Fun and Freaky Critters of North Coast Beaches Now
(Seaside, Oregon) – Crews at Seaside Aquarium have arguably the best jobs ever: part of their gig is to simply walk the beaches of the north Oregon coast, looking for trippy finds. (Photos by Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium)
These came in abundance recently. But part of the interesting stuff is what's new inside the tanks as well.
Recently, the aquarium's Tiffany Boothe had been scouring various areas of the north coast, including Arcadia Beach near Cannon Beach. She found a couple of salps to photograph – and then later released them.
In the meantime, she explained what these creatures are.
“In order to understand the salp you must first understand the tunicate. Tunicates belong to the same phylum as vertebrates,” Boothe said. “Though as adults they do not have a backbone, developing larvae posses a tail, a dorsal nerve cord, and a dorsal stiffening structure (not composed of bone) called the notochord; because of this tunicates are thought to be more closely related to vertebrates such as fish and people.”
Inside, the aquarium however, there is lots of egg laying going there.
A kind of sea snail called the Oregon Triton is reproducing like mad there.
Boothe said these Tritons lay eggs on vertical surfaces and under rock ledges. They are set in rectangular capsules in a spiral-like pattern, and each can contain as many as 2,000 eggs. The Triton actually lays each one at a time, in an expanding circular fashion.
The female sits on her eggs for about nine weeks until they are hatched – staying close to keep them from being eaten by predators.
Known officially as the Oregon Hairy Triton, the snail was made the state seashell in 1989.
Seaside Aquarium is on the Prom, Seaside, Oregon. www.seasideaquarium.com.
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