Monday, October 10, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam (I)

This Columbus Day weekend Annie and I went again to Rehoboth Beach, DE. We saw a great deal of not-so-wild wildlife:

And we saw a fair amount of not-so-live wildlife:

[either a true jellyfish or
a ctenophore (comb jelly)]

[a fish]

[a jellyfish:
it's really most sincerely dead.]

During our seaside strolls we also observed an incident of intraspecific kleptoparasitism.

This phrase may sound complicated, but chances are, if you have siblings, you’ve either engaged in intraspecific kleptoparasitism or been a victim of it. Basically, it’s when you let somebody else of your species expend his/her energy acquiring food—and then you take it from them.

In this case, one gull (ring-billed, I think) had caught a crab, and another ring-bill dive-bombed the poor crab-catcher until s/he, harassed and distracted, dropped the crab, allowing the second gull to swoop in and grab the crustacean.

--It seemed to say.]

Not content with having stolen the crab, the second gull added insult to injury by waving its prize in the first gull’s face (beak?). As we watched, we became convinced that the first gull was standing on its dignity, pretending indifference to its robber’s taunts.

[“Crab? What cr—oh, that crab;
I didn’t want that old thing anyway.”]

The empty-beaked gull, making an attempt at nonchalance, eventually flew away and left the second gull to its stolen meal, but we suspected that it sent a curse of indigestion on its robber’s head.

No doubt the crab did the same.

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}

1 comment:

anca said...

Great photos, and hilarious commentary.

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