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Super sense of fish

Fish use their sense of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to gain accurate and up-to-date information about the surrounding environment, which is important to make optimal decisions about possible threats, prey, as well as mates. Due to their aquatic nature fish also have an additional sense, the lateral line or lateralis system. The lateral […]

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Sensory system of fish

Accurate, up-to-date information about the surrounding environment is very important in order to make optimal decisions about possible threats, prey, as well as mates. For humans our five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch) tell us this information. Fish use the same set of senses, but differently as they are, of course, wholly submerged […]

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Cooperative feeding in cetaceans

Cooperative feeding comes about when two or more individuals effectively capture more and/or bigger prey items and suffer fewer costs together than alone. A number of mammal species, and even one bird species has been reported to undertake cooperative hunting, which could range from simultaneous chases, or clearly coordinated attacks. Coordinated attacks involve the division […]

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Vagrant seals

Vagrant seals in Plettenberg Bay

Although the Cape Fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) is southern Africa’s only endemic pinniped species, we do get a number of vagrant pinniped species that visit our shores. In Plettenberg Bay, we see both Subantarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus tropicalis) and southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) on occasion. These species are vagrants from Antarctic and Subantarctic […]

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Amazing African black oystercatcher

The African black oystercatcher Haematopus moquini is one of our resident breeding coastal bird species. It can often be seen on Lookout Beach and other coastal areas in Plettenberg Bay, but ranges from Luderitz in Namibia to Mazeppa Bay in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. They have a very distinctive appearance with all black feathers, […]

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Longliner

Demersal Shark Longlining

Over the last month or so, some of Plettenberg Bay’s inhabitants may have noticed the occasional presence of a somewhat strange looking vessel within and around the bay. This vessel, it turns out, belongs to South Africa’s demersal shark longlining fishery. This fishery is relatively small, with only six permit-holders off the South African coastline, […]

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sleeping sperm whales

Cetacean sleep

Cetaceans, or whales and dolphins, have a pretty unique way of getting some shuteye. These marine mammals actually only rest one half of their brain at a time when sleeping, in what is known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep. While one hemisphere of the brain rests, the other remains alert. The hemispheres are alternated between sleep […]

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