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Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Pink Predator

Sometimes people ask me how I'm able to come up with something new to post every day.  To be honest, I'm not really sure!  I'm often surprised myself.  

There are days like today when I realize that I don't have a "photo of the day" to post yet, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  Then I'll make time for a short walk and find something interesting.  

You're more likely to find something if you're determined to do so...if you're really looking.  But the diversity of habitats on and around Bodega Head also makes it easy.  There's always something to see!

Here's an outer beach find from 19 October 2013:


This is a very large comb jelly called Beroe.  For scale, the next picture contains a ruler that shows this individual is about 15 cm (6 inches) long.

 
Washed up on the sand, it's difficult to see this animal as it's meant to be, swimming in the ocean.

But at least I can show a close-up of the comb rows.  In the image below, look for the parallel lines running down the body of the comb jelly. 


Each line is made up of rows of cilia that the comb jelly uses to swim.  Beroe are fast swimmersthey're predators on other comb jellies!

(To learn more about comb rows, review previous posts about sea gooseberries on 15 July 2013 and 19 February 2012.)

If you're interested in seeing a few photos of what Beroe looks like when alive and swimming, check out this web page from The Jellies Zone

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