Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Stinging Celled Animals of Ogden Point.
This third panel features Stinging Celled Animals.
These exquisitely graceful animals belong to a group called Cnidarians. Based on a radial body plan with mouth and tentacles and possessing only rudimentary tissues, these flower-like creatures have successfully survived for millions of years.
They show a startling range of behaviour and adaptation for such a simple design. Their success is due to the toxic stinging cells which they use to capture their prey, and the alternation during their life between a free swimming jellyfish (medusa) and a fixed bottom dwelling sea anemone-like stage (polyp).
The Breakwater provides habitat for a number of interesting fishes, making it a popular spot for fishing and for diving.
Rockfish are abundant along the breakwater. These fish are recognizable by their large heads, wide mouths and spiny dorsal fins. Rockfish are ovoviviparous, which means that they give birth to free-swimming young. They range in size from 10 to 40 centimetres, and most rockfish feed on squid, crustaceans and small fish.
Divers may also see large schools of the sleek, silvery Pacific Herring (Clupea harengus pallasi) flash by, or unusual-looking fish like the Grunt Sculpin (Rhamphocottus richardsonii), a small fish that swims with its head pointing upwards, or the Sailfin Sculpin (Nautichthys oculofasciatus), which has a long dorsal fin that curves up over its head.
The panels are in final production and will be dedicated officially June 19th, 2009.