Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why Do Fish Jump?

While at the ocean, lake or river, have you seen fish jump out of water" Did you wonder why? Fishermen have asked that question for a long time, and still ask each other today. Here are some of their ideas about why fish jump:
  • They like to tease fishermen.
  • They want to shake the sea lice off their belly, which has been proved not to be true.
  • They jump for food when flies hover just above the surface of the water.
Some marine biologists think female salmon jump to loosen their skeins before they spawn. Does that mean that male salmon don’t jump? Not likely! A better explanation for salmon comes from Richard Stoll, a certified member of the American Fisheries Society. He says the fresh water from rivers  floats on top of the salt water coming in from the ocean. The salmon jump to the surface to find the scent of their native stream. Then they float on top of the water to find their way home.
The truth is fish jump for lots of reasons, just as we walk or run or jump for lots of reasons. One of the biggest reasons fish jump is because it’s fun. Think about it. Animals and humans enjoy the feeling of running and jumping and playing. Does it make sense that fish feel the same exuberance from physical exercise when they swim fast enough to raise themselves out of the water? Sure it does.
So the next time you are at the ocean, lake or river with your mom or dad or friends and they ask you why you think fish jump, you can say:
·         They like to tease fishermen. LOL.
·         They are shaking sea lice off their bellies.
·         They are jumping for food.
·         They are getting ready to spawn.
·         They are finding their way home, or you can say,
·         They are just having fun.
What will you say?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tide Pool Discovery

Twice a day the water on the ocean shore rises and falls. These changes in water level are called tides. It’s fun to explore tide pools that form on rocky shores. At high tide the white water swooshes over the rocks and at low tide the waves do not reach the pools of water left among the rocks.     
God made ways for animals to survive when waves pound on the rocks and sand. Crabs dig into sand with their clawed legs. Clams bury themselves in the sand. Anemones have many arms called tentacles. When they close them they look like balls as big as a grapefruits. Sea urchins are covered with long, sharp spines that help them move along. They eat small plants that grow on rocks.
At low tide mussels lie closed on the mud. With their many threads, they attach themselves to the grass along the shore. When the tide comes in they open their shells to eat. Muskrats live near fresh water in salt marshes and feed on shoreline grass.
The splashing waves over the rocks, sand and grass bring shells, seaweed, driftwood and other sea life into tide pools. Next time you visit a beach, see what you can find.