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Monday, August 8, 2016

Young bull

Bull Kelp is a very large alga when full grownthe stipe (stem) alone can reach a length of ~36 meters (~118 feet!), and the pneumatocyst (float) can be as large as 15 cm (0.5 feet) across. 

These two juveniles pictured above are quite small — the larger individual's stipe measured ~4.5 cm (~1.7 inches) and its pneumatocyst was only 1 cm (0.4 inches) across.  (The smaller individual doesn't have a pneumatocyst yet; and its first broad blade hasn't yet split into Bull Kelp's distinctive ribbon-like blades.)

With the end of El Niño and water temperatures cooling down, I hope this year will be a better year for kelps in our region.

Photograph from Salmon Creek Beach on 6 August 2016.

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