Weekly Photo Challenge: “Dialogue” Sea Stars

5-16-14_zone_4_where's_sculpin?_ochre_sea_star_2-2

-Piaster ochraceus-

Ochre Sea Star

Keystone predator
controls density of mussel population.
Crucial in maintaining  
organization and diversity of
intertidal zones.

5-16-14_zone_4_sea-star_wasting_disease_2-2

-Sea Star Wasting Syndrome-

Largest mortality event
for marine diseases yet seen.
Warming waters?
Bacterial?
Viral?
Scientists test theories.
Meanwhile…
Sea Stars perish
up and down Pacific Coast.
What next…

Science behind this post:

Scientists Close in on What’s Killing Sea Stars
The Keystone Species Concept in Ecology and Conservation
Starfish Nearly Vanished From Popular Destination On Oregon Coast


WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: “Dialogue”

It’s your turn now: for this week’s challenge, bring together two of your photos into dialogue. What do they say to each other?

    1. Yes, Christina, it will be helpful when the exact causes are determined. The challenges will likely be sizable, though. With solutions that will entail long-term global commitment to changes in the ways humans view our planetary-ecosystems and our use Earth’s resources.
      Jane

  1. How beautiful! And how sad. I’ve heard of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome but hadn’t seen an image of it.

    1. It is a very sad thing to witness, Cindi. Our tidal pools here in the Northwest have always been filled with an abundance of ochre sea stars… we all mourn the losses and hope that full recovery will one day occur.
      Jane

  2. Good contrast between the photos. First one shows brightly coloured, fully blossoming sea urchins, anemone, and coral (? lower left). A few mussel dishes remain from lunch, while the sea star is reaching for briquettes to start the barbecue. Colourful, vigorous, summer-holiday imagery. The second one is relatively devoid of life forms or gaiety, being mostly limp seaweed and a few urchins gone into hiding. The dead sea star resembles a patient with advanced dementia sitting in a geri-chair, unshaven, unmoving, muscles gone, shoved up against the seaweed so as not to be in anyone’s way. I’d say you’re getting your point across.

    1. Thank you, Dandyknife. I prefer the robust, full-of-life dialogue that you proposed. It was a very startling experience to photograph the sea stars you see in these two photos in the same tidal pool location… only yards apart. The photos were taken at Yaquina Head near Newport. I’m not sure if that was one of the areas you visited on your trip here earlier this year…

      Jane

  3. So sad that this wasting is destroying the sea stars on the coasts. And we don’t even kn ow why exactly.

    Ron

    1. Thanks Jane, I have several sites to follow but I did not have the Yale 360. I’ll keep up on that one too.

      Ron

    2. Thanks, Ron. I’m in Gig Harbor visiting my daughter. Good to have sites that relate a bit further north!
      Your suggestions have been added to my RSS feed.
      Disturbing to see the increasing number of challenges faced by the Sound ecosystems.
      Talk about world under stress…
      Jane

    3. Thanks Jane, this is a sad story so far. The disease keeps moving up the coast and is now well entrenched in Alaska. It might be letting up in WA .

      Ron

    4. Yes, Ron. Alarming aspect of the Alaska connection is the idea that the syndrome jumped into a different ocean current system. Glad it might be letting up in WA. Scientists who met recently in Newport also noted that more juveniles are being observed. Like you, I hope this all turns around soon…
      ~Jane

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