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2.7: Peacock Flounder - Biology


Bothus lunatus, also known as the peacock flounder or plate fish is in the Lefteye Flounder (Bothidae) family. It is one of the most common flounders in coral reefs! They are usually 6 to 8 inches and thrive at a depth of 2 to 100 meters. They are found in the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, Gulf of Mexico, and Florida. Bothus lunatus is the Atlantic species of peacock flounder and Bothus mancus is the indo-pacific peacock flounder. This chapter is going to focus on the Atlantic species of peacock flounder, Bothus lunatus although there are many similarities between the two.

Peacock Flounder- Bothus lunatus by prilfish via Flickr

The peacock flounder is usually found in sandy areas in mangroves, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs. As a benthic organism as it spends most of its life on the ocean floor or slowly swimming slightly above.

They prey on small fish, which make up about 85.7% of its diet. However, it occasionally preys on octopi and small crustaceans such as marine shrimps and mollusks. They use their incredible camouflage to blend in with their surroundings to catch their meals. To catch their meals, they lie on the seabed partially submerged in the sediment and ambush their prey. When they aren’t on the seafloor, they remain close to the sediment and swim using short gliding motions with occasional bursts of fast motion when trying to avoid predators. As a diurnally active fish, they are most active during the day and typically rest at night.


Bothus lunatus (peacock flounder) (San Salvador Island, Bahamas) by James St. John via Wikimedia Commons

As juveniles, their eyes are on opposite sides of their head, and as they mature their right eye migrates towards the left. Having both eyes on the same side of the head helps when they lay down in the sand. They can see prey better as they have two eyes facing upwards and none facing the sand. They are great at camouflage and use their eyes to see their background and adjust their color to it. A problem arises if they have damaged sight when they try to camouflage because they can’t see the surroundings correctly. Their eyes are also spaced very far apart with males having an even wider gap between the left and right eyes.

When they are not camouflaged, their natural coloring is brown/grey/tan with bright blue, circular spots on their entire body, including their fins.

A colorful peacock flounder showing off its vibrant colors by Hectonichus Via Wikimedia Commons

Fun fact: it takes the peacock flounder somewhere between 2 to 8 seconds to completely blend into their background. Different ages of peacock flounder face different kinds of predators. Juvenile peacock flounder face predation from shrimp, crab, and other fish. Adult flounder are prey for a variety of animals; striped bass, cod, bluefish, groupers, moray eels, stingrays, sharks, and more. The peacock flounder can live up to 10 years and breeds year-round. They always mate just before sunset and the mating lasts for a quick 15 seconds, on average.

The peacock flounder has been evaluated by the IUCN and, as of 2012, is of least concern when it comes to extinction likelihood. However, the peacock flounder is eaten by humans and overfishing and by-catch could potentially push it into a near threatened or vulnerable status in the future. It is said that by 2048 there will be ‘fishless oceans‘. Now, ‘fishless’ doesn’t mean no fish at all, at least immediately, but instead refers to a ‘collapse’ of the species… A species collapse means that 90% of the species are gone. With a 90% reduction in organisms, eventually, the number will end up climbing to 100%. This is mostly due to the issue of overfishing and the impact of climate change on ocean ecosystems. As of 2018, fishing industries are taking in 2 to 3 times as much fish than the oceans are able to support. This has caused about 85% of the WORLDS fish populations to be driven to near extinction or put on a fast track to extinction.

The information in this chapter is thanks to content contributions from Sarah Larsen


Recreational shark regulations

Federal regulations may differ. Please consult NOAA's Highly Migratory Species Office.

Permitted Species
The following species are allowed to be harvested:
Smooth Dogfish, Atlantic sharpnose, Bonnethead, Finetooth, Blacknose, Tiger, Blacktip, Spinner, Bull, Lemon, Nurse, Scalloped hammerhead, Great hammerhead, Smooth hammerhead, Shortfin mako, Porbeagle, Common thresher, Oceanic whitetip (1), Blue

Prohibited Species
The following species are prohibited from harvest:
Silky, Sandbar, Sand tiger, Bigeye sand tiger, Whale, Basking, White, Dusky, Bignose, Galapagos, Night, Caribbean reef, Narrowtooth, Caribbean sharpnose, Smalltail, Atlantic angel, Longfin mako, Bigeye thresher, Sharpnose sevengill, Bluntnose sixgill, Bigeye sixgill

Circle Requirement
Recreational fishermen shall use circle hooks as the terminal tackle except when fishing with flies or artificial lures. Circle hooks are required for any line that is targeting sharks by the angler on a line-to-line basis. Unless caught using flies or artificial lures, any shark caught on any hook other than a circle hook shall be released.

Restrictions on Certain Shark Species When Possessing Tunas, Billfish or Swordfish
Recreational fishermen shall not possess oceanic whitetip sharks, great hammerhead sharks, scalloped hammerhead sharks or smooth hammerhead sharks if in possession of tunas, billfish or swordfish. Porbeagle sharks caught alive shall be released by recreational fishermen if tunas, billfish or swordfish are to be retained, possessed or landed.


Mercury accumulation and its effects on molecular, physiological, and histopathological responses in the peacock blenny Salaria pavo

For humans, fish consumption is the major source of mercury (Hg) exposure. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of Hg in the peacock blenny Salaria pavo, a species of the family of blennies that was used as indicator of water pollution. We performed a sublethal contamination of fish to 66 μg HgCl2 L −1 during 1, 4, 10 and 15 days but Hg concentration measured in the experimental water was much lower than the nominal concentration. Hg was also measured in both gill and liver tissues and displays a significant increase of its concentration in gills after 1 day of exposure followed by a decrease throughout the experiment. In the liver, Hg burden reaches its maximum at day 4 followed also by a decrease. Partial-length cDNA of mt1, mt2, gpx, cat, mnsod and cuznsod was characterized. Results from mRNA expression levels displayed an up-regulation of mt1, gpx and mnsod while a downregulation of cat was observed. Several biomarker activities were determined in gills and liver and exposure to Hg affected all antioxidant enzymes in gills. EROD, GST and GPx significantly decreased, while CAT levels increased from 4 days of Hg exposure. No lipid peroxidation (LPO) induction was observed in gills of exposed fish. Regarding the liver, the activity of all enzymes increased significantly from the beginning of the experiment. LPO induction was, however, induced after 4 days only. The histological analysis also performed indicated that fish exhibited several damages in gills and liver, mainly in relation to circulatory disturbances in the gills and regressive changes in the liver. All biomarkers assessed showed that peacock blennies are able to detoxify Hg from gill and liver tissues by developing various defense mechanisms.

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MATERIALS AND METHODS

Adult Aulonocara stuartgranti Meyer and Riehl 1985 were acquired from commercial suppliers (Bluegrass Aquatics, Louisville, KY, USA) and housed in 190 l aquaria at 26±1°C and 1.0±0.2 p.p.t. salinity (using Cichlid Lake Salt, Seachem Laboratories, Inc., Madison, GA, USA) with appropriate mechanical and biological filtration. Fish were fed cichlid pellets (New Life Spectrum Cichlid Formula, New Life International, Inc., Homestead, FL, USA) one to two times daily and supplemented with live adult brine shrimp. Fish were provided with standard white fluorescent light on a 12 h:12 h diurnal cycle (lights on 07:00–19:00 h). Individual fish were not used in feeding experiments if breeding behavior was observed. Animal care and all experimental procedures followed an approved University of Rhode Island IACUC protocol.

Quantification of feeding behavior of Aulonocara stuartgranti. (A) Diagram showing the experimental setup used to record feeding behavior on tethered brine shrimp. (B) Camera view of experimental arena. (C) Illustration of tethering dish indicating positions of live (black oval) and dead (white oval) prey. The lines connecting the fish to the live prey represent detection distance (dashed) and angle (solid).

Quantification of feeding behavior of Aulonocara stuartgranti. (A) Diagram showing the experimental setup used to record feeding behavior on tethered brine shrimp. (B) Camera view of experimental arena. (C) Illustration of tethering dish indicating positions of live (black oval) and dead (white oval) prey. The lines connecting the fish to the live prey represent detection distance (dashed) and angle (solid).

Behavioral experiments

Behavioral trials (in Experiments I and II) were conducted in an experimental tank (120×90×60 cm 375 l) lined with light colored sand (Aragamax Sand, CaribSea, Fort Pierce, FL, USA) over quartz gravel, intended to mimic the sandy substrate of the fishes' natural habitat in which they feed in Lake Malawi (Fig. 2A). Two methods were used to present live and dead (freshly frozen) adult brine shrimp (Artemia) to individual fish. Brine shrimp were attached with aquarium-grade silicone to the back of 8.5 cm diameter glass Petri dishes. Alternatively, brine shrimp were attached to square platforms (10×10 cm) made of plastic egg crate louver covered with a fine plastic mesh with elastic thread (1 mm diameter) woven through the mesh. The first three fish in Experiment I were presented with prey tethered with silicone to glass Petri dishes, whereas all other fish in Experiments I and II were presented with prey tethered to mesh platforms. Brine shrimp were secured to the platform by positioning them ventral side up and placing the elastic thread over their abdomen, allowing the brine shrimp to freely move their appendages, which generated a hydrodynamic stimulus that was visualized using digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV see below). To measure the frequency of hydrodynamic stimuli generated by brine shrimp tethered to platforms, movements of brine shrimp appendages were recorded using an HD digital video camera (Sony HDR-CX550V 30 frames s –1 ) under light (N=3) and dark (N=3) conditions. Beat rate (beats s –1 ) was calculated at 0, 10, 20 and 30 min for each individual, and parametric statistics (data were normally distributed) were used to compare beat frequency under light vs dark conditions (Student's t-test) at the beginning and end of a 30 min period (paired t-test), and at 0, 10, 20 and 30 min (ANOVA).

One or two fish were allowed to acclimate to the experimental tank for at least 24 h and food was withheld for 24 h before a behavioral trial. When two fish were in the experimental tank, they were separated from one another at all times. Fish were placed behind opaque dividers during the setup of a trial and the process of tethering the brine shrimp was carried out in a separate water-filled container. One live and one dead brine shrimp were positioned on opposite sides of each dish or platform, approximately 7 cm apart. Six dishes or platforms were then gently lowered into the experimental tank and arranged in a 2×3 grid flush with the surface of the sandy substrate (Fig. 2B). The relative placement of the live and dead prey on all six dishes or platforms was the same in a trial. To avoid spatial learning, all dishes or platforms were rotated 90 deg in sequential trials in Experiment I, but this was not done in Experiment II, after it became apparent that spatial learning was not an issue. Observations confirmed that brine shrimp remained tethered (and alive) for more than 30 min when fish were not present.

Immediately following the placement of the six dishes or platforms, one fish was released into the experimental arena from behind an opaque divider. Feeding behavior was recorded for 30 min using either a standard (Sony Handycam DCR-HC65-NTSC, 30 frames s –1 ) or an HD (Sony HDR-CX550V, 30 frames s –1 ) digital video camera mounted directly above the tank with a vertical view of the entire experimental arena. Light trials were carried out under standard white fluorescent illumination and dark trials were carried out in complete darkness with infrared illumination (840 nm Speco Provideo, IR-200/24, Amityville, NY, USA), which is out of the visible range of these fishes (Carleton, 2009). Day trials were carried out between 10:00 and 18:00 h and dark trials began shortly after lights went off at 19:00 h. All water pumps and filtration systems in the experimental tank were turned off prior to the start of a trial to eliminate acoustic and hydrodynamic noise.

Two experiments, involving a total of 39 light and 39 dark trials, were carried out over a period of 20 months using 13 different fish [total length (TL)=6.2–12.5 cm only one fish was used in Experiment I and then in Experiment II]. In Experiment I, normal feeding behavior was recorded for each of six fish (TL=6.2–10.1 cm two females and four males) in three light and three dark trials (six trials per fish). All trials were carried out in the same sequence (three light trials then three dark trials), all on separate days the mean time between the first light trial and last dark trial was 47 days. At the end of each trial, all prey remaining on the tethering dishes or platforms were counted and live prey were confirmed to be alive. Strike success was confirmed in video recordings. One additional light and one additional dark trial were carried out using each of two fish and recorded in lateral view to examine the vertical position of the fish in the water column relative to the substrate during the course of a 30 min trial.

Video sequences leading to individual prey strikes were cut from each 30 min video using Adobe Premier Pro (v.2.0 or CS5, Adobe Systems, San Jose, CA, USA). All sequences were viewed to identify when detections occurred relative to the start of the trial and during which phase of swimming behavior (thrust, glide or pause) prey was detected. These phases were defined as: thrusts (quick accelerations generated by the beating of the caudal fin), glides (characterized by a decrease in swimming velocity, varied in duration, and may have included a left or right maneuver), and pauses (a lack of forward movement when a fish was stationary, with pectoral fins extended). No strikes occurred during a thrust, so data are recorded as a percentage of total strikes occurring during either a glide or a pause. Detection distance and detection angle were measured in still images exported from behavioral sequences using ImageJ (v.1.41o, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA). Detection distance was defined as the distance from the tip of a fish's mouth to the prey, in the frame immediately before the fish oriented towards it (e.g. before a turn or swimming reversal Fig. 2C). Detection angle was defined as the angle between the prey and the midpoint between the fish's eyes, with reference to the long axis of the fish's body, in the same captured frame in which detection distance was determined.

In Experiment II, the role of the lateral line system in prey detection was demonstrated by treating the fish with cobalt (II) chloride heptahydrate (cobalt chloride Sigma-Aldrich, St Louis, MO, USA) to temporarily inactivate the lateral line system (Karlsen and Sand, 1987). At the time of the planning of these experiments, it was still thought that aminoglycoside antibiotics deactivated only canal neuromasts but not superficial neuromasts (e.g. Song et al., 1995) however, recent studies have now demonstrated that these antibiotics ablate all neuromasts (Van Trump et al., 2010 Brown et al., 2011). Cobalt chloride was chosen for the present study because it was known to deactivate both superficial and canal neuromasts, and shorter exposures and lower doses of cobalt chloride have been shown to have little or no side effects (Karlsen and Sand, 1987). Each of seven fish (TL=8.2–12.5 cm five females and two males) was run through one light and one dark ‘pre-cobalt’ trial (the same protocol as Experiment I) on the same day. Then, within 2–7 days, each fish was treated with cobalt chloride (0.1 mmol l –1 in conditioned tap water) for 3 h, after which it was returned to the experimental tank. A light trial with cobalt treatment (‘cobalt trial’) commenced only after a fish appeared to be behaving normally, which was indicated by normal respiration rate and swimming (this occurred 2–3 h after cobalt treatment). A dark trial was then carried out 3–4 h later, shortly after the overhead lights went off. All fish resumed feeding on commercial pellets and/or brine shrimp immediately following cobalt dark trials. After 21–28 days, each fish was then run through one light and one dark ‘post-cobalt’ trial to assess recovery. All light trials were carried out during the day (11:30–17:30 h) and all dark trials were started within 1 h after the overhead lights went off (19:00–20:00 h). The effect of cobalt chloride has been shown to begin wearing off within hours of a fish being placed in water containing calcium (Karlsen and Sand, 1987), so light and dark trials were completed within a few hours of each other. All fish were observed to eat more than 24 brine shrimp in one day during routine feeding, so fish in Experiment II could not have been satiated by the end of each light trial, in which only 12 brine shrimp were presented. In addition, fish were starved for 24 h before each set of trials. To determine whether feeding behavior was altered by handling during cobalt treatment, each of two fish were run through a light and dark trial (=normal trial) followed by 3 h immersion in conditioned tap water in the same type of container used for cobalt treatment. Then, a light and a dark trial (=cobalt sham trial) were carried out as in Experiment II. All video analysis was carried out as described for Experiment I.

Statistical analysis

The number of prey strikes, detection distance, detection angle, time to first detection and order of prey capture (live vs dead) were tested with various statistical tests to find significant differences among prey (live or dead) and trial type (light and dark pre-cobalt, cobalt and post-cobalt) using SPSS (v.19, IBM, Armonk, NY, USA) or Oriana (v.3, Kovach Computing Services, Anglesey, UK detection angles only). All data were tested for normality using the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. A generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) was used to analyze the number of prey strikes and detection distance in Experiments I and II. This approach allowed the selection of random (individual) and fixed effects (light vs dark, live vs dead prey, treatment type) while addressing repeated measures for the same individual. However, a repeated-measures model (GLM repeated measures) was not appropriate because the data were not balanced (e.g. if prey were not consumed, detection distance could not be recorded). For analysis of detection distance in Experiment I, data were log10-transformed to achieve normality, which is appropriate for a GLMM analysis. Time to first detection was analyzed using univariate ANOVA in both Experiments I and II. Prey preference was calculated following a method described in Taplin (Taplin, 2007). Briefly, Taplin's analysis involves determining prey preference by ranking the prey by the order in which they were consumed, and then calculating a preference score by taking the mean of the order values for each prey type. Assumptions for this analysis include that multiple types of prey must be offered simultaneously (e.g. live and dead tethered brine shrimp) and prey consumed last cannot be distinguished from uneaten prey. Scores closer to one indicate a strong preference, whereas scores closer to 12 (=total number of prey offered) indicate no preference or rejection. Preference scores for live or dead prey in each trial type (light and dark pre-cobalt, cobalt and post-cobalt) were compared using paired t-tests. In Experiment I, means of prey preference scores from the three replicate trials carried out for each fish were calculated prior to carrying out the paired t-test, so that the replicate variable was the fish (individual) and not the trial. All tests were considered significant at P<0.05. Values are given as means ± s.e.m. unless otherwise specified.

Digital particle image velocimetry

The hydrodynamic stimulus generated by adult brine shrimp (N=4, tethered to a mesh platform as described above) was visualized and quantified using DPIV. A tethered brine shrimp was placed in a 19 l tank seeded with silver coated, near neutrally buoyant, reflective particles at a density of 0.1 g l –1 (12–14 μm diameter Potters Industries, Inc., Parsipanny, NJ, USA). A light beam from a continuous 5 W argon-ion laser was focused into a 2-mm-thick and 10-cm-wide vertical sheet that illuminated the brine shrimp along its midline. A high-speed, high-resolution (1024×512 pixels) Photron APX camera (Photron USA, San Diego, CA, USA) was positioned perpendicular to the laser sheet to record brine shrimp and particle movement at 60 frames s –1 . Images were processed using DaVis 7.0 software (LaVision, Goettingen, Germany) using sequential cross-correlation without pre-processing. A mask was added to exclude movements of the brine shrimp itself in order to analyze only those water movements generated by the brine shrimp. An initial correlation window of 12×12 pixels was selected using multi-pass with decreasing smaller size to a final interrogation window of 8×8 pixels with 50% overlap. All vectors above the threshold of 2 mm s –1 were considered to represent significant flows generated by the movements of the brine shrimp.


Fish assemblages on a mitigation boulder reef and neighboring hardbottom

We compared the fish assemblages on a mitigation site to neighboring natural habitat. Artificial reefs made of limestone boulders were deployed offshore Florida in August–September 2003 as mitigation for an anticipated nearshore hardbottom burial associated with a planned beach nourishment. Boulders comprising a footprint of 36,017 m 2 were deployed on sand substrate, adjacent to hardbottom, to replace an expected covering of 30,756 m 2 hardbottom. Nourishment of the beach was initiated May 2005 and completed in February 2006. Fishes on the artificial mitigation reefs and neighboring natural hardbottom were counted annually in August, 2004 through 2008, with 30-m belt transects and rover-diver surveys. Across all surveys a total of 18,313 fish of 185 species was counted. Mean species richness and abundance were typically greater on the transects at mitigation reefs than on nearshore hardbottom (NHB). MDS plots of Bray–Curtis similarity indices show a clear distinction between the mitigation reefs and NHB fish assemblages regardless if the data were, or were not, standardized to account for rugosity differences. SIMPER analysis indicated the two assemblages had, on average, 75% dissimilarity. Thus, while the mitigation boulders exhibited greater abundance and species richness than the NHB, the two assemblages differed dramatically in structure. The mitigation reefs provided a habitat suitable for fish colonization. However, this habitat differed dramatically in size and appearance from impacted NHB and created a unique environment unlike the NHB. Thus, mitigation reefs in general, and boulder reefs specifically, should not be relied upon to provide an equitable replacement to NHB habitat loss.

Highlights

► Fishes on boulder reefs and natural hardbottom were counted annually for 5 years. ► Boulder mitigation reefs provided a habitat suitable for fish colonization. ► Fish richness and abundance were greater at mitigation reefs than on hardbottom. ► Fish assemblages on hardbottom and mitigation reefs had about 75% dissimilarity. ► Boulder reefs do not provide an equitable mitigation for hardbottom habitat loss.


5 Answers 5

This is pretty normal, I'm guessing most practitioners go through this phase.

You have a certain - valid but incomplete - understanding of Dharma, and so you interpret your observations from this perspective, creating subjective reality that looks somewhat negative.

What you see is not wrong, these negative observations are not wrong, but they are a small part of the Totality that can be seen once your mind completely opens. You are listening to one radio station that plays sad music.

Luckily, once your perception purifies your attitude to samsara will change. Imagine getting the superpowers that allow you to hear all radio stations simultaneously. Once you are like that, the sad radio station won't bother you like before, although I won't lie: you will keep hearing it for the rest of your life.

The transformed purified attitude to samsara is called "compassion" or "unity of wisdom and compassion". You still see all those childish behaviors, neuroses etc. but you see them as growing pains, as part of an evolution. You see that in the grand scheme of things everything is perfect and is going as it's supposed to. At that point you can try and help as much as you can but you also have patience to let things develop naturally. You don't try to fix the world, if it's raining you let it rain, you also let children be children. Within the reason.

Back to the radio station allegory. Reality is an interpretation we make. Once your awareness liberates from all interpretative frameworks, your experience won't be bounded by one radio channel. The six realms of samsara and even the divine abode of Great Perfection are only small bands in the overall radio spectrum.

You are beginning to notice the natural behaviors that we all carry out. This is a great thing as most people don't even take a moment to understand their behavior or how/why it functions that way.

As you are noticing like this, all kinds of weird side effects may start arising, as you are really shaking the foundation of the way you perceive the world. Fear for others may arise, sadness for others may arise, meaninglessness of the world may arise, great purpose for the world may arise, all kinds of things may arise because of this new noticing on behavior of others & workings of the world.

What you are experiencing is a normal phase of investigating the spectrum of behaviors. Keep investigating and don't give too much importance to the fear or other feelings that arise from it (otherwise you may feed & strengthen those feelings).

As you keep investigating, you will begin to understand why people play out these behaviors and you will begin to understand why this fear arises in you as a response. As your understanding of these things deepens, it will help you through this phase and eventually it will pass. What you'll be left with is better understanding of peoples behaviors, which parts of them are conducive to their long term happiness, which ones aren't, which ones you should support in them or not and which ones you should "play along with".

If you understand why we all "play out" these behaviors, then it no longer appears as "playing out" because you understand why you are doing it and it's purpose. For example:

"If I don't greet this person I just met kindly and go through the normal interactions they might expect, they may get upset and that would unnecessarily increase their pain/suffering, so better that I help them avoid that pain."

With this kind of understanding in your interactions, the feelings of disingenuousness should fade away.

Keep up this process and you naturally will come to love the world and everything in it. Understanding is love.

Additionally, I recommend meditating on the four Divine Abodes and trying to encompass those attitudes when interacting with others, this may be of great help.

I have been recently experiencing tremendous fear, but as I look through my eyes at the world and the objects it contains, the fear does not accord with what I see.

The scriptures say there can be valid fear and invalid fear. The scriptures say:

317. Those who see something to fear where there is nothing to fear, and see nothing to fear where there is something to fear — upholding false views, they go to states of woe.

Dhammapada

The world itself is beautiful

The Buddha did not share the above idea.

but people's minds seem tarnished by a neurosis. They seem to define themselves by this very neurosis.

Indeed. The scriptures say:

171. Come! Behold this world, which is like a decorated royal chariot. Here fools flounder, but the wise have no attachment to it.

174. Blind is the world here only a few possess insight. Only a few, like birds escaping from the net, go to realms of bliss.

Dhammapada

I notice all the little behavioural patterns they play and how they are trapped by them. I find this very fearful, and it affects my ability to integrate with people.

The Buddha did not seek to "integrate" with the people of the world. The scriptures say:

There is this (mental) dwelling discovered by the Tathagata where, not attending to any themes, he enters & remains in internal emptiness. If, while he is dwelling there by means of this dwelling, he is visited by monks, nuns, lay men, lay women, kings, royal ministers, sectarians & their disciples, then — with his mind bent on seclusion, tending toward seclusion, inclined toward seclusion, aiming at seclusion, relishing renunciation, having destroyed those qualities that are the basis for mental fermentation — he converses with them only as much as is necessary for them to take their leave

MN 122

Only the other day I caught a few seconds of a TV program where they were discussing Covid-19 death rates like it was some kind of sporting event. I find humans very peculiar.

Covid-19 is a serious event because its exaggerated danger can cause great harm to the world, including for freedom of religion and spiritual pursuit. You should take an interest in the Covid-19 death rate to learn: (i) suspected 100 million Americans have Covid-19 (ii) 17 million Americans tested positive (iii) merely 300,000 dead Americans attributed to Covid-19 associated with an average of 2.7 comorbidities with average age of death around 75 years old (iv) Pfizer vaccine 5% ineffective even though the death rate is only 0.1% (v) therefore healthy people may be forced to take a vaccine that is unlikely to work on unhealthy people (iv) the above appears crazy yet you claim the world is "beautiful" and Covid-19 death rate is trivial.

At the level of mind I am able to see the danger present in the world and act accordingly but this comes from a natural inclination instead of from a fear-based story.

Possibly you are mistaking "fear" with "caution" or what Buddhism called "heedfulness" ("appamāda"). In Buddhism, there is a healthy spiritual fear called "ottappa". "Ottappa" is one of five requirements for the Path.

This doesn't stop me feeling fear for that mode of being we call samsara.

"Samsara" is merely the mind cycling in egoism, as clearly explained in SN 22.99, as follows:

Just as a dog, tied by a leash to a post or stake, keeps running around and circling around that very post or stake in the same way, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma who has no regard for people of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self.

"He assumes perception to be the self.

"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self.

"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"He keeps running around and circling around that very form. that very feeling. that very perception. those very fabrications. that very consciousness. He is not set loose from form, not set loose from feeling. from perception. from fabrications. not set loose from consciousness. He is not set loose from birth, aging, & death from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is not set loose, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

It is possible - or highly likely - that this fear could be my own samsaric turmoil looking to find a footing in the world as someone who is fearful of others and that its real plight lies in keeping the wheel turning.

Yes, looking for a "footing in the world" is contrary to Buddhism. The goal of Buddhism is to transcend or be above/beyond the world (called "lokuttara") rather than gain a footing in it.

My question is, from a Mahayana perspective, how can I come to love the samsara that I see in others?

Yes, very Mahayana ideas. Mahayana, similar to Christianity, appears to believe it can save the whole world (even though the Tibetans could not even save themselves), even though it is reported the Buddha himself denied such a possibly (in AN 10.95).

I'm happy to welcome answers from other traditions.

I already provided the Theravada viewpoint.

This answer is from the Theravada perspective.

When you feel like you fear or dislike people because of their mental traps and neurotic dramas, you can use this opportunity to cultivate the brahmavihara of compassion (karuna).

The primary purpose of cultivating compassion is to cure this strong aversion that you have of other people. Aversion or hatred (dosa or dvesha) is one of the three poisons that will prevent your progress. Fear is a type of aversion. The secondary purpose is for you to regain a healthy social connection with the people around you.

Why are they the way they are? For e.g. if your grandmother who has senile dementia lashes out at you in anger or doesn't behave like normal people do, would you be fearful or judgemental or contemptuous against her? No. You would be compassionate towards her, because you understand that she has senile dementia.

Similarly, you can generate compassion by trying to understand that other people are suffering and there may be genuine underlying reasons for their suffering and condition. It could be their life situation (e.g. poverty or undergoing divorce) or even mental states (e.g. ignorance, or clouded by anger or other negative emotions) as you have correctly identified.

Instead of playing the role of a victim or potential victim or a contemptuous person or a hateful person, you can become compassionate towards others by recognizing that people who demonstrate neurotic behavior are actually suffering.

By tending to your own renunciation, you may be feeling more calm, but by cultivating compassion, you can create the balance needed in dealing with others. Renunciation and equanimity is how you deal with your own suffering. Meanwhile, compassion is how you deal with others' suffering.

Like a bird in flight borne by its two wings, the practice of Dhamma is sustained by two contrasting qualities whose balanced development is essential to straight and steady progress. These two qualities are renunciation and compassion. As a doctrine of renunciation the Dhamma points out that the path to liberation is a personal course of training that centers on the gradual control and mastery of desire, the root cause of suffering. As a teaching of compassion the Dhamma bids us to avoid harming others, to act for their welfare, and to help realize the Buddha's own great resolve to offer the world the way to the Deathless.

Considered in isolation, renunciation and compassion have inverse logics that at times seem to point us in opposite directions. The one steers us to greater solitude aimed at personal purification, the other to increased involvement with others issuing in beneficent action. Yet, despite their differences, renunciation and compassion nurture each other in dynamic interplay throughout the practice of the path, from its elementary steps of moral discipline to its culmination in liberating wisdom. The synthesis of the two, their balanced fusion, is expressed most perfectly in the figure of the Fully Enlightened One, who is at once the embodiment of complete renunciation and of all-embracing compassion.

Both renunciation and compassion share a common root in the encounter with suffering. The one represents our response to suffering confronted in our own individual experience, the other our response to suffering witnessed in the lives of others. Our spontaneous reactions, however, are only the seeds of these higher qualities, not their substance. To acquire the capacity to sustain our practice of Dhamma, renunciation and compassion must be methodically cultivated, and this requires an ongoing process of reflection which transmutes our initial stirrings into full-fledged spiritual virtues.


2.7: Peacock Flounder - Biology

Peacock flounder (Bothus mancus), Maui Ocean Center aquarium.

The peacock flounder (Bothus lunatus), also known as the flowery flounder, is a species of fish in the family Bothidae (lefteye flounders).

Ang isdang dapâ o tinatawag ding lapád ay kabilang sa grupo ng Pleuronectiformes na ang isang matá ay lumilipat sa kabilang bahagi ng ulo kapag nása tamang gulang na. Ang palikpik sa likod at puwit ay mahahabà. Ang katawan ay masyadong pikpik o siksik, medyo pabilog sa tagiliran ng matá at makinis o patag sa bahaging walang matá. Ang matá ay maaaring nakalitaw sa ibabaw ng katawan kung kayâ’t puwede pa ring makakita kahit na nakalibing ito. Ito ay matatagpuan sa tropiko at sub-tropikong bahagi ng mundo. Apat na espesye ay matatagpuan sa tubig tabang samantalang 20 espesye naman ang kadalasa’y nása dagat ngunit paminsan-minsan ay pumapasok din sa tubig tabang.

May 11 pamilya ng lapád ang naitala. Ang Pseudorhombus arsius ay kabilang sa pamilya Paralichthyidae. Ang palikpik sa likod at puwit ay walang tinik. Ang ilang pares ng medyo malaking pangil ay nása harapan ng magkabilang panga samantalang ang 6-13 pahalang na ngipin sa ilalim ng panga ay matitigas at mas malalaki ang pagitan kompara sa mga ngipin sa itaas ng panga. Ang kalaykay sa hasang ay patulis at mas mahabà kaysa malapad. Ang karaniwang laki ay 30 sentimetro at ang pinakamahabàng naitalâ ay 45 sentimetro. Ito ay matatagpuan sa mabababaw na tubig at estuwaryo, kadalasan sa maputik at mabuhanging lugar na ang lalim ay hanggang 200 metro. Ang bahagi ng katawan na may matá sa espesye ng Bothus pantherinus na kabilang sa pamilya Bothidae ay may maitim na mga batik at bilog sa katawan at gitna ng palikpik. May isang bukod tanging batik sa gitna ng tuwid na bahagi ng pahalang na linya sa katawan.

Ang lapád ay kumakain ng maliliit na organismo na makikita sa ilalim ng dagat. Maraming espesye ang komersiyal na ibinebenta nang sariwa o idinaeng. (MA) ed VSA

Panther Flounder , these fish are masters of camouflage , they blend so well with the sand , sometimes it's only the fact that they move , you can spot them

Title: Distribution and abundance of fishes and invertebrates in Gulf of Mexico estuaries

Identifier: distributionabun02nels

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Gulf flounder Paralichthys albigutta Adult

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5 cm (from Fischer 1978) Common Name: gulf flounder Scientific Name: Paralichthys albigutta Other Common Names: sand flounder, flounder, fluke, cardeau trois yeux (French), and lenguado tresojos (Spanish) (Ginsburg 1952, Fischer 1978, NOAA1985, Gilbert 1986). Classification (Robins et al. 1991) Phylum: Chordata Class: Osteichthyes Order: Pleuronectiformes Family: Bothidae Value Commercial: In 1992, U.S. commercial fishery land- ings for flounders were fifth in quantity and eighth in value (O'Bannon 1994). Flounder landings in the Atlantic and Gulf for the group that includes this spe- cies totaled 7,098 mt and was valued at nearly 23 million dollars. The Gulf flounder contributes a varying amount to this commercial catch recorded as "fluke", depending on location. This is an important commer- cial species in Florida, but much less so in the other Gulf coastal states (Swingle 1971, Fischer 1978, Benson 1982, NOAA 1985, Van Voorhees et al. 1992). In 1992, approximately 77.6 mt of flounders were landed in Florida with a value of over $175,000 (Newlin 1993). Most fish are taken by otter trawls, fyke nets, weirs, fish traps, pound nets, gill nets, trammel nets, beach seines, and gigging (Ginsburg 1952, Fischer 1978, Manooch 1984). Gill and trammel nets were outlawed in Texas waters in 1988. Many are taken incidentally by com- mercial shrimpers (Fischer 1978, Benson 1982). Catches are marketed as eitherfresh orfrozen product (Fischer 1978, NOAA 1985). Recreational: Gulf flounder are more important as a game fish than as a commercial species, although most anglers do not preferentially seek them. Fish are taken by bottom fishing with hook and line, and by gigging in shallow waters at night (Warlen 1975, Manooch 1984). In 1991, reported recreational land- ings of gulf flounder for the Gulf coast states (except Texas) totaled 284,000 fish, most of which were landed in Florida (241,000 fish) (Van Voorhees et al. 1992). Actual sport catches were probably greater as a large number of unidentified "flounders" were also reported during the same period. Minimum size and daily bag limits may vary among the Gulf states (GSMFC 1993). Indicator of Environmental Stress: Gulf flounder are not typically used in studies of environmental stress. Ecological: Although this species is not especially abundant in most areas, it is important as a demersal carnivore. Range Overall: The gulf flounder is found from Oregon Inlet, North Carolina (Powell pers. comm.), to the waters off Padre Island, Texas, including the upper Laguna Madre. It is also reported from the western Bahamas (Hoese and Moore 1977, Shipp 1986). It is not known to occur in the coastal waters of Mexico (NOAA 1985). Within Study Area: In U.S. Gulf of Mexico estuaries, gulf flounder occur from Florida Bay to Mississippi Sound, but not in the low salinity estuaries of Louisiana (Table 5.43). They occur in small numbers in Texas westward to the Rio Grande (Topp and Hoff 1972, Shipp 1986). 329

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Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: just west of Bamboo Point, northern Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

A very unusual fish, with its body turned on the right side in development. It lives in the sand and is well camouflaged.

Dauin, Philippines, 10 meters. Bothus mancus.

Check out my newest popular science book about extreme brain states: Gehirn Extrem

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: just west of Bamboo Point, northern Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: landward of Snapshot Reef, Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: landward of Snapshot Reef, Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: just west of Bamboo Point, northern Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

The peacock flounder (Bothus lunatus), also known as the flowery flounder, is a species of fish in the family Bothidae (lefteye flounders).

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: landward of Snapshot Reef, Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

Aquarium du La Rochelle, Charentes-Maritimes, France

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: landward of Snapshot Reef, Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: landward of Snapshot Reef, Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

Title: California fish and game

Identifier: californiafishga49_1cali

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FIGURE 1. Smooth stargazer, Katbeiosfoma averruncus Jordan and Bollman. Photograph by Jack W. Schott. Six specimens were females but the sexes of the rest could not be determined. The stomachs of six contained partially digested fish. The Piedras Blancas stargazer contained a lingcod, Ophiodon elongatus, 120 mm total length one trawled off Rincon Point contained a short- spine combfish Zaniolepis frenaia, and a partially digested northern anchovy, Engraulis mordax (Outdoor California, 1961) and another from off Rincon Point contained a partially digested flatfish, family Bothidae. We encountered difficulty determining whether the California star- gazers were K. averruncus (type locality: Panama) or K. ornatus "Wade (type locality: near San Benito Islands, Baja California). On the basis of geographical distribution, it would seem logical to identify those collected to the north as K. ornatus. However, since stargazers have 1 Submitted for publication September 1962. (50)

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Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: just west of Bamboo Point, northern Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

Nombre Especie: Engyophrys senta Ginsburg, 1933 Vista dorsal PEC-1652 Nombre comun: Lenguado ojicornudo , American spiny flounder, Proyecto: Programa BEM-Generales Captura: Arturo Acero, 1988/12 Lugar captura: Colombia MAGDALENA Bahía Concha -74.16711.311

Linguado Ocelado - Bothus ocellatus (Agassiz, 1831)

Bothus lunatus (Linnaeus, 1758) - peacock flounder on shallow subtidal seafloor.

Flounders are a type of flatfish. As infants, they resemble ordinary fish by having bilaterally symmetrical, laterally compressed bodies. With ontogeny, the right eye migrates to the left side of the body. Adults lie flat on the seafloor, with both eyes positioned on the now-dorsal (formerly left) side of an asymmetrical body.

The peacock flounder has bluish-ringed spots on its body. It swims by vertical undulation, rather than the lateral body wave propagation done by "ordinary" fish. Upon arrival at a new seafloor site, the flounder usually changes its colors to closely match its surroundings (I've witnessed this close-hand - the color change happens quickly).

Classification: Animalia, Chordata, Vertebrata, Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes, Bothidae

Locality: landward of Snapshot Reef, Fernandez Bay, offshore western San Salvador Island, eastern Bahamas

Title: California fish and game

Identifier: californiafishga62_1cali

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TroEPOOL SCULPIN POPULATION SIZE 67 The topography of the study area, principally rock headlands, divides this intertidal region into three separate zones at low tide. At high tide, much of the three zones is under water. The environmental features of the three zones are as close to being untouched as possible. At the time of the study, the area had been exposed to only limited collecting and disruption, as it was not easily accessible during much of the year. The three zones will hereafter be referred to as the South Zone, Central Zone, and North Zone. This reflects their relative position along the coast. An effective sampling area (ESA) was determined for each zone. Not all of the area at low tide is suitable for fish life. Much of the region is exposed rocks, with isolated tidepools between (Figure 2). Intertidal fishes of the Families Cyclopteridae, Pholidae, Stichaeidae, and Gobie- socidae may be found beneath rocks while members of the Bothidae and Pleuronectidae are generally found under sand or mud at the bottoms of tidepools. Fishes of other families may be found exposed in pools or camouflaged near rocks or in crevasses.

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FIGURE 2. Part of the Intertidal area of the Baker Tidepools. The effective sampling area (ESA) includes exposed and submerged rocks as well as pools. Photograph by David Misitano. The South Zone has an almost east-west alignment, and is effectively protected from direct wave assault. It is the largest of the three zones, with an ESA of aproximately 2270 m^ (24,434 ft^). This zone contains the most diverse habitats. In three locations there are sand bottomed tidepools, while other areas are predominately gravel or rock bottomed. There are several large, deep tidepools, whereas most other pools are relatively shallow. The Central Zone has an ESA of 1700 m2 (18,299 ft^). It is more aligned with direct wave assault, and life in the lower tidal levels is subject to heavy surf and wave action. There is a minimum of habitat

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Zamami Island, Keramas, Okinawa, Japan

Title: Distribution and abundance of fishes and invertebrates in Gulf of Mexico estuaries / project team, David M. Nelson (editor) . [et al.]

Identifier: distributionabun00nels

Contributing Library: Penn State University

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Southern flounder Paralichthys lethostigma Adult

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10 cm (from Fischer 1978) Common Name: southern flounder Scientific Name: Paralichthys lethostigma Other Common Names: mud flounder, doormat, hali- but (Reagan and Wingo 1985) southern large floun- der, fluke (Gilbert 1986), cardeau de Floride (French), lenguado de Florida (Spanish) (Fischer 1978, NOAA 1985), saddleblanket. Classification (Robins et al. 1991) Phylum: Chordata Class: Osteichthyes Order: Pleuronectiformes Family: Bothidae Value Commercial: In 1992, U.S. commercial fishery land- ings for flounders were fifth in quantity and eighth in value (O'Bannon 1994). Flounder landings in the Atlantic and Gulf for the group that includes this spe- cies totaled 7,098 mt and were valued at nearly 23 million dollars. The southern flounder is fished com- mercially throughout its range. Landing data are often grouped with two other species (Paralichthys albigutta and P. dentatus), making the relative importance of each species difficult to ascertain. In Texas, southern flounder account for most of the flounder caught. In the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, most of the southern flounder catch is landed incidentally in commercial shrimp trawls. In 1992, approximately 451.8 mt of flounders were landed in Texas and Louisiana with a value of over $1.2 million. Most fish are taken by otter trawls, fyke nets, weirs, fish traps, pound nets, gill nets, trammel nets, beach seines, trotlines, and gigging (Ginsburg 1952, Fischer 1978, Manooch 1984, Gilbert 1986, Matlock 1991, Newlin 1993, Hightower pers. comm.). Gill and trammel nets were outlawed in Texas waters in 1988. This fish is marketed mostly as fresh product and is used primarily as table fare (Fischer 1978, Matlock 1991). Recreational: The southern flounder is a popular rec- reational species throughout its range (Shipp 1978). Fish are taken by hook and line and by gigging in shallow waters at night (Warlen 1975, Manooch 1984). In 1991, recreational landings of southern flounder along the Gulf coast states (except Texas) was 102,000 fish in Florida, 126,00 fish in Mississippi, and 471,000 fish in Louisiana (Van Voorhees et al. 1992). Esti- mated recreational landings along the Texas coast, calculated from data provided byOsbornand Fergusson (1987), averaged 94,258 kg from 1983 to 1986. Actual sport catches were probably greater as a large number of unidentified "flounders" were also reported during the same period. Minimum size limits and daily bag limits vary among the Gulf states (GSMFC 1993). Indicator of Environmental Stress: This species is not typically used in studies of environmental stress. Ecological: Southern flounder are important predators in estuarine ecosystems, feeding on small crustaceans as juveniles, and becoming piscivorous as they grow (Diener et al. 1974, Fitzhugh et al. 1996). Southern flounder have been introduced into freshwater reser- voirs of Texas in an experimental effort to control problem fish populations and improve recreational fishing (Lasswell et al. 1981). Range Overall: On the U.S. east coast, this species ranges from Albermarle Sound, North Carolina, southward to the Loxahatchee River, Florida. In the Gulf of Mexico, it is present from Florida to Texas and northern Mexico 334

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Title: Distribution and abundance of fishes and invertebrates in Gulf of Mexico estuaries / project team, David M. Nelson (editor) . [et al.]

Identifier: distributionabun00nels

Contributing Library: Penn State University

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Gulf flounder Paralichthys albigutta Adult

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5 cm (from Fischer 1978) Common Name: gulf flounder Scientific Name: Paralichthys albigutta Other Common Names: sand flounder, flounder, fluke, cardeau trois yeux (French), and lenguado tresojos (Spanish) (Ginsburg 1952, Fischer 1978, NOAA1985, Gilbert 1986). Classification (Robins et al. 1991) Phylum: Chordata Class: Osteichthyes Order: Pleuronectiformes Family: Bothidae Value Commercial: In 1992, U.S. commercial fishery land- ings for flounders were fifth in quantity and eighth in value (O'Bannon 1994). Flounder landings in the Atlantic and Gulf for the group that includes this spe- cies totaled 7,098 mt and was valued at nearly 23 million dollars. The Gulf flounder contributes a varying amount to this commercial catch recorded as "fluke", depending on location. This is an important commer- cial species in Florida, but much less so in the other Gulf coastal states (Swingle 1971, Fischer 1978, Benson 1982, NOAA 1985, Van Voorhees et al. 1992). In 1992, approximately 77.6 mt of flounders were landed in Florida with a value of over $175,000 (Newlin 1993). Most fish are taken by otter trawls, fyke nets, weirs, fish traps, pound nets, gill nets, trammel nets, beach seines, and gigging (Ginsburg 1952, Fischer 1978, Manooch 1984). Gill and trammel nets were outlawed in Texas waters in 1988. Many are taken incidentally by com- mercial shrimpers (Fischer 1978, Benson 1982). Catches are marketed as either fresh or frozen product (Fischer 1978, NOAA 1985). Recreational: Gulf flounder are more important as a game fish than as a commercial species, although most anglers do not preferentially seek them. Fish are taken by bottom fishing with hook and line, and by gigging in shallow waters at night (Warlen 1975, Manooch 1984). In 1991, reported recreational land- ings of gulf flounder for the Gulf coast states (except Texas) totaled 284,000 fish, most of which were landed in Florida (241,000 fish) (Van Voorhees et al. 1992). Actual sport catches were probably greater as a large number of unidentified "flounders" were also reported during the same period. Minimum size and daily bag limits may vary among the Gulf states (GSMFC 1993). Indicator of Environmental Stress: Gulf flounder are not typically used in studies of environmental stress. Ecological: Although this species is not especially abundant in most areas, it is important as a demersal carnivore. Range Overall: The gulf flounder is found from Oregon Inlet, North Carolina (Powell pers. comm.), to the waters off Padre Island, Texas, including the upper Laguna Madre. It is also reported from the western Bahamas (Hoese and Moore 1977, Shipp 1986). It is not known to occur in the coastal waters of Mexico (NOAA 1985). Within Study Area: In U.S. Gulf of Mexico estuaries, gulf flounder occur from Florida Bay to Mississippi Sound, but not in the low salinity estuaries of Louisiana (Table 5.43). They occur in small numbers in Texas westward to the Rio Grande (Topp and Hoff 1972, Shipp 1986). 329

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Finalista categoría submarina macro - III Concurso Naturforo AEFONA.

Title: The Biological bulletin

Identifier: biologicalbullet195mari

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HEMOGLOBIN POLYMERIZATION IN FISH

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Figure 2. Photomicrographs of adult toadtish erythrocytes (nucle- ated, as all non-mammalian erythrocytes [9]) obtained with a Zeiss Axiophot 2 microscope in differential interference contrast mode (objec- tive: Plan Apochromat, 63/1.4, oil immersion), (a) Normal cells con- taining HbO2 with spectra like those of Fig. la. (b-d). Sickled cells under anoxic condition, each with spectra similar to those depicted in Fig. Ib. Scale burs, 10/jni. the erythrocytes, usually forming elliptical and closed structures. The transverse-to-tangential dichroic ratio around the cells were nearly uniform, with R

1.5. These results imply a flexible fibrous aggregation of Hb in which a degree of parallelism prevails. Unlike the toadfish case, tautog Hb polymerization seems to be too feeble to distort cells into "sickles" rather it occurs along existing cellu- lar features, such as hooplike microtubules (9). Hemoglobin gelation in the summer flounder (Para- lichthys dentatus, family Bothidae) is markedly different from that in either the toadfish or the tautog. Anoxic erythrocytes in the flounder may contain intraerythrocytic clumps without sickling. Aggregates of deoxy Hb in flounder remained isotropic and did not gel into regular structures. They exhibited no linear dichroism (R —1). To distinguish isotropic from anisotropic aggregation, we regarded a cell to be sickled only when the Soret-band's linear dichroism was at least 10% above isotropic (i.e.. R a 1.1 see Table I). Because a linearly dichroic sample should also have anisotropic polarizability, sickle cells would be expected to exhibit linear birefringence as well. Indeed, this has been observed (10) and measured (3) for human sickle cells. We found fish erythrosomes to be also birefringent. Figure 3a illustrates how toadfish erythrosomes may "light up" between crossed polarizers in various color- ations depending on their orientation with respect to the polarizer's passing direction they are the darkest at 0° and 90°. and brightest near 45° and 135°. Retardance and absorbance spectra obtained from a typical toadfish erythrosome are depicted in Figure 3b. The retardance spectrum shows two peaks, one at 445- 450 nm and the other at 585-590 nm these peaks corre- spond to the longwave half-maxima of the y and /3-bands (with peaks at 430 and 556 nm, respectively). Although the latter behavior is consistent with anomalous disper- sion ( 1,12), we currently lack a quantitative interpreta- tion. The theory of anomalous dispersion describes varia- tions in the relationship between refractive index and wavelength through regions of strong absorption: the in- dex first declines with increasing wavelength, and then sharply rises before declining again to a higher plateau on the longwave side of an absorption band. The presence of the erythrosome's linear dichroism complicates mat- ters. Here, the stronger absorption coincides with the slow direction of retardance. and the weaker absorption with the fast direction. Therefore, the two principal refractive indices undergo unequal dispersion and thus yield an "anomalous retardance." Whereas we expected erythro- somes to have tvo intrinsic birefringent components, one due to the heme groups and the other to the globin chains, their further delineation does not appear possible at pres- ent. Based on multiple determinations of retardance shown in Figure 3b (and assuming that the width of the erythrosome equals its thickness), the average specific retardance (n = 16) was in the range of 8.4 ± 1.4 nm/pm (450 nm) to 2.7 ± 0.6 nm//im (540 nm). Thus, the average difference in the principal refractive indices, n^.—ii,, . was variable in the visible spectrum between 2.7-8.4 X 10 This range of values is to be compared with that of crystal- line quartz, where the difference between the principal refractive indices is 9 X 10"'. The explanation for eryth- rosome hues also follows from Figure 3b. Since light transmission of an erythrosome between crossed polariz- ers is proportional to retardance at each wavelength, and because peak retardance occurs around 450 nm, the trans- mitted flux should cause blue visual sensation at white illumination. If, on the other hand, retardance is also ele- vated for longer wavelengths (expected for thicker eryth- rosomes), increased transmission would result throughout the spectrum, yielding desaturated shades of blue. The principal axes of birefringence were directly ob- servable in polarized light by sample rotation. For toadfish erythrosomes. these correspond to their short and long dimensions, as can be seen in Figure 3a. However, a compensator is also needed if the slow direction is to be distinguished from the fast. To accomplish this, we used the Pol-Scope (13, 14), which is equipped with an auto- matic compensator. Figure 3c depicts brightness-encoded retardance images of several anoxic toadfish erythrocytes.

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Supplemental Material

Underwater video of Hippopotamus amphibius dunging

Video of Hippopotamus amphibius defecating while taking refuge in its diurnal aquatic refuge. Dung is rapidly consumed by resident fish Labeo sp. nov. ‘Mzima.' This video footage was collected from Mzima Springs in Kenya, a site with uniquely high water clarity which permits observation of interactions between H. amphibius and river consumers. Video © Deeble and Stone Productions (markdeeble.wordpress.com) used with permission. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00514.2

Time partitioned results of lab-based Hippopotamus amphibius dung feeding trials. Stable isotope composition (δ 13 C and δ 15 N) of guppies Poecilia reticulata fed exclusively Hippopotamus amphibius dung in the laboratory for three months and six months. δ 13 C and δ 15 N values were measured relative to the standards V-PDB and air, respectively. There were no significant differences between dung fed P. reticulata sampled at three months and six months (δ 13 C: t = −1.51, p = 0.15 δ 15 N: W = 63, p = 0.88), suggesting that the majority of the isotopic transitioning in these P. reticulata occurred in less than three months.

Isotope mixing model results

A two isotope (δ 13 C, δ 15 N ), two source Bayesian isotope mixing model was used to estimate potential differences in utilization of Hippopotamus amphibius dung by aquatic consumers sampled in H. amphibius and reference pools. The sources utilized in this model were H. amphibius dung/C4 grass (represented by H. amphibius dung (n = 11)) and C3 riparian tree material (represented by leaves of the abundant C3 riparian tree Acacia xanthophloea (n = 9)). Published fractionation values for aquatic consumers used in all models were taken from McCutchan et al. (2003): Δδ 13 C: +0.4 ± 0.2 (mean ± SD) Δδ 15 N: +2.3 ± 0.3. These fractionation values were applied in the case of both Labeobarbus oxyrhynchus and Trithemis spp. consumers.

Hippopotamus amphibius abundance as measured at H. amphibius pool site. Plot of daily maximum counts of Hippopotamus amphibius individuals recorded at the H. amphibius pool via camera trap images taken at 5-min intervals during daylight hours over the study period.

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