Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oysters and knowledge

Go ahead, look it up.

What is the lifespan of Crassostrea viginica, the local oyster?
What is its maximum size?

The experts will tell you it gets to 20 years old, and about 8" long.

I found the shell of one today that just misses 9 inches. Its shell tells a story about 40 years old.

"Awareness of ignorance is as devout
as knowledge of knowledge. Or more so. "
Galway Kinnell via Sean Nash.

We don't know nothing.

Photo from NOAA


nashworld said...

Sometimes I wish you lay out a post that doesn't connect in some way...

That being said- allow me to lay out a bit o' evidence that I am just kidding.

Here is just one image from our honeymoon on Andros: This is of Erin holding a sea slug the "bible" of Caribbean ID books says grows from 3 to 6 inches. I am betting 6 inches won't do it when you peer at that image.

Here is another: ...this image is one of three on my Flickr page that show a species (Flagfin Mojarra) that are "not reported in the Bahamas."

We even reported them a few years ago from this one blue hole.

Anyone paying close attention to one area... or briefly trolling through a new area... will find biological exceptions to almost every rule.

You are both inspiring me... and making me hungry... with this post.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Michael

Some interesting facts and pictures in the links here, including Nashworld's.

But the experts . . . Okay, okay - they can make mistakes.

Ahhh! The much maligned mistake!

All the best
from Middle-earth

doyle said...

Kia ora Ken

Interesting post on your blog!

FWIW, I love mistakes.

Some kinds of mistakes, though, are irksome, such as when naturalists continue to repeat what their colleagues say without anyone bothering to check. The Nash's obviously found critters that forgot to read the books.

On the other hand, the Nash's and I are guilty of not correcting the obvious errors. Not sure how I could if I wanted--I'm not an expert, just a crank who happened to find a big ol' oyster shell.

Don Duncan in Virginia did get to fix things, though. He likes to catch spotted hake, a small fish that tasted rather yummy.

The experts said they don't get bigger than 16"; he regularly caught bigger ones. So he went out and caught a world record fish (21" and about 3 1/2 pounds).

I doubt the IGFA keeps records on oysters.


nashworld said...

We do work in remote digs from time to time actually...

very much so.

I have to say something about "corrections," though... we actually filled out official surveys through that first summer of discovery for the flagfin.

Seems I skipped out too early for the PhD. Thank earth I now have several PhD candidates in marine bio (former students) who extend my meager reach.

I get it... whether or not the flagfin mojarra lives in a remote and cut off blue hole matters very little in the scheme of 2008. But honestly- I expect things of this nature to change dramatically the more we tread down the path of the read/write web.