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Posts Tagged ‘dorsal fins’

I had such fun at the open water swim clinic last weekend. Not only did I learn a ton of open water swimming tips from the experts, I definitively answered the question of how to tell a dolphin fin from a shark fin:

dolphin fin versus shark fin

I also learned that these clear critters are not jellyfish that sting, but harmless salps:

Salp

A salp stranded on Zuma Beach in Malibu

A salp pumps water through its body to filter out the phytoplankton. The population of salps (or salpa) ebbs and flows with the bloom of phytoplankton. As the plankton blooms, the salp population grows and feeds on the plentiful food. Salps play an important part in the ocean ecosystem by building up the carbon layer as their poop — and eventually their slimy dead bodies — sink to the ocean floor. A Los Angeles County lifeguard informed us that it’s been 50 years since salp were seen at Zuma Beach.

Thank goodness I was safe from the ravages of diving dolphins and slimy salp! What fun sightings have you made on a recent training swim, bike or run?

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