faster than most other kinds of cats.

The ancestors of the Manx can came from the Isle of Man, a British Island in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland.  The first cats on the Isle of Man swam ashore from sinking Spanish ships some 400 years ago.

Many says that the story of how they got to be tailless.  One says that these cats loitered on the way into the Ark, and Noah slammed the door on their tails.  Another says that a Manx is the result of a rabbit mating with a cat.

The truth is most likely that this cat lost their tails as a result of a quirk of nature. – Dick Rogers