Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jewel # 278 (March 19, 2017)

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“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord
of hosts, in that day when I 
make up MY JEWELS.” 
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren:
Garibaldis Are Tough

“Let the heaven and earth praise Him, the seas, 
and everything that moveth therein.”
(Psalm 69:34)

The garibaldi is a fish less than a foot long, bright orange in colour, and very protective of its home territory in the offshore ocean waters of California.  They are usually found in tide pools reaching 90 feet below the surface. This fish was named after the italian warrior Giuseppe Garibaldi of the 1800s, who is remembered for his bold and tough style of fighting.

When mature, this fish develops a bump on its head that adds to the fierce looks of its mouth and the spinal fin running all the way along its back.  Extra-large scales on its bright body add to its fierce look, along wit its green eyes.

The males choose rocky, fortresslike areas for their homes. With few exceptions, they challenge all intruders no matter how large they might be. However, they seem to make sure that there are crevices in the rocks for escape if invaders are too tough for them.  One exception they make in challenging other fish is the little señorita.  This little fish is allowed to safely come to them to clean and eat parasites off the garibaldis’ bodies.

When about five years old, a male garibaldi cleans off a rocky space for a nest and guards it carefully.  But strangely, when a mate shows up he dashes threateningly toward her.  However, she avoids him and heads for the nest, even though he may nip her a few times on the way.  

When she reaches the nest, she swims slowly back and forth, dropping thousands of eggs which stick to the algae he has allowed to grow there.  When she has finished, the excited male fertilizes them with a fluid from his body, and from then on, he intensely  guards them from intruders.  Meanwhile, the female has disappeared, quite content to leave all problems to him.             

Eggs hatch in about three weeks, and the baby garibaldis are half an inch long.  They begin life with a blue colour, but as they get older, this is replaced with a permanent bright orange.  When about four inches long, the males of the group take on the aggressive ways of their father, while the females are chased off and have to make their own way in their watery world.

This is one more instance where mankind has been allowed to discover one of the amazing varieties of creatures God has place on the earth primarily for Hs own pleasure, but which He often allows us to enjoy as well.

The psalmist expressed his appreciation of these works for the Creator when he wrote: “Many, O Lord my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to usward. . . . They are more than can be numbered” (Psalm 40:5).

Do you ever think about your Creator? 

Love you all - Grandpa

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