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BC Nature Study Coastal British Columbia March  28, 2023

BC Nature Study Coastal British Columbia March 28, 2023

BC Nature Study Coastal British Columbia March 28, 2023

We will continue our studies of some of the creatures on the Pacific Coast.

Giant Pacific Octopus


File:Giant Pacific Octopus.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

 

  The Giant Pacific Octopus is often illusive, hiding in a crevice or camouflaged on a reef, it is often hard to see.  Octopuses are invertebrates, they are cold-blooded and have no backbone.  The Pacific Giant is the largest of all octopus species, weighing in at 70 kg., and can be found on the length of our coastline from the intertidal areasdown to 2,000 m.  It is well adapted to living in cold, oxygen-rich water.  It eats shrimp, crabs snails, squid, fish and other octopuses.  It is a very intelligent creature and is often a star attraction at aquariums.  It can change colour, the texture of its skin and its shape.  It has been known to escape from its tank and enter another if there is something good to eat there.

File:Aequorea victoria.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Aequorea Victoria JellyFish

This small bioluminescent jellyfish is
often seen close to shore at the end of a pier.
When agitated the lower rim of its bell will glow a bluish-green.

 

 

Pacific Ocean Perch, Rockfish, Rock Cod, Red Bream, Red perch

A fish of many names, its bright red colour will always catch your attention.  It is a deep-water fish that is found along our coast.  They are mainly plankton eaters  They are a very slow-growing fish living on average 12-15 years, with some reaching 80-90 years of age.  Overfishing has caused a decline in their numbers and current management programs are helping the species to regain its numbers.

Salmon

There are 5 species of Pacific Salmon that thrive in our northern coastal waters.  Chinook or King Salmon, Coho, Pink, Sockeye and Chum. 

Free illustrations of California salmon

They all begin part of their life cycle in freshwater lakes, streams and rivers and will migrate to the ocean when they are partially grown, these small salmon are called smolts.  Each species has it own timetable of how long it will spend in the ocean maturing.  A biological clock tells them it is time to return to the place of their birth to spawn, lay eggs, creating a new generation.  Salmon are important to all aspects of life on the coast and inland.  Indigenous peoples celebrate their return, a good harvest will see their families through the winter months.  They play an important role in many economies and are essential to the well-being of many animals.  Grizzly and Black bears gather to feed at their spawning sites and seals, orcas, eagles and sea birds feast on the returning salmon.  Their carcasses also nourish plants and trees all along our coast and river systems.

File:Sockeye salmon (31376019895).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Check out this link:

https://www.bcsalmon.ca/five-species

Halibut

These fish are found in our northern waters.  They are the largest member of a family of right-eyed flounders that thrive in cold deep waters.  They average 10-20 kg., the record is 208 kg of halibut caught of the Alaska coast.  They are prized for their fine tasty flesh.

Halibut - WikipediaFile:Fiorello LaGuardia with halibut.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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