Heatwaves kill flying foxes

This article recently appeared in “The Conversation”

Flying foxes often seek heat relief by wetting their fronts

Flying foxes often seek heat relief by wetting their fronts

Heat relief: on hot days, flying foxes – like this grey-headed flying fox – dip their bellies into water to cool down. Photo Nick Edards

This summer we have seen one of the most dramatic animal die-offs ever recorded in Australia: at least 45,500 flying foxes dead on just one extremely hot day in southeast Queensland, according to our new research.

While flying foxes are often portrayed as noisy pests, they are protected native species, and declines in their populations have significant environmental ramifications as they spread seeds and pollinate native trees.

http://theconversation.com/killer-climate-tens-of-thousands-of-flying-foxes-dead-in-a-day-23227

Unusual Sea Slugs

Sea slug1This unusual little nudibranch has been occasionally sighted at low tide in the shallows of Spencer Park.

According to the expertsDr Richard Willan& Steve Smith this is an Aeolid,   Spurilla braziliana.Until now ,Coff’s harbour was the southernmost sighting recorded.

I haven’t been able to find any information on this particular species but looked at many others in the Spurilla  sp. on the Seaslug Forum site.

 

How to eat a jellyfish

The mouth and esophagus of the leatherback turtle are a perfect example of how an animal can become adapted to its diet and habitat. When the turtle consumes jellyfish (and it must eat many, as jellyfish have low nutritional value), the esophagus stores both the jellyfish and the seawater that have been swallowed. However, to prevent the stomach filling with water, the seawater must be expelled. So how does this happen?

 

The answer lies in the backwards-pointing spikes you see in the mouth of the turtle, which continue down the esophagus and grow progressively larger. As the muscles of the esophagus squeeze the seawater out, the spines keep the jellyfish in place. Once all the water has been expelled the jellyfish are then passed into the stomach. This strange adaptation is one of many that have kept this magnificent species in existence for 90 million years.

 

More information on the leatherback sea turtle:http://on.natgeo.com/bdf17q

 

Leatherback turtle mouth and throat

Leatherback turtle mouth and throat

Edit: yes, that is blood around its mouth. This animal washed up on shore dead and was dissected for the educational television show “inside natures giants”.

Hooded Plover family

The Hooded Plovers of Tura have another clutch of 3 eggs,their 3rd since September .2 of the first 3 successfully fledged ,1 shown in picture above.

The 2nd clutch hatched around New Year  but within a day of hatching were taken by this hungry Nankeen Kestrel ,[ I had seen it hovering every time I was on the beach].

The parents have moved North and should be hatching their new eggs any time soon…..

Nankeen Kestrel

Nankeen Kestrel

Just Waiting !
Just Waiting !

 

Gloomy Stingaree

Sometimes we are in the right place at the right time to capture a moment in nature.Snorkelling in about 25 cms of water we saw small stingaree in the clutches of a not so Gloomy octopus !!Wonder if this was the mother…?Stingaree1

Seabird rescue workshop

Our friends from the Nature Coast Marine Group have asked us to share this event.

Attached is a notice about a workshop on rescuing pelicans and other shorebirds that have been injured by fishing tackle and other debris. The workshop, which will be run by Australian Seabird Rescue South Coast, will be held at Narooma on Saturday 22 February. Anyone wishing to go should contact the organisers direct at the phone number/ email address on the flyer.

It’s not well known that pelicans and other seabirds are at high risk of injury from fishing gear, with many of them ingesting hooks and getting tangled in line. If they are not treated, the result is often a painful death.

Anyone unable to go to the workshop but who might be interested in becoming involved in future work in the area on pelican rescue should contact Barbara Barker on 4473 53404.Pelican workshop posterNarooma 22 feb 14

Blue Pool night snorkel

Saturday 8th February meet at the Blue Pool car park at 7:00pm. The Sapphire Coast Marine Society will be conducting a night snorkel . We will head to the water where we will photo and document all the critters we find.  At night there are different creatures to see than in the daytime. Our sightings will then be entered onto the database of the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness.

The Blue Pool is a great safe place for your first after dark snorkel. Non Member snorkelers also welcome.
You will require a light wetsuit, camera and underwater torch if you have one. A limited number of torches will be available for hire on the night. Bring a flask of hot drink and warm clothes for after the snorkel.
Dillon, John, Sam, Angelika and Liz after their night snorkel at the Bermagui Bioblitz

Dillon, John, Sam, Angelika and Liz after their night snorkel at the Bermagui Bioblitz