Tag Archives: Steinhart Aquarium

Starfish Anus, Sea-Star Butt

During a hectic visit to the California Academy Of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, I took this picture of my sister petting a starfish –excuse me, a sea star. (The Steinhart Aquarium –the aquatic section of the Academy– exhibits a tide pool where animals are available for gentle handling.)  Only later in the day did I inform my sister that she had been fondling the sea-star’s anus.  She asked my why I hadn’t informed her at the time.  I suppose I just assumed everyone knows basic sea-star anatomy –that the anus is dorsally located, at the center of the disc. She wasn’t too perturbed. No harm done.  But a good reason not to forget the hand sanitizer.  And it does go to show that invertebrates are not given their due.

Just an afterthought, but I think Starfish Anus would be an excellent name for a rock band.

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Filed under Biology

Deepest Living Fish Found

If you occasionally peruse the New Scientist in book stores or on newsstands, or just enjoy a dose of easy-to-digest science, check out the magazine’s YouTube channel. My favorite of their latest videos is about the deepest living fish ever found. These little buggers, called Snailfish, show all the characteristics of a deep sea existence. For one, their tail musculature is greatly reduced, and their oversized pectoral fins provide most of the locomotion. Living in the deep, these fish don’t have to deal with strong wave action or fast currents. And it’s not surprising that their shallower-water cousins have more powerful tails, and a lot more body pigmentation.

God, the creator, must be a real lazy bastard. He basically took the same fish and pawned it off as two separate creations. I feel cheated.

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Filed under Biology, Evolution, Science

Fish Fingers In Fish Farming

Fish farming has often been touted as the solution to our fishery problems. Proponents say that we can grow our own fish and give wild fish populations a break. It sounds good on paper. But as usual, reality doesn’t match expectations. Fish, even caged ones, need to be fed. Carnivorous fish require fish meal (ground up fish) in their diets. And humans are not overly enthusiastic about herbivorous fish as a food source. Fish markets sell Tilapia, a species which can be grown on a diet of algae, but humans still have a major hankering for Wild Salmon and Sea Bass.

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Filed under Biology, Science