Blenny fish, all venomous?


This video says about itself:

18 March 2016

Ewa Fang Blenny at home on a Hawaii reef.

From Science News:

Blennies have a lot of fang for such little fishes

Some are venomous, but others are just faking

By Susan Milius

10:00am, May 16, 2017

After a recent flurry of news that fang blennies mix an opioid in their venom, a question lingers: What do they need with fangs anyway? Most eat wimpy stuff that hardly justifies whopper canines.

Not that fang blennies are meek fishes.

“When they bite, they bite savagely,” says Bryan Fry of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. “If these little jobbies were 3 meters long, we’d be having to cage dive with them.” Real-world blennies, however, grow to only about the size of a cocktail sausage.

These little beasts probably got their big teeth before evolving venom, says Nicholas Casewell of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in England. That’s jusssst backward, snakes might say, as they evolved their venom first. Yet when Casewell, Fry and colleagues put together an evolutionary family tree for the blennies, the one genus with both fangs and venom branched off amid four genera that are all fang and no toxins, Casewell, Fry and colleagues report in the April 24 Current Biology.

Those with venom aren’t that scary to humans. Fish venoms tend to cause excruciating pain, says Fry, who adds from personal experience that “sting” sounds deceptively benign for what a stingray delivers (SN: 4/29/17, p. 28). A venomous fang blenny has yet to nail him, but he hears that others have felt little more than a toothy nip.

“There’s no real reason for most of these fish to have fangs to help them feed,” Casewell says. Many prey on small invertebrates or even floating plankton, which is about as hard to subdue as chicken soup.

The fangs, however, are useful for fending off predators, Casewell suggests. Blennies have no spiky fins or spines, the more usual defensive weapons in fish. Male-versus-male competition may have been another force for fang evolution; males stab each other during breeding season.

When fangs evolved, whatever the reason, they became a useful conduit for venom, Casewell and Fry propose. Once some blennies evolved venom, “all these crazy selection pressures started coming in,” Fry says. Forces of natural selection nudged nonvenomous fang blennies toward colors and stripes similar enough to those of their venomous cousins to discourage attacks from an educated predator.

The mimics take advantage, often brazenly swimming up to bigger fish to bite off some scales and mucus for a snack. “These fish are little jerks,” Fry says. “They should be called jerk blennies.”

Hawaiian moorhen visits young albatross


This video says about itself:

28 April 2017

Watch this Hawaiian Moorhen nearly cross paths with a sleepy Kalama on the Laysan Albatross cam.

Also known as ‘alae ‘ula, these endangered water birds are endemic to Hawaii. They are a subspecies of the Common Gallinule, which inhabits marshes and ponds all the way from Canada to Chile!

The Kauai Laysan Albatross cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Kauai Albatross Network.

Watch live with news, updates, and FAQs at http://allaboutbirds.org/albatross.

Cattle egrets at Hawaii albatross colony


This video from Hawaii says about itself:

Cattle Egrets Visit Albatross Colony – Apr. 24, 2017

The Kauai Laysan Albatross cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Kauai Albatross Network.

Watch live with news, updates, and FAQs at http://allaboutbirds.org/albatross.

The first egg at the Laysan Albatross cam site on the North Shore of Kauai has begun hatching on January 23, just in time for the cam to go live! …

This year’s nest features Mahealani and Pilialoha, a female-female pair that spent time incubating an infertile egg on camera last year. Female-female pairs are relatively common in albatross colonies, and their commonness can change with the availability of suitable male mates and the success of prior nesting attempts. This year one of the females in this pair has again laid an infertile egg.

This year, however, several organizations involved in the conservation and management of albatrosses replaced the infertile egg with a fertile one from the Pacific Rim Missile Facility. Nesting must be discouraged along an active runway there to decrease the likelihood of collisions between the albatrosses and aircraft. Because the egg was saved from a nest at the facility, a young albatross will now have a chance at life with its foster moms.

Albatrosses dancing in Hawaii


This video from Hawaii says about itself:

Courtship Dancing in Kauai – Feb. 24, 2017

4 February 2017

Bill-clapping, sky pointing, and whinnying are just some of the cornerstone dance moves used by Laysan Albatrosses in their elaborate courtship rituals.

Red-crested cardinals in Hawaii


This video from Hawaii says about itself:

Red-crested Cardinals – Kauai Albatross Cam – Feb. 13, 2017

The Kauai Laysan Albatross cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Kauai Albatross Network.

Watch live with news, updates, and FAQs at http://allaboutbirds.org/albatross

Red-crested cardinals are originally from South America, and have been introduced to Hawaii.

Nene geese in Hawaii


This video from Hawaii says about itself:

9 February 2017

A trio of Nene, Hawaii’s state bird, forage on the grassy slopes of the property where the albatross colony resides.

The Kauai Laysan Albatross cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Kauai Albatross Network.

Watch live with news, updates, and FAQs at http://allaboutbirds.org/albatross

One albatross mother takes over from other mother


This video from Hawaii says about itself:

1 February 2017

After 3 days out at sea, Pilialoha returns from the ocean with a full belly of stomach oil to take over chick rearing duties from her partner, Mahealani.

The Kauai Laysan Albatross cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Kauai Albatross Network.

Watch live with news, updates, and FAQs at http://allaboutbirds.org/albatross

The first egg at the Laysan Albatross cam site on the North Shore of Kauai has begun hatching on January 23, just in time for the cam to go live! …

This year’s nest features Mahealani and Pilialoha, a female-female pair that spent time incubating an infertile egg on camera last year. Female-female pairs are relatively common in albatross colonies, and their commonness can change with the availability of suitable male mates and the success of prior nesting attempts. This year one of the females in this pair has again laid an infertile egg.

This year, however, several organizations involved in the conservation and management of albatrosses replaced the infertile egg with a fertile one from the Pacific Rim Missile Facility.