Walking along the tidepools

Brown sea hare

You never know what you might see walking along the tidepools. On a recent excursion I got lucky and spotted a California brown sea hare (Aplysia californica) in a little pool of water tucked amongst the rocks. My first sighting of one in the wild! I watched it eat for several minutes. It was easy… [read more]

Use extreme caution when buying shell jewelry

Marine gastropods

At first, the title of this post was going to be “Don’t buy shell jewelry,” but that seemed a bit too dramatic, so I settled on “Use extreme caution when buying shell jewelry.” What’s the big deal you ask? Here’s the situation: A lot of shells are homes for animals, even tiny, tiny shells often… [read more]

Spawning endangered white abalone

Tomorrow, July 12th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (CMA) will attempt to spawn white abalone and members of the public are invited to watch! Why is this exciting? Because in the wild, white abalone are considered to be reproductively extinct; meaning there are too few living too far apart in the… [read more]

7 cool sea hare facts

As a follow-up to my first post about sea hares, here are seven cool sea hare facts: 1. Large wing-like flaps protect the gills and some species of sea hares use these flaps for swimming, duo-purpose wing-like flaps in those cases. 2. The two tentacle-like extensions on the top of the head that stick up… [read more]

Sea elephant

Well, it turns out there is a common name for the gnarly marine snail featured in my last post. It’s called a sea elephant. So I stand corrected. There is a common name for Carinaria japonica, not necessarily one that makes any sense, but a common name all the same. Revealing the common name is… [read more]