Image of the day

Jan 17, 2020
A seabird gets 'schooled'
© Alex Mustard/Minden Pictures
This deep-diving Brandt's cormorant appears to be on the hunt for a meal, and there's plenty of Pacific chub mackerel to choose from here off the coast of Los Angeles, California. While seabirds like the cormorant are a threat to these fish, the mackerel aren't exactly defenseless. Fish have many unique means of defense, such as traveling in dense schools like this one. It's a technique that not only allows for speedy travel (because it reduces friction on most of the fish in the school)—schooling also makes it more difficult for predators to pick out an individual victim. For these fish, there's safety in numbers. But when all else fails, they can take some advice from Dory in 'Finding Nemo'—'Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.'
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Quick fact:Pacific chub mackerel spawn several times a year, and an individual fish will release batches of almost 70,000 eggs each time. The eggs usually hatch within 4 to 5 days.