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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Redtail Rush

When I visit theoutershores I’m usually working on a project. Over the last few years I’ve been characterizing the community of surf fishes (see And the King of the Surf is…) and exploring color preferences (see Choices, Choices…Everywhere and Does Color Matter when Camo Rules?). This has left me with little time for carefree nature…

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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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Boy Meets Girl

When I first started examining surfperch it was difficult for me to tell males from females, but now I’ve got it down. There are differences in body and fin color, pattern, and the shape of the anal fin. The top panels above shows a female and male redtail surfperch, Amphistichus rhodoterus. The male has a bolder, darker…

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