Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Salpy water

On a weekend trip to Long Beach Island, NJ, I was surprised to find the beach littered with salps. However, I was not put off by their abundance as many of the beachgoers and bathers who figured the small, glittering gelatinous animals to be jellyfish.

I myself was not sure what to make of them - I've never previously seen or heard about salp blooms. However, field biologist Gregg Sakowicz from the nearby Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JCNERR) informed me that they are a common seasonal phenomenon there. I'm not sure what species it was; they had a bit of blue coloration.

Salps are taxanomically unrelated to jellyfish and do not sting. Rather, they are filter feeders that are relatively closely related to vertebrates for an invertebrate. They possess a spinal cord predecessor (notochord) in their larval stage and have a central nervous system. Read more about salp biology on the jellieszone.com.

I made a short video -

No comments:

Post a Comment