Happy Fourth of July From Moss Landing Marine Labs!

by Angela Szesciorka, Vertebrate Ecology Lab

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories wishes you a happy Fourth of July! We hope you have a fun-filed day of (over)eating, celebrating, and spending time with friends and family. While you are enjoying your day of fun, check out some of nature’s most patriotic sea creatures below!


Affectionately known as red bull, this 14-limbed amphipod crustacean (Acanthonotozoma inflatum) is found mostly in the Atlantic Ocean feeding on Bryozoa, a phylum of aquatic colonial invertebrate animals. Photo by Alexander Semenov.

Many of these red-coated harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) can be found in San Francisco Bay. The red coats may be a result of iron oxide precipitates deposited on the hair. Ongoing studies are currently investigating just how this happens. Photo by K. Schneider.


Who doesn’t love Migaloo, the albino humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) ? Migaloo, which means ‘white fella’ in Aborginal Australian, was first spotted in 1991 and most recently re-spotted off Coffs Harbour in New South Wales June 2012. In 2004, a skin sample allowed scientists to determine that Migaloo was a male. Any albino offspring in his future? Associated Press photo.

White Spotted Jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata) live in oceans and costal waters throughout Australia. These jellies are known as ocean drifters as they are said to filter about 13,200 gallons of sea water everyday. Photo by Philip Pound Photography.


Ouch, don’t touch the Southern Blue Ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena macula). This small octopus is found in southeastern Australia from southern New South Wales to southern Queensland. Their bite can cause respiratory problems. Photo by Scott Grimster.

Out of the way! This Atlantic blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) can travel up to 140 meters per hour, averaging 15.5 m/hr. The total distance traversed per day for these crabs is 215 meters. But it looks like this one just wants a hug. Photo by ami 8 on Flickr.

And perhaps, the most patriotic sea creatures of all (drum roll please):

Red, White & Blue

What a cool multi-colored male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). Siamese fighting fish originate from Thailand. They have a special organ called a labyrinth that allows them to derive oxygen from air, allowing them to live in low-oxygen waters. Photo by Rae134 on Flickr.

Finally, check out this multicolored Nudibranch (Goniobranchus annulatus aka Chromodoris annulata). It is common in East Africa and as far east as Thailand. The mantle may grow to 100 mm in length. Beautiful! Photo by Mohammed Alsaleh.

Have a safe and happy 4th!

This entry was posted in Angela Szesciorka, Cool Creatures, Just for Fun and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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