Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Home-schooled 9 year-old knows quite a bit about the sea!

Hi Sea Fans!

Well, I never!  I just got an e-mail from a boy I met at the Yebo Gogga Expo and he has once again amazed me.  Zandor is a 9 year-old boy who is home-schooled by his mom and his knowledge of the marine world will blow you away.  We chatted at the expo, that's when he told me about the mucous bubble that parrotfish blow around themselves to sleep at night in order to mask their scent...this is usually an interesting fact I tell adults and most times, they never knew about it!  So just to show you how a passion for something can make learning a subject really easy, here's part of the e-mail that Zandor sent me:

Parrot fish
 A parrot fish eats coral. It gets its name by its beak. Other fish have a round hole which opens and closes but a parrot fish has a hard beak for eating coral because coral makes lime stone around itself. When it eats the parrot fish sives the coral from the lime stone and the lime stone then comes out of the back of the fish. A parrot fish in the night makes a bag of mucas around itself so that peditors can’t smell through all that mucas.

The dames fish or farmer fish (damsel)
 A farmer fish farms algae. If eny fish try’s to eat the farmer fish’s food it will fight by biting the fish’s fins. This tipe of algae can kill a coral reef so the farmer fish kips it under control by eating it.

 The sponge
 A sponge is an animal that lives on rocks. It is alive. A sponge sucks water throw holes. The water flows throw tunnels and chambers all covered in hairs. The hairs filter the water of eny food. Shrimps live inside the sponge but thies shrimps are tiny. Conalys live inside the chambers because food is there.
 The way the sponges spawn is the female sponge rilises her eggs and the male rilises his sperm and the eggs and the sperm meet mix and the larve hatch they float for a while and then they sink and grow into new sponges.

Sponge spawning (Photo: M Miller/SEFSC)

 The false cleaner fish
There are real cleaner fish and a false cleaner fish. The real cleaner fish cleans other fish even sharks if it eats one cleaner fish other cleaner fish wont clean it so it (the shark) has to behave.

Cleaner wrasse (Photo: JE Randall, Fishbase.de)
The false cleaner fish on the other hand can pick off a few parsits and then take a bite in the fish’s side. Most of the time the fish can get away from the false cleaner fish but sometimes the fish can’t.

False Cleaner Wrasse (Photo: JE Randall).  The easiest way to tell the difference between the Cleaner Wrasse and False Cleaner Wrasse are by looking at the mouth - the False Cleaner Wrasse has its mouth positioned under the snout and the Cleaner Wrasse has its mouth positioned right in front.  If you look closely you can also see teeth when looking at the False Cleaner Wrasse.

How coral spawn

The coral male can’t go and look for a female because they are connected to the rock so the female coral sends out lots and lots of eggs because many get eaten by fish and soft corals. The male coral olso sends out sperm. When the sperm and eggs meet the sperm fertilizes the eggs the baby coral then hatchs and sink down to start a new reef.

So you see, learning about nature is not hard work. When you get into it, you can find out amazing things and have a lot of fun. Thanks Zandor, it was great to hear from you.

Have a great week Sea Fans!


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