Surfperch Camouflage Meets its Match with Terns

The first thing I thought about when I cam across Dave Morro Bay Keeling’s photo of an elegant tern with its catch was visual predation in the surf zone. On my home beaches, I frequently see terns, during the warmer months, mostly Caspians, cruising the surf zone. Occasionally one feints as though it’s seen something…

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To Bite, or Not to Bite

That’s an age old dilemma.  I put surfperch to the test last year with a preference experiment.  I presented colored lures to surfperch in the wild.  If surfperch bite each color equally then there is no preference.  If there is a preference, color matters and we get some insights about the visual ecology of surfperch…

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Fins on Fire

Surfperch live on sandy beaches which can be vast, uniformly colored and featureless. It’s a drab place. Sometimes the beaches are broken up by rock features but true sand-dwellers eschew the rocks. In the photo above, my pack is sitting where surfperch will be feeding in a few hours. Surf zone prey frequently camouflage themselves…

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Does Color Matter when Cammo Rules?

I’ve made the case that color matters to surfperch in the wild and I demonstrated this by showing that given a choice, silver surfperch, Hyperprosopon ellipticum, take orange colored lures at rates higher than you would expect by chance alone. If you want to read about why color might matter to surfperch, and the details…

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Choices, Choices…Everywhere

  In celebration of my first twenty theoutershores posts, I made this fishy Word Cloud from tagxedo.com. The size of words is an index of how frequently they are used in my posts. Surfperch is the biggest word; that’s no surprise. Another relatively big word is color. I think about color a lot. Evolutionary biologists…

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