Curiosities of marine nature: Mytilids (Mytilidae) in intertidal zone

in #travelfeed2 years ago (edited)

Ulises Flores
26/10/2019

Dear reader.

I am pleased to present a dynamic description of the marine and coastal ecosystem of Carúpano, a small town located in northeastern Venezuela. The ecosystem in question is located in a natural physical enclave of Copey beach, which boasts a majestic coastal landscape with an extensive and fascinating mineral cover, abrupt and discontinuous rocky coastline that has been sculpted by powerful waves, wind, rain, sunlight and other hydroclimatic factors.

The images show the wet sand belt modelled by drift currents, tides and permanently active waves.

The composition of these sedimentary sand deposits is as diverse as it is curious, the parrot fish (Scaridae) with its elegant multicoloured scale dress is one of them, its nature as a sand producer and beach designer makes it a creature with high ecological value. The biological and mineral production of parrotfish is due to their diet of algae and microorganisms whose preferred ecosystems are coral reefs.

The erosion of the rocky coast, sedimentary dragging of fluvial and marine origin, decomposition of shells and others determine to a great extent this mariblanca brushstroke of the continental marine ecotone, that is to say the bridge area that clearly differentiates one ecosystem from the other, in this case the marine and continental.


Mytilus edulis, better known as mussel (in Venezuela and much of the world), is an invertebrate species of the mollusk biotype grouped in the bivalve class of the Mytilidae family. Its main habitat is the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, rarely inhabiting other maritime zones.

These invertebrates have an extraordinary function in the quality of the water, since their nutrition is given by the type of feeding by filtration, characteristic of a suspension modality..

This means that their nature and custom is to live grouped and fixed to the rocky substrate or seabed where they pleasantly wait for the current of water and waves to bring them their food. As you can see, this population of juveniles settled on and around a splendid bio bark of algae, mosses and lichens that represents their main source of food.

These animals prefer habitats where a neocortex made up of plankton and microorganisms rich in minerals with calcium carbonate (CaCO3) abounds, because during their digestive process and food transformation to take advantage of their nutrients, the soluble calcium in the bloodstream is leaving it and is biocrystralised in CaCO3 to form the shell called mother of pearl.

References
  1. Parrotfish (Mytilus edulis) link
  2. Mussel link
Resources

The photographs were taken with digital camera of mobile equipment Iphone 6 plus

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It's really nice learning more about the ecology and the shellfish of the sea. The species diversity is truly incredible, as is their design for function.

We need to learn so much more about the sea and marine life so we can protect and conserve it!


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