Friday, July 16, 2010

Sea Creatures

Jellyfish and Stingrays and Great Whites, Oh My!

This could go down as the Summer of the Sea Creatures.

Over the past few days in Southern California, boaters have encountered rare black sea nettles, or black jellyfish, in San Diego Bay, and some two dozen people were stung by a cluster of stingrays at La Jolla Shores beach, several miles away. On the East Coast, officials have reported several sightings of great white sharks off Massachusetts in recent weeks.

While the encounters are unusual, they are part of the ebb and flow of life in the sea, experts say -- though the black jellyfish sightings are relatively rare.

"Most of their biology and bio-geography remains a mystery, but they seem to show up in Southern California during warm water episodes" such as El Nino seasons," said Michael Schaadt of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in Los Angeles.

He said black sea nettles were reported only four times in the 1900s. They also were spotted in small numbers in 2001 and 2007. The most reported was in 2005, between Santa Barbara, Calif., and the Mexican border, he said.

The rest of the article here.

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