Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian for Merry Christmas)

Flying Gurnard, Dactyloptena orientalis. Do reindeer really fly? Perhaps not. However, here is a picture of a flying gurnard who looks like he ought to be able to fly with those huge pectoral fins. In fact, the gurnard uses the front rays of the pectoral fins as a rake to shake up the sand and stir up food which, once uncovered is promptly eaten. It's quite a treat to watch. I could have watched this Gurnard all day long, however, I eventually got so cold floating in the water watching, that I retreated to the warm sandy beach. While gurnard are reportedly shy, this one was quite complacent about the audience (a.k.a., me), going about his foraging uninterupted by my presence. He even kept on eating when the flounder showed up, hoping for a free meal off of the gurnard's efforts.

So, hopefully, Santa as nice to you all and the new year is looking nothing but up. Happy Holidays. WH

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