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    Solenopsis, Glaucus Atlanticus, Elysia Chlorotica, Macropinna Microstoma, and Latinus Maximus 

    Well whoop-de-do.  It's pretty amazing how these little guys band together to form a living raft (complete with air pockets for the submerged ants to breath).  Video here.
    Image from National Geographic.

    Look at the spectacular Blue Dragon, or Blue Sea Slug:

    Another pretty sea slug is Elysia Cholortica, or the Eastern Emerald Seaslug, which is quite amazing because it uses chloroplasts from the algae it consumes to convert sunlight into energy and lives off it like a plant. 

    If you're interested in seeing more photographs of nude nudibranchs, National Geographic offers a slideshow and informative video.

    And no presentation of random animals would be complete without the barreleye fish that has a transparent head:




    Continent of Plastic

    Plastic in the Pacific, a short documentary from KQED Quest, explores how some highly proactive groups are taking steps to clean up the massive plastic cesspool called the North Pacific Gyre, aka the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  One suggestion is to burn it, thus creating a hardened plastic landmass.  (The Vice people also went there and produced a piece called Garbage Island.)

    If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in coastal conservation opportunities, you may watch to check out the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association website (I've heard excellent things about their Beach Watch program). 

    Also, if you want to learn about overfishing, check out the documentary End of the Line - A World Without Fish.  Here's the trailer:

    Lastly, Dr. Callum Roberts, author of The Unnatural History of the Sea, provides a general depiction of marine degredation in this episode of Micho Kaku's radio show Exploration.


    Kayaking through the Arch at Goat Rock

    I enjoy cursing at my close friends.
    Rock on...

    And now this spell was snapt: once more  
     I viewed the ocean green,  
     And look'd far forth, yet little saw  
     Of what had else been seen—  
     Like one that on a lonesome road  
     Doth walk in fear and dread,  
     And having once turn'd round, walks on,  
     And turns no more his head;  
     Because he knows a frightful fiend  
     Doth close behind him tread.  
     But soon there breathed a wind on me,  
     Nor sound nor motion made:  
     Its path was not upon the sea,  
     In ripple or in shade.  
     It raised my hair, it fann'd my cheek  
     Like a meadow-gale of spring—  
     It mingled strangely with my fears,  
     Yet it felt like a welcoming.


    -Excerpt from Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


    Bodega Bay, Austin Creek, and the San Luis Reservoir  

    Nice... first post in about a month -- what a good blogger I am.  Nevertheless, here are some short videos I took of tide pools around Bodega Bay, as well as a clip from the hills in the Austin Creek State Receration Area, just north of Armstrong Woods.  The first clip is footage I took while driving past the San Luis Reservior. 

    Driving past the San Luis Reservoir on the Pacheco Pass Highway at Sundown.  You can't see, but I'm driving a mint-condition 1965 neon-blue convertible Corvette, my back-seat passengers are two platinum blondes, and riding shotgun is a Great Dane named Chase.  He gets all the ladies.


    Sea Anemones have one orifice through which they consume food and expunge waste, thus, they eat with their ass and shit with their mouths.  They clearly don't like being poked, but if you're going to do it, I advise that you start with your finger, as the tentacles are prickly.

    Cliffs, coast, and ice plants.

     Above the redwood forest of Armstrong Woods in Northern California is the Austine Creek SRA. 


    The American Museum of Natural History

          Here we are at the American Natural History Museum in New York ‘Big Buck Huntin’ City.  In this massive museum, fantastic displays of stuffed animals flank the galleries by the hundreds.  But it’s not morbid, it’s scientific.  The displays serve as an encouraging incentive for one to taxidermy their own house pet or loved one post-mortem.  The museum’s also packed with human beings scurrying around with cameras and camcorders, hurrying from one diorama to the next taking pictures and videos, often failing to properly observe or learn about the amazing array of animal species (perhaps many of which will go extinct in the wild within the next century -- by which time we will have discovered new animals, on different planets) from across the globe that have been complied before their very eyes.  At each display, I waited for folks to disperse so that I could get these shots, and the waiting time allowed me to see some of the intricacies of these beautiful and superbly presented specimens of once natural life.  The populations of these primary creatures are dwindling.  The black rhinoceros went extinct this year.  And the white and asian rhinos aren’t laughing, for they too are making their last stand.  As the Cree saying goes, “only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” 

    And, as Aaron Dames wrote in How to Kill People:

    We walked through the park and shared a bottle of red wine on a bench.  We were close to the zoo and could hear squawking birds and grunting beasts shuffling around.  I felt sad for those miserable creatures confined in that concrete prison.  I felt sad for their wild kin that are being wiped off the face of the Earth.  An estimated 20,000 polar bears left, 10,000 blue whales, 3,000 tigers, 1,000 pandas.  I hope I never live to see the day when exotic animals will only exist in zoos.  I can imagine future generations visiting zoos that contain only animatronic puppets.  I can already see the little Japanese children walking on synthetic grass beneath artificial sunsets taking pictures of robotic taxidermy.  I thought about the destruction of the Amazon jungle, about how humans destroy things they do not even understand.  I considered what Einstein said:

                                    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    I imagined having to tell my kids what blue whales were, having to explain to them how a few generations of ruthless consumers oversaw the annihilation of the largest animal to ever live.  I thought about how someday people will be masturbating to photographs of pristine landscapes and wilderness.