Sunday, September 28, 2014

Road Trip to Monterey, part 2

Saturday, Sept 27th

While at the evening event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we took in the Jellies Experience.  Wow.

Wow, again. 

Check out the eel.  I really enjoyed the sea otter feeding time.  They were given blocks of ice that the otters smashed against the rocks to get to the shrimp, but, they also like eating the ice.  Apparently it's like soda pop for them.  Here's live webcam of them frolicking.

Hard to see but that's a shrimp.   We also watched a diver feed leopard sharks and other fish in the Kelp Forest, a true marvel.  Here's live webcam of the forest.  The Open Sea live webcam is not to be missed either.

Another highlight of the evening besides the dessert tray and cheese and nuts spread was the outstanding presentation by Dr. Stephen Palumbi of Stanford along with his son.  They co-authored The Extreme Life of the Sea.  They shared fascinating stories and why we must take care of our precious oceans and the life that life that lives within and beyond. The solutions are in front of us. 

After studying the flippers of humpback whales and expecting there to be drag (in which there isn't despite the enormous size of the flippers) eventually led to and inspired changes in the shape of ordinary fan blades; so, new fans coming out should be more efficient in distributing air flow as well being energy efficient.

There are fish that live in artic waters but their fluids don't freeze and they don't get ice crystals either.  They have an antifreeze protein to protect them.  Scientists were able to clone this protein using yeast and apparently it is why low fat icecream doesn't form ice crystals.  Wow.

My favorite story is about the hideous looking Anglerfish.  Scientists couldn't figure out where the males were. All of the anglerfish studied were female.  Turns out that the little attachment under the fish is actually the male.  Scientists originally though they were parasites.  Hmm, let's think about that for a moment .... anyway, the male is good for one thing only (reproduction) and after that, they just atrophy and become rather irrelevant, perhaps useless.  Hmm, let's think about that for a moment ....

Loved the evening.  Fantastic time.   I learned so much about ecological, evolutionary, and conservation issues.   Thanks to Miss P.  And to the wonderful Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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