gmonkey42: cartoon narwhal (narwhals)

It's dogs. In a pillow fort. They are at war with the cats. One of the dogs has a lobster costume. It's glorious.
gmonkey42: a lol!seal saying "O HAI!" (lolseal)

Is that David Tennant narrating? It sounds like him.

I would not like to be the one who has to write the proposal to renew that grant. "We need more money because the bears broke all our cameras."
gmonkey42: a lol!seal saying "O HAI!" (lolseal)
[Error: unknown template qotd]An orca. Those things are vicious. They're like giant, swimming wolves with sonar.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
As seen on Pharyngula:
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (lolwhale)
For once, I am not offended by the challenge to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's supremacy.

I would pay so much money to be that diver at the bottom.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (scuba2)
I went diving today with two friends from school! The forecast was for pretty big swells and we went as the tide was going out (otherwise we would've had to wait until the afternoon) BUT the conditions turned out really nice.

Cool things I saw:
  • A cormorant swimming! I haven't seen one up close before.
  • Two sea lions! Little ones. I've heard the big ones play chicken with you (seriously) so it's just as well.
  • A big nudibranch; possibly Hermessinda but I'm not sure.
  • humongous sheep crabs (they are slightly less horrifying cuter IRL than in that picture) and sunflower stars. The sunflower star was like two feet across, it was crazy.
  • Fishies! A smallish lingcod (small for a lingcod, anyway; maybe 12-18in), some pile perch, what I think was a vermilion rockfish - I just glimpsed it as it swam away but it was bright red-orange, and two schools of maybe a couple dozen striped perch.

Then after diving we had brunch at El Torrito :D

And while looking for fish photos on the Reef Check site, I found these photos of the class when I got certified! I don't think I'm in any of them, though I might be - they're really small. Anyway, that's where I was. See Meghan, THAT was the bridge I meant to point out ;)
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Haha, it's not often there's a Writer's Block topic that I feel like I pretty much have to answer.

I bet on the shark. It's bigger: megalodon shark was something like 50-60 feet long, whereas the giant squid is about 33-43 feet if you measure all the way to the tips of the long feeding tentacles, so it's much less massive. And there's fossil evidence that megalodon sharks preyed on large whales, including sperm whales; modern sperm whales prey on giant squid. The squid's only chance would be to hide or escape, and given the shark's size it can probably dive at least as deep as the squid. It's possible the squid would be more maneuverable than the shark and would therefore be able to get away, but I very much doubt - if they're both healthy adults - that a giant squid could kill a giant shark.

Now I feel sorry for the poor squiddy :(
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (lolwhale)
We had our class cruise today, and you know what that means...
sea critter photos! )
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (lolwhale)
I just saw three BABY SEAGULLS!!! They were with their parent on a rock. Two of them were chillin' out behind a ledge and the third was up on top with its parent (I can't tell if it's the mum or the dad, they take turns who forages for food and who guards the chicks). The third one wanted to be in the shade too, so it squeezed under the parent and the parent just had to stand there. So cute!
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (lolwhale)
"What? You hoomans aren't trying to get any work done or anything, are you?"

This has never happened to me, although they have chewed my fins a little.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (lolwhale)
I just got an e-mail with a link to this NOAA report of a white killer whale.


Also I was on stranding duty today and there was a dead seal. I have pictures if anybody wants 'em.

Dang, my legs are tired; I walked a looooong way down the beach and then realized that I'd misunderstood the directions and it was actually up the beach from the parking lot. At least I got my exercise for today.
gmonkey42: a photo of me scuba diving (scuba)
That would be the seals. I did another Reef Check dive today, surveying for fish this time. I lost count of how many seals we saw. One kept following us and rubbing its head on my fins. And it put its little clawed flipper on my leg. Aww! Seals are so funny. They're like cats. Another team said a seal kept messing with them and then sitting on the bottom and acting all innocent when they turned around.

It was a pretty fun, easy couple of dives. We saw the usual fish, nothing special to report there. My buddy saw a sheephead but I missed it. It's hard to find a photo that does it justice. It's a very big, silly looking fish. We had plenty of air left after the first dive, which was really in the better location (by Hopkins marine station) but my buddy wanted to head back to the boat. So on the second dive, we stayed and looked around a bit after we'd finished collecting the data but the visibility wasn't as good there (by McAbee beach).
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Petunia_SO)
As I said, I didn't have me camera but other people did. Here be some photos:


Sep. 19th, 2007 08:27 am
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Petunia_SO)
Yarr! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys! And I be havin' an amazing nautical story to tell! Me crew and I were out on the bay yesterday doing a practice survey for the birds and mammals class pirating, when we came upon some humpback whales a mob of fearsome sea creatures! We kept our distance because they're a protected species but two of the blighters came right up to the ship! We took pictures had a heroic battle and finally escaped! I didn't have me camera so here be an illustration:

gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
That's right. We think it's a sub-adult male Cuvier's beaked whale. That's pretty rare in the Monterey Bay! It wasn't as big as the adult in the drawing - it was about 3m long.

Here's how it went down: we got a call to the stranding network (our lab deals with the dead animals called in) about a dead dolphin at Asilomar state beach. The stranding coordinator wasn't in yet so we decided to wait til she arrived. Then about an hour later, we got a call from another ranger that the dolphin was in the surf zone and if we wanted it we'd better come and get it before it got swept away. The coordinator (who's also a grad student in the lab) arrived then anyway so four of us took the stretcher and the pickup truck to collect what we thought would be a bottlenose dolphin and take it back to the lab for necropsy.

When we got there, we went "man, that's a bigass dolphin. Wait..." The dorsal fin was further back than a dolphin's and it had a pretty short beak. And it was way too heavy for the four of us to even roll onto the stretcher, let alone carry to the truck. We couldn't take it back to the lab, therefore we'd have to do a field necropsy. Except the tide was coming in and it was getting dark, so we had to tie it to an anchor and leave it until low tide tomorrow.

There were spectators walking by. A few had video cameras. So I'll see if I'm on YouTube in a few days. I did get a photo of me with the whale but it's on the lab camera so I don't have the file yet. I'll post it here when I get it. Don't worry, the whale isn't all gross or anything. People asked if it was alive but from the condition of the skin, it was probably floating for a day or so before it washed up (but my photo is with the good side up - whenever a big enough wave came up, we floated/rolled it as far up the beach as we could). A bunch of people asked if it'd been killed by a shark - a great white shark attacked a surfer last week, which is really rare here - but there weren't any obvious injuries. Then there were the dumb ones like "did it get caught in a trap?" Yes. A whale trap. And someone asked "aren't you worried someone might steal it? [since we're leaving it overnight]" Not without a small crane, they won't. Hypothetically, that would be illegal anyway. You have to have a permit.

A bunch of people wanted to touch it, and did when we weren't standing right there guarding it. Not that it matters to us; we're mostly concerned with sampling the internal organs. But dude, it's a dead animal! We're wearing these gloves for a reason! Not that there's a huge risk of disease transmission but I'll bet they wouldn't walk up and touch roadkill.

In conclusion: best. job. evar.
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
1. [ profile] oxeador posts a comment in [ profile] once_a_banana's journal with a link to Ugly Overload.

2. I discover Snape's animagus form.

3. Profit.

ETA Also, Dementors evolved from cephalopods.


Dec. 11th, 2005 05:50 pm
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
My mum and I went to Santa Cruz and we saw:
  • Monarch butterflies. Hundreds of 'em.

  • Two ratties.

  • A big, dead seal. It had washed up on the beach.

  • A whole lot of pelicans.

That was cool. We didn't get fudge :( But I discovered on Thursday that they sell fudge at Trader Joe's :)
gmonkey42: cartoon Sephiroth (Default)
I rescued a snake! It was in the road by a busy intersection. I was in the car with my mum so I got out and my mum pulled over and I caught the snake! It was a nice, big gopher snake. At first, I tried nudging it with my foot but it wasn't going anywhere. And then I thought it'd just go back into the road again to get warm so I took it across the road and up a hill where it's all wild grass. That's a good spot for a snake. I was talking to it and petting it a little to reassure it. I didn't realize but my mum could see that from the car so I guess the other drivers could see it too. Haha. And it wrapped itself around my arm. I'll bet I totally looked like the crazy snake woman.

January 2012

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