« Archives in March, 2012

Venomous Irukandji in Florida waters??

The Irukandji are tiny and extremely venomous jellyfish that inhabit marine waters of Australia that causes symptoms collectively known as Irukandji syndrome. Its size is roughly no larger than a quarter. There are two known species of Irukandji: Carukia barnesi and the recently discovered Malo kingi.


Irukandji syndrome is produced by a small amount of venom and includes severe pains at various parts of the body (typically excruciating muscle cramps in the arms and legs, severe pain in the back and kidneys, a burning sensation of the skin and face), headaches, nausea, restlessness, sweating, vomiting, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and psychological phenomena such as the feeling of impending doom. The sting is moderately irritating; the severe syndrome is delayed for 5–120 minutes (30 minutes on average). The symptoms range from hours to weeks, and victims usually require hospitalization. As with other box jellyfish, vinegar will deactivate unfired nematocysts on the skin but has no effect on the venom already in the body.

Irukandji jellyfish were at one time thought to be in the northern waters of Australia only. Since then, according to a National Geographic documentary on jellyfish, the species has been found in waters as far north as the British Isles, Japan, the Florida coast of the United States.

OCS has never nor likely ever will test use our 5% acetic acid jellyfish sting relief solution on the Irukandji as we have many other sting species of jellies including the Box jellyfish, Caribbean Box and the Winged Box in Hawaiian waters  but, according to the University of Queensland and the Australian Resuscitation Council, vinegar can and does neutralize any firing nematocyst but once the toxin from an Irukandji is injected into a person, there’s nothing to do but go to the hospital post haste!!

Sea Urchins..what you need to know..

Sea urchins (class Echinoidea) are animals with a round, rigid skeleton (test) made of interlocking calcite plates. The test is hollow inside, containing its various organs, and covered with lots of spines on the outside. They belong to a bigger group of animals called the spiny-skinned animals (phylum Echinodermata – “echino” roughly means “spiny”; “derma” roughly means “skin”). Examples of other echinoderms include sea stars, sea cucumbers, and feather stars.

long-spined sea urchin (Diadema setosum)

The spines can come in various forms – long or short, smooth or rough, sharp or blunt. They not only help the sea urchin to move, but deter predators as well. Some sea urchins are venomous, and hence it’s a good habit not to pick up any of them. The venom may be delivered by the spines or tiny stalk-like structures with biting jaws called “pedicellariae”.

Like other echinoderms, sea urchins generally have a five-part body plan with radial symmetry (i.e. pentaradial symmetry), at least in some stage of life. In other words, you can divide a sea urchin into 5 equal parts. Also, they are able to regenerate lost body parts – such as spines lost to predators. Echinoderms are brainless, but despite that, they can still perform their daily functions – they can move, they can eat, they can shit, and they can reproduce – all these without a brain! Also, instead of blood vessels, echinoderms have a water vascular system. This system is essentially a network of water-filled vessels used for internal transportation of oxygen, food and waste.

Salmacis

The mouth of a sea urchin is on its underside, comprising five elongated vertical jaws held together in a structure known as the Aristotle’s lantern. Sea urchins generally feed on algae and seagrasses, though some may scavenge. The anus is on the top side.

There are two main groups of sea urchins: the regular sea urchins with spherical tests; and irregular sea urchins with more flattened tests that are bilaterally symmetrical. The former generally lacks the Aristotle’s lantern as well. Interestingly, the regular sea urchins are usually found in seagrass meadows and coral reefs, while the irregular sea urchins are typically burrowers in sandy substrates. In Singapore, more than 20 species of sea urchins have been recorded.

If you step on one of these animals, be sure to have along our Sea Urchin First Aid Kit..it’s not just hot wax any more..Our kit has everything you need to provide first aid for an urchin wound..

Article and photo courtesy of Ron Yeo www.tidechaser.blogspot.com

Ocean Care Solution Portuguese Man o War First Aid Kit.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9280505.htm

Can Sea Urchins see you???

Researchers have known for a long time that sea urchins respond to abrupt changes in light. But they’ve been unsure about how they do it, because there are no structures that even remotely resemble eyes.

In 2009, though, researchers discovered that urchins have the same genes as those found in the retinas of humans and other creatures. The retina is the part of the eye that perceives light.

And two years later, they found bundles of light-sensitive structures on the bases and tips of their tube feet. Since a sea urchin has more than a thousand of these feet, it means they could have a couple of thousand “eyes.” The urchin’s vision isn’t very sharp, though — it reacts to big objects, but not to small ones. So it’s unclear whether it forms actual images of what’s around it, or just perceives changes in light.

Of course, the sea urchin does use its feet to clamber around the bottom of the ocean. But it doesn’t use all of them at the same time. So it’s possible that it uses some to get around, and some to keep an eye out for food, shelter, and predators.

Those bristly spines may also play a role in the sea urchin’s vision. They may shade some of the “eyes” from bright light — helping turn the entire creature into one big, prickly eyeball.

If you step on one of these animals, be sure to have along OCS Sea Urchin First Aid Kit..this isn’t hot wax and a burning candle; our kit is effecitive, medically proven first aid…

 

Article courtesy of  http://www.scienceandthesea.org

Giant Manta Ray caught off the coast of Africa….

Giant manta raised from the depths off Africa by ship’s anchor  By: Pete Thomas, GrindTV.com

 

There are few details, but images posted this week to a Nairaland website forum starkly illustrate a story about a giant manta being hauled aboard an oil-rig servicing ship after becoming entangled in its anchor line in the South Atlantic. The unusual catch off Nigeria’s Bonny Island involves one of the largest and most docile marine species. Giant mantas, which are found in temperate regions around the planet, can measure nearly 30 feet across and weigh more than a ton. Details of the catch are between the accompanying images and it should be noted that giant mantas, which are plankton eaters, do not possess stinging spines, as mentioned in the description from a forum contributor named Pharrod.

“The stinging Manta ray was killed when the oil rig servicing ship anchored at the middle of ocean near Bonny Island. The anchor of the ship brought the stinging ray up while the ship was about to sail. The stinging Manta ray was killed while resting at the ocean floor.“But guess what? It was sold to fishermen that was around when it was killed at the amount of five thousand naira only. It could have been preserved. My friend is one of the people on the ship deck.”

Planning a trip to Florida? Check out beachhunter.net

In the early 1990’s , David McRee set out to explore the beaches in southwest Florida. Since he was unable to find an up-to-date guidebook at that time, David decided to create one. He set out, every weekend, exploring and recording his experiences until July 2005 when he self-published his guidebook and created a website, BeachHunter.net, to help promote his book.

What started out as a web site with a few pages and a handful of daily visitors has turned into hundreds of pages with more than a million visitors annually.  Beachhunter.net provides an up to date, fact based information and photography of Florida islands and beaches to help visitors to Florida plan their beach vacations and explorations.  David’s Blog the beach feature is well worth the visit…Here’s a recent post:

http://www.blogthebeach.com/2012/nature/jellyfish/photo-portuguese-man-of-war-on-new-smyrna-beach

Along the way, David has accumulated more than 500 photographs of jellyfish and jellyfish injuries, sent primarily from people trying to identify the animal species or looking for information on treatment for jellyfish sting injuries or simply reporting a jellyfish sighting along the expanse of Florida beaches.  In our book, this makes beachhunter.net an invaluable resource for any one planning to visit Florida beaches.  The sight also provides an e book download feature about beach safety that has recorded tens of thousands of visitor downloads.

David served—2007 to 2009—as the “beaches and surf expert” for VisitFlorida, Florida’s official source for travel planning so I would strongly encourage any one planning a trip to Florida to check out beachhunter.net.  You will be glad you did..

Speaking of glad you did; when you go to the beach in Florida or any where else, be sure to take along one or all of our proven effective marine sting products.  Don’t let getting stung ruin your vacation.  Available at select Walgreen’s, local surf, dive and retailers.

The Electric Ray delivers a shock

Electric ray

The electric rays are a group of rays, flattened cartilaginous fish with enlarged pectoral fins, comprising the order Torpediniformes. They are known for being capable of producing an electric discharge, ranging from as little as 8 volts up to 220 volts depending on species, used to stun prey and for defense.There are 69 species in four families.

Perhaps the best known members are those of the genus Torpedo, also called crampfish and numbfish, after which the device called a torpedo is named. The name comes from the Latin torpere, to be stiffened or paralyzed, referring to the effect on someone who handles or steps on a living electric ray.

With their thick, flabby bodies and short tails, torpedo rays are poor swimmers. Their disk-shaped bodies allow them to remain suspended in the water or roam with minimal swimming effort.

Box Jellyfish..50 year history of lethal stings

Box jellyfish

The biggest known venomous killer of humans in the sea is the box jellyfish. It has killed upwards of 80 people in Australia alone in the past 50 years and is the most toxic jellyfish there is. The box jellyfish also actively hunts rather than just drifting along until prey appears, unlike true jellyfish. Another notable feature of the box jellyfish is its sets of eyes, which function very like human eyes. They can have around 60 tentacles with thousands of stinging cells with which to inject their venom into their prey, and that can cause complete cardiac and respiratory arrest in humans.

OCS Jellyfish Sting Relief Solution is specially formulated with the medically recommended 5% acetic acid for the Box jellyfish…safe and effective..Don’t get stung without it!!

 

Always seek medical attention if stung by the Box or the Man o War..

 

 

Fire Sea Urchin can be lethal…

Fire Sea Urchin

Fire Sea Urchin

The fire sea urchin not only has venom; it can also bite. The size of a baseball or smaller, it is still one of the deadliest creatures in the ocean. It injects its venom in two ways: its spines contain venom sacs, with the venom able to be injected directly into the wound through the spine; but it also has dozens of tiny jaws that snap shut on prey and inject the paralyzing toxin into its victim. These attractive but deadly urchins have killed humans before, and there is no antivenom.

 

Reblog from oddstuffmagazine.com

Worldwide migration of the Portuguese Man o War

Men o’ war jellyfish washed up on South Padre Island, Texas.(Credit: DeepSeaNews)

The Portuguese man o’ war lives at the surface of the ocean. The gas-filled bladder, or pneumatophore, remains at the surface, while the remainder is submerged. Since the man o’ war has no means of propulsion, it is moved by a combination of winds, currents, and tides. Although it can be found anywhere in the open ocean (especially warm water seas), it is most commonly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific and Indian oceans and in the northern Atlantic Gulf Stream. The man o’ war has been found as far north as the Bay of Fundy and the Hebrides.

They wash ashore along the northern Gulf of Mexico and east and west coasts of Florida. An abundance of Portuguese men o’ war can be found in the waters of Costa Rica, especially in March and April, while they are also found off of Guyana,Colombia and Venezuela. They wash up on the shore during certain months of the year. They are reported abundantly in the waters near Karachi, Pakistan in the summer months, and are also common in the ocean off parts of Australia, where they are known more commonly as ‘blue-bottles’, and New Zealand. During these months, they come ashore in the Gulf of California after rain, where they are known as agua(s) mala(s) by locals. They are also frequently found along the east coast of South Africa, particularly during winter storms if the wind has been blowing steadily on-shore for several hours, as well as around the Hawaiian Islands.

Strong onshore winds may drive them into bays or onto beaches. It is rare for only a single Portuguese man o’ war to be found; the discovery of one usually indicates the presence of many, as they are usually congregated by currents and winds into groups of thousands. Attitudes to the presence of the Portuguese man o’ war vary around the world. Given their sting however, they must always be treated with caution, and the discovery of men o’ war washed up on a beach might lead to the closure of the whole beach.

No matter where you encounter a Man o War, OCS has the first aid solution…Our Portuguese Man o War First Aid kit is supported by the medical protocol…Don’t get stung without it !!