Hello my name is Miss Gillingham. Please join me as I travel to Greece to study the dolphins of the Amvrakikos Gulf!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Extra Bits

Each day is filled with new findings and information! Although I've been in and out of the Mediterranean Sea, I never paid attention to its meaning. Any idea? What about those of you studying Latin at school, can you break it down?

I also never noticed that the sea was full of sea urchins. When I have seen them elsewhere, all I really knew was to avoid their spikes and MOVE away, but they are alive, 'breathing' and moving. Can you see it move?

Today, we also came across a mussel farm. Have you ever seen one? This is what it looks like

There are lines suspended from these. It is not however, in use today, as the chemicals in the water get absorbed by the mussels and our bad for us to eat. The turtles however, enjoy the feast.
Photo by Tethys Research Institute

My last tidbit of interest is how all of our dolphins, whales, orcas etc. are divided. Year 6s will remember identification keys, right? Please say YES. Cetaceans is the key term for this entire group but it is divided into two: Odontocetes; Odon meaning teeth in Ancient Greek and cetes meaning monster, (what mammals do you think belong in this category?) and Mysticetes.

Odontocetes have teeth, 1 blow hole and use echolocation (sound to help locate objects)

Mysticetes, mainly whales except Sperm Whales, on the other hand have two blow holes,and no teeth. Instead they have baleens that act like a sieve, once taking in a bunch of fish and water they are able to 'drain' out the water but keep the fish in their mouth. Very handy device I'd say. What do you think?

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