Catalina Quail: Endemic & Entertaining

Catalina Quail: Endemic & Entertaining

The Catalina California Quail (Callipepla californica catalinensis) are endemic to the Channel Islands, meaning they are only found here! With their round bodies and curled plume protruding from their heads, they are both adorable and intriguing...

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Holdfast: The Anchor of Algae

Holdfast: The Anchor of Algae

Algae and kelp are like the trees and shrubs of the aquatic world except for one important factor, THEY’RE NOT PLANTS!  Kelp is in fact in the Kingdom Protista meaning that among other things it does not use roots to absorb nutrients nor does it...

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Endangered to Enduring: Catalina Fox

Endangered to Enduring: Catalina Fox

The Catalina Island Fox is an endemic species to Catalina, meaning it is only found here. Living on an island for many years have caused the Catalina Island Fox to become 25% smaller than its mainland relative, the Grey Fox. This is a common...

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Monarch Butterfly: Flighty Friends

Monarch Butterfly: Flighty Friends

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are like the grandparents of the butterfly community, traveling south to warmer weather during winter months, and heading north again when it starts to warm up in the summer. Monarch butterflies are easy to...

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Navanax: Snail & Slug of the Sea

Navanax: Snail & Slug of the Sea

While most animals found on the sandy bottom areas around CIMI spend most of their time trying to blend in with the sand, the Navanax (Navanax inermis) sticks out like a clown at a camouflage convention. Some head shield slugs and their colorful...

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Swim Bladder vs. Oily Liver

Swim Bladder vs. Oily Liver

Many animals naturally float at the surface and have to force their way down below the surface. Fish however, have a very convenient adaptation. Two ways to animals in the ocean control their buoyancy, or the upward force exerted by a fluid, are...

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Sea Cucumbers: The More You Know

Sea Cucumbers: The More You Know

 Sea cucumbers are a species of invertebrates under the phylum Echinodermata similar to sea stars and sea urchins. They  live in the benthic zone or ocean floor. They are nocturnal creatures but can be seen in the day as well. They use their...

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Bison 101 on World Wildlife Day

Bison 101 on World Wildlife Day

 Catalina Island is known for its biodiversity and natural beauty both underwater and on land. One creature of particular interest is the American Bison (Bison bison). Have you ever wondered how such a big animal ended up on an island twenty two...

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How is Sand Formed?

How is Sand Formed?

   Sand is a result of the breakdown of Earth’s crust. Sand is formed over a long period of time by water, wind, gravity, and tectonics, among other forces. Water provides movement of sediment from the beginning of streams and inland areas...

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Ocean Echolocation

Ocean Echolocation

 Echolocation is the emittance of sound and the reflection of vibrations off of an object back to the sender. This is commonly used by bats and dolphins! Dolphins release a high pitch click or snap sound that travels through the ocean in an...

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Salinity and Water Density

Salinity and Water Density

When swimming in salt water you can make observations on more than just the salty taste. An observation you may have made is that you are more buoyant, or you float more, in salt water than in fresh water. This is a result of the oceans salinity...

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