The Beacon: MollyH's blog

Fact of the Day: Common Octopus

As you probably already know, Paul the Oracle Octopus maintained his perfect record this weekend, predicting World Cup victories for both Germany and Spain in their respective matches. So, in honor of Paul’s fine work, today’s Fact of the Day (or FOD) is about his species, the common octopus.

The common octopus is one of the smartest invertebrates in the world, with both a short and long-term memory.  When in a bind to escape a predator, this octopus can lose an arm and re-grow it later without any long-term damage.  (But I’d bet it’s not very comfortable and is something the octopus would rather forget!)  

For more octo-information (or information on your favorite fishy friends), check out Oceana.org/explore and check back tomorrow for another FOTD!


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Oil Spill Quote of the Day

From today’s Washington Post:

"People's outrage is focused on BP," [Anthony] Leiserowitz said. The spill "hasn't been automatically connected to some sense that there's something more fundamental wrong with our relationship with the natural world," he said.

 [Leiserowitz tracks public opinion on environmental issues at Yale University.]


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Oil Spill Quote of the Day

From CNN today:

Oysterman Vlaho Mjehovich said the damage to the local waters has long-term repercussions.

"I've seen areas go for 10 years without oysters coming back. This is not going to be done and fixed overnight. People have to understand, this will take years to come back," he said. "What do you do? I had a business. Now, I don't have a business. My business was taken from me overnight. I have to go look for a job now."


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Fact of the Day: Whale Sharks

In honor of Shark Week, which is just a few short weeks away, my first “Fact of the Day” post will be about -- you guessed it -- sharks!

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world. These sharks grow up to 65 feet (20 meters) long and their mouths are 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide.

And here’s a bonus fact: whale sharks have the thickest skin of any animal in the world at up to 4 inches thick.

Curious for more? Be sure to come back tomorrow for another exciting fact or check out Oceana.org/Explore and do some investigating on your own!


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Paul the Oracle Octopus

We all knew cephalopods were smart. But who knew they were psychic? Paul the octopus has gained worldwide fame for his 100% accuracy in predicting Germany's 2010 World Cup matches.

Paul, who lives in the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, correctly foresaw the winner of each of Germany’s 2010 World Cup games, even when Germany lost to both Serbia and Spain. So far, during his entire career as the octopus oracle, Paul has only incorrectly predicted one game.  (In 2008, Paul incorrectly chose Germany to beat Spain in the UEFA European Football Championship finals.)


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Oil Spill Quote of the Day

From CNN yesterday:

"This (oil disaster) is something that's not going to affect just the Gulf coastal areas," [Jessica Maholm, wife of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm] said. "It's going to affect the whole country with the seafood, the animals and the ecosystem."

[On Tuesday, Maholm and others from the Baseball Wives Cheritable Foundation toured regions of southern Louisiana affected by the spill.]


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The Great Bake for Oceans' Sake

© Heather Garland

Ever heard of National Sugar Cookie Day? (No, I’m not making it up.) It’s July 9th, this Friday, and this year it marks the kick-off of The Great Bake for Oceans’ Sake.

Casey Sokolovic, 12, and Alexa BeMent, 10, are organizing The Great Bake to help save wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. The two budding activists were searching for a way to help in the Gulf (and to get everyone else involved) and they have found the tastiest way to do so. 


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Oil Spill Quote of the Day

From yesterday's Washington Post:

"The high tide came in and left a deep, black line of oil on the rocks," [Craig] Morse says. "As the tide went down, the oil bled down the rocks. It looked like a murder scene. You could see the hermit crabs trying to find refuge outside of the water, away from the oil."


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Sailing Across, and for, the Oceans

The Dream Time (left) in Aitutaki, Cook Islands. Credit: Catherine and Neville Hockley

What’s your dream?  Playing in the Super Bowl?  Winning an Oscar? Sailing around the world?

If it’s the last one, take a hint from Oceana supporters Catherine and Neville Hockley, and go for it.

The Hockleys met the boat of their dreams in 2000 and immediately began planning the journey of a lifetime.  After seven years of preparation, they set sail for their epic adventure around the world.  They are still at sea (currently in Fiji) and plan to remain on their global voyage for…well...as long as they want!


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A Whale of a... Whale

Happy Friday! Time for a brief break from the oil spill. And what better reason than for a really freakin' cool prehistoric whale.

The great white shark is often considered one of the world’s greatest predators. At between 15-20 feet long it is no slouch, but it pales in comparison to the Leviathan melville, a recently discovered predatory whale that lived 13 million years ago.

Named after the mythical sea monster Leviathan and Moby Dick author Herman Melville, the Leviathan melvillei was probably close to 60 feet long. According to the fossils found in a Peruvian desert, which was once part of a great ocean, the teeth of the beast were over a foot long and almost half a foot wide.


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