Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Seeking Winter Distractions...One Found

Winter has arrived, and now is the time for distractions, diversions, denial, and fantasy as we wait for our 66 days until spring.

My new word last week was seiche.  It describes the natural settling waves in water, and today's headline on the weather network shows a car caked in ice next to Lake Erie.  The hash tags include:  'seiche off Lake Erie froze this car in place.'   The picture is here.  Just below the frozen car is a video of a freezing soap bubble, along with other interesting frozen ice images - these are on

And now onto distraction...Our pictures today take us  below the water's surface to tropical aquarium gardens of Florida.  Why are reef fish so colourful?

I learn the question would be 'colourful to us humans' in an article on the subject.

"Losey suggests finding out what color they really are — to fishlike eyes — before you even ask why they’re brightly colored. The answer may surprise you. “We’ve only scratched the surface in terms of taking a species and determining what color it is — not with our eye, but with tools.”

It is a long article that explores how fish see, which is different than how we see.  And then gives the various explanations on the workings. 
"One was first considered by Alfred Russel Wallace, a less-known but equally significant contemporary of Charles Darwin in the 19th century. Wallace suggested that the bright colors worn by reef fish may actually help them hide in an equally colorful environment. While fish are pink and green and purple and blue, so are the corals, sponges and other parts of the visually complex background behind them. “He said, well, these colors might actually have a protective function — they might actually function like camouflage in a sense against these heterogeneous backgrounds,” Rosenthal says.
The other idea is one developed by biologist Konrad Lorenz in the mid-20th century. He suggested that fish are conspicuously colored to help them identify their own species in the crowded reef environment, where there is direct competition between not only other species, but also members of their own."

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