30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Eight.

08Day 8: Today is World Oceans Day, another environment initiative lead by the UN. The theme for 2021’s World Oceans Day is: The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods. The event is a fully virtual celebration and there will be talks from over 40 influential speakers. You can see the schedule for the day’s talks here.

Oceans cover over 70% of the world’s surface, and produces up to 80% of the world’s oxygen through it’s microscopic plankton which photosynthesize. Though only 5% of the oceans have been explored it is home to up to 95% of all life. There is estimated to be as much as seven million tons of plastic dumped into our oceans each year.

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The pacific is our largest ocean, covering 30% of the Earth’s surface, and is wider than the moon! Though the longest mountain range on terrestrial earth is the Andes, underwater there is an even longer one called the Mid-Ocean Ridge which is a staggering 40,389 miles long. The Mariana Trench is the deepest known region of the Earth at almost 7 miles. 90% of all the world’s volcanic activity occurs under the oceans. The largest living structure is the Great Barrier Reef which can be seen from the moon. Corals recycle the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to create their exoskeletons, sounds very similar to a carbon sink!

The oceans are not just important for our oxygen production and the diversity of life but they create livelihoods and food for millions of people.

Will you be tuning in to any of the scheduled talks for 2021’s World Ocean Day?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine xx

30 Days Wild 2020 – Day Eight.

twt-30-days-wild_countdown_08Day 8: Today is World Oceans Day, so in honour of this campaign, today’s Close up Monday will be of bottle-nosed dolphins. I’ll admit that marine wildlife is one aspect of my knowledge that isn’t particularly strong. So I am going to use today as a platform to further my understanding around this subject.

What’s your favourite ocean inhabitant?

The bottle-nosed dolphin is probably the best known of all UK whale and dolphin species (cetaceans). While reading the summer edition of the RSPB’s Nature’s Home magazine, I was surprised to discover that up to 28 of these aquatic mammals have been seen around UK shores.

Some facts on bottle-nosed dolphins:

  • UK bottle-nosed dolphins are the biggest in the world, their larger bodies help with the cold of our waters
  • They can live up to 50 years of age
  • Are carnivore and eat other fish and crustaceans
  • They have good eyesight and their eyes can move independently of each other
  • They can’t detect colour
  • Highly sociable and live within pods of up to 15 members
  • Research has shown that dolphins have names or a unique whistle to identify them from other dolphins
  • Like bats they use echolocation for finding food and navigation
  • Their stomachs consist of three chambers, one to store, one to digest and one to excrete
  • They sleep by shutting one side of their brain and the opposing eye
  • ‘Breaching’ or jumping out of water is a way of cleaning parasites off their bodies
  • As a mammal they are warm blooded and need to breathe through a blow hole
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Moray Firth dolphins

Bottle-nosed dolphins enjoy the safety of sheltered bays and can be seen often at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Moray Firth in Scotland, Cornwall and Dorset.

Have you seen any bottle-nosed dolphins around the coast of the UK? Have you seen any other cetaceans?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine x