Oyster Blog — Tideflat Critters

May 14, 2010: Aquarium Life Update

Tideflat Critters

The chiton is continuing his cleaning ways: And both the gunnel and the sculpin have found hiding places where they can get a little R&R without worrying about a spider crab attack: The gunnel prefers a floating piece of drift wood. And the sculpin is partial to the magnetized tank cleaner.

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MAy 7, 2010: Shrimp Swim

Tideflat Critters

Shrimp are much faster in reverse, but we didn't get it on camera. We haven't been able to find live crab for the past couple of weeks, so we saved a few of the spot prawns in our crab aquarium, just to see how they'd do. Now we have two species of local shrimp on display: the spot prawns and coonstripe shrimp, which are much smaller but just as tasty. Here's a closeup of a coonstripe (and a fuzzy picture of Preston, the guy who sold us the shrimp): Here's a spot prawn and a coonstripe becoming acquainted in the...

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Apr 28, 2010: Squat Lobstah

Tideflat Critters

This little guy came in with the spot prawns last week. He lost his right paw somewhere along the way. After a little sleuthing we determined that he's a squat lobster: According to Emerald Diving, squat lobsters are actually just funny looking shrimp, and they're common in Hood Canal. Wikipedia says that referring to squat lobsters as lobster "highly upsets the Maine lobster industry." So from now on we'll refer to them as squat "lobster." And it turns out that there are actually several kinds of shrimp that live in Puget Sound. For obvious reasons we're partial to the spot...

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Apr 6, 2010: Anemone and Baby Jellies

Tideflat Critters

Meet our newest aquarium addition! Anemones eat small fish and shrimp. Be glad you're not a little fish stuck in an aquarium with a hungry anemone: each tentacle contains a harpoon-like structure that injects a toxin into the anemone's prey. But then again: be glad you're not an anemone stuck inside a salt-water aquarium devoid of any small fish or shrimp. Our anemone looks like a tube dwelling anemone, found here, but don't quote us on that. A couple of weeks ago the water we added to the tank contained jellyfish larvae, which proceeded to grow into baby jellyfish. They...

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Feb 12, 2010: Attack of the Algae Eaters!

Tideflat Critters

There used to be only a few of these little critters on the beach, now there are thousands. They're very, very sociable, and like to congregate on muddy sections of beach. We didn't know what to call them, but someone came up with the term algae eaters, and it stuck. Unicorn horn shell was in the running but deemed too fanciful. Their real name is Battlearia attramentaria, or Asian mud snail. They are originally from Asia (surprise!) and are normally associated with oyster farms... probably because they piggybacked in on the Pacific oyster when farmers first began importing seed from...

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