Ocean Art Wednesday: Varnish Clams

Varnish Clams
Varnish Clams

The Varnish clam is also known as the Dark Mahogany Clam or the Savoury Clam.

The inside of the shells are a rich purple interior colour. While the outside is a shiny exterior with a brown, peeling layer that resembles varnish.

The shell is relatively flat, with a large external hinge ligament.

The Varnish clam is actually native to Korea, Japan and China.

It arrived in here on the Pacific west coast in the late 1980s and is well established now.

They grow to 7 cm long after about 4 years. It typically can bury itself up to 38 cm deep. Apparently, the varnish clam is more freshwater tolerant than other species of clams and the most abundant populations of Varnish clams are found in areas where there are significant influxes of fresh water runoff.

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Ocean Art Wednesday: Pacific White-Sided Dolphins

Pacific White Sided Dolphins
Pacific White-Sided Dolphins

Pacific White-Sided Dolphins live here on the west coast. They can be seen swimming in groups especially when they are being chased by Orca whales. The dolphins form close-knit groups and will care for one another such as any sick or injured member. Each dolphin identifies itself by a unique name-whistle. They can live up to 40 years or more and are about 2.5 meters in length.

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Ocean Art Wednesday: Purple Sea Star or Ochre Starfish

Purple Star Fish also known as Ochre Starfish
Purple Star Fish also known as Ochre Starfish

The purple sea star or Ochre Starfish, is a common starfish found here in our westcoast waters.

The Purple Starfish got its name for its varying shades of purple.

They are typically purple but as they age they vary in colour and are also found in colours
such as orange and red-brown or yellow.

They can tolerate high levels of oxygen and can be out of the water for eight hours or longer, and are frequently found at the water’s edge where the waves meet the shore.

Young purple starfish spend around six months feeding off plankton until they are large enough to begin hunting shellfish closer to shore.

They feeds on a diet of mussels, clams, limpets, snails and barnacles and have been know to live to about four to six years and some as long as twenty.

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Exploring the seashore: Pacific Seahorse

Pacific Seahorse
Pacific Seahorse

The Pacific Seahorse just might live off the west coast of Canada.

The water could be a little cold for the seahorses but I thought it would be fun to imagine.

Seahorses feed on bottom-swarming organisms such as mysids and other plankton. Mysids are shrimp-like crustaceans and are about 25mm in length.

So, here is my fantasy Pacific Seahorse that lives in Canadian waters.

 

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Fantasy Creatures Monday: Queenie V Explorer Satellite

Fantasy Creatures: Queenie V Explorer Satellite
Fantasy Creatures: Queenie V Explorer Satellite

Today is “Victoria Day” in Canada. To celebrate the May 24th birthday of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Queen Victoria’s birthday, was declared a holiday by the Legislature of the Province of Canada in 1845.

So in hour of the Queen, I called this creature Queenie V Explorer Satellite. Another bit of history for you, the Explorer 1 was launched on January 31, 1958 and was the first Earth satellite set into orbit by the United States. It was six feet or 183 cm in length. The total weight of the satellite was 13.37 kilograms or 30 pounds.

Data from the Explorer was transmitted to the ground by two antennas. The external skin of the instrument section was painted in alternate strips of white and dark green to provide passive temperature control of the satellite. You can see a replica on display at National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

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