Humpback whale feeding on herring. It scientific name is Megaptera and literally means mega wings.
Etymology Humpback – is derived from the curving of their backs when diving. Megaptera – Greek mega– “giant” + ptera ‘wing’ refers to their large front flippers. novaeangliae – French = “New Englander” and was probably given by Brisson due to regular sightings of humpbacks off the coast of New England.
The distinctive ‘horns’ on either side of its broad head are actually derived from the pectoral fins. During embryonic development, part of the pectoral fin breaks away and moves forward, surround the mouth. The way the horns develop is surprisingly simple. All it takes is a tiny notch that deepens and widens as the manta grows, separating each fin into two distinct parts: one for feeding and the remainder for swimming. This give the manta ray the distinction of being the only jawed vertebrate to have novel limbs. These flexible horns are used to direct plankton into its mouth.
Oh, give me a horn on the sides of my head Where I keep them rolled up all tight; And where the food is just right I reach out to bite And the plankton is funneled precisely in. Chorus Horns Horns on my head…
After feeding, each limpet will return to the spot on the rocks from which it set out. A limpets can live for many years and it always returns to the same point. Over the years it wears an oval mark on the rock called a ‘Home Scar.’
A Nautical mile is based on the circumference of the earth, and is equal to one minute of latitude (1/60th of a degree). It is slightly more than a statute mile (1 nautical mile = 1.1508 statute miles.) Nautical miles are used for charting and navigating.
Side note: Degrees of latitude are parallel so the distance between each degree remains almost constant but since degrees of longitude are farthest apart at the equator and converge at the poles, their distance varies greatly.
Each degree of latitude is approximately 69 miles (111 kilometers) apart. The range varies (due to the earth’s slightly ellipsoid shape) from 68.703 miles (110.567 km) at the equator to 69.407 (111.699 km) at the poles. This is convenient because each minute (1/60th of a degree) is approximately one nautical mile.
A degree of longitude is widest at the equator at 69.172 miles (111.321) and gradually shrinks to zero at the poles.
Creole wrasse – Clepticus parrae – are protogynous hermaphrodites; the largest fish in a group is a dominant breeding male, While smaller fish remain female. If the dominant male dies, the largest female changes sex.
Protogyny is the most common form of hermaphroditism in fish in nature. About 75% of the 500 known sequentially hermaphroditic fish species are protogynous.
Wrasses are always on the go during the day, but are the first to go to bed and the last to rise.
Etymology Clepticus: Greek, kleptikos = ‘related to thieves’
Flying Fish Fact: Flying fish can reach the height of four feet in the air, and glide distance of 655 ft before returning to the water.
The Exocoetidae are a family of marine fish in the order Beloniformes class Actinopterygii, known colloquially as flying fish. About 64 species. While they cannot fly in the same way as a bird does, flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of water where their long wing-like fins enable gliding for considerable distances above the water’s surface. This uncommon ability is a natural defense mechanism to evade predators. The ‘Exocet’ missile is named after them, as variants are launched from underwater, and take a low trajectory, skimming the surface, before striking their prey.
Etymology The term Exocoetidae is both the scientific name and the general name in Latin for a flying fish. The suffix -idae, common for indicating a family, follows the root of the Latin word exocoetus, a transliteration of the Ancient Greek name ἐξώκοιτος. This means literally “sleeping outside”, from ἔξω “outside” and κοῖτος “bed”, “resting place”, verb root κει- “to lie down” (not “untruth”), so named as flying fish were believed to leave the water to sleep ashore, or due to flying fish flying and thus stranding themselves in boats.
Mollusc Fact: 80% of legal internationally traded conch is consumed in fritters and salads in North America. The Queen Conch – Lobatus gigas is an endangered species and has been protected by over-exploitation by C.I.T.E.S.
Etymology Lobatus – Greek lobus -‘hull, husk, pod, lobe’ gigas – Greek γίγας,- ‘giant’ , referring to the large size of this snail compared with almost all other gastropod molluscs.
Director of science and policy for the Bahamas National Trust, believes there may be some pushback against any conch regulations. “We’re not used to regulations or enforcements,” she told National Geographic. She believes that since the conch industry is the sole source of income for many Bahamians, any restrictions may be met with a degree of resistance.
Shadow feeding Using herbivores as a camouflage to sneak-up on its unsuspecting quarry, the Trumpetfish will lie along the back of the larger fish as they swim over the reef, darting out when close to its prey.