Monday, 27 February 2017

Seal in the river Ouse

Just received a report of a seal in the river Ouse yesterday morning by the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve. Unfortunately photograph is from a distance and not possible to be sure if its a common seal or a grey seal. 

Common seals are seen from time to time in the river Ouse - in fact we have a common seal named 'Lewes' who has been visiting the river Ouse near Lewes for many years now.

However we do also occasionally see grey seal off Sussex and occasionally in our Sussex rivers.

The seal was observed feeding - with  fish in its mouth. Food is one of the attractions that encourages some seals to venture into our rivers in the winter months.

I have tried manipulating this photograph and I think it may be a common seal - but not certain.

For more seal sightings, type 'seal' into the search bar

Monday, 13 February 2017

Sea anemone birth

A beadlet anemone gave birth to a tiny baby sea anemone at the Brighton Science Festival during the drop in session I ran - rock pooling with a microscope.
This was a tiny replica of the adult - in fact it was created by a process called budding and is a clone of the original anemone.
In the video clip above you can see the size of the 'baby' anemone compared with the size of the adult.

While I collected the other rock pool animals from the beach for the drop in session, I have had the sea anemones for sometime in an aquarium at home. (see blog post below).

Anemones are often attached to a large rock or similar - so I have kept this one at home as it is attached to a pebble - so I always have one to take to schools etc. Sea anemones are also easy to keep in a cold water marine aquarium.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Brighton Science Festival

Its time again for the Brighton Science Festival and with friends of Shoreham Beach we set up our beach and ocean exhibit.
My exhibit looked at the local and the global. The global was represented by my One Ocean Project and a chance to share another of Ed the Bears real life adventures and also talk story about the many things he had learned and experienced during his global travels such as that 50% of the oxygen we breathe on land actually comes from phytoplankton in the ocean.
The ocean also moderates our climate and weather, provides fresh water and 15% of global food. New medicines are being discovered in the ocean and the ocean is also a great place for fun and wellbeing.
Sadly, the ocean is being damaged by many human activities such as plastic, climate change which is warming the ocean threatening marine life and also causing flooding. Ed the Bear has witnessed global threats first hand.
Man made carbon dioxide is also changing the chemistry of the ocean causing ocean acidification.

Shoreham Beach and the River Adur are currently suffering the local consequences of global sea level rise from climate change as the sea and river defences are being raised. As the oceans warm - the water expands taking up more space and so sea levels rise. Melting glaciers is also a major reason why sea levels are rising.

Ed the Bear has also encountered some amazing wildlife to. He has  sat with penguins on the polar ice, come nose to nose with great white sharks, dived on coral reef and shipwrecks and much more.
He has also observed the amazing wildlife we have on our on beaches in the UK - including the amazing local nature reserve on Shoreham Beach.

To show some of out own local marine life I ran two drop in workshops where we demonstrated some of the amazing animals that live in rock pools on Shoreham Beach.

An amazing thing happened, the sea anemone actually gave birth to a tiny baby sea anemone on the day.

In between the drop in sessions we ran a video showing some of the places I had visited and animals I have encountered.
This included penguins in Antarctica and South Africa, great white sharks off South Africa, humpback whales and Laysan albatross in the Hawaiian Islands, coral fish, turtles and much more.

Friends of Shoreham Beach had an amazing exhibit about the  rare shingle plants and the fascinating wildlife that lives on the beach. There was also a strandline quiz and a plastic pollution exhibit.

As usual it was a great day with lots of interest and excitement from the visitors.