alien planet

The tides have been perfect during this first week of the year: perigee lows during the afternoon’s oblique sun, warmish down by the water, not too windy. The water is COLD though, and I’ve managed to get thoroughly soaked every day. Worth it. So amazing.

Here is a stunning creature from January 1, 2019. I think it’s a wormsnail called Serpulorbis squamigerus, from searching SeaNet.

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Serpulorbis squamigerus?

The next day I returned to look at it again, and an anemone had crept into the frame:

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wormsnail with lurking anemone

The California Academy of Science just sent out a newsletter saying that its researchers had discovered 229 new plant and animal species this past year, and among those are 34 new sea slugs. These are just from Cal Academy researchers! They also wrote that biodiversity scientists estimate that less than 10% of the earth’s species have been discovered. I wonder, of that 10%, how many are commonly known, and of those, how many are commonly appreciated? I know that my own understanding of the life forms around me is severely limited. “Severly limited” is a euphemism for impoverished and ignorant.

These two images are just to the left and right of the wormsnail above, all within about twenty-five square centimeters. So much life!

Of the many amazing things about life in the tide pools are the common strategies that are so (visibly) foreign to life on land. GOO. Goo is big. Sticky goo. Gooey tentacles, a single viscous “foot,” gluey suction, watery sacks. And stacking. Species stuck on species glued to species getting a free ride on yet another species. 

Today is the last perfect day of shooting for a while, before the rain begins again, before the lows inch their way back to higher levels and happen after sunset.

One thought on “alien planet

  1. Thank you for doing the hard work for us – the getting soaked, the prolonged squatting, the daylong close looking – and allowing us to see the treasures and weirdnesses you find. I really want to know if that wormsnail has a mouth within a mouth. Is that a thing?

    Like

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