If you have a topic idea for a future beach walk, use the Submit Topic Ideas page.
Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.
I like walking on the beach. Walking is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
Pelicans are in the sky and on the water searching for food – but they are oblivious to my presence. Ahead of me are sanderlings using their fast-moving feet in what appears to be a frantic search for food – but they are very aware of my presence. I can see a Great Blue Heron ahead staring across the water – and no doubt oblivious to me. At least for now, these are a few of the things happening as I walk.
Some of the pelicans fly amazingly close to the surface while others soar above, then suddenly turn their glide into a dive. I wonder about the pelican’s design. Its adaptations allow it to do so. Its adaptive features for its necessity – including diving without breaking its neck. I wonder about the success rate of their diving expeditions for food.
I have also seen pelicans using their large wings to effortlessly glide in the wind as a natural glider – moving into the wind and with the wind without flapping their wings. That is impressive – and something not all birds do.
I glance ahead to the sanderlings with their beaks in the sand and moving quickly where the water just passed. I know they are searching for food such as small crustaceans, crabs, crab eggs, aquatic insects, and worms. I wonder if they have a way of separating water, sand, and food. That I do not know, but they are like the pelican because they are adapted for what they do. The next wave comes in, but they quickly move as if saying, “You are not going to get me”, then the search for their necessity resumes as soon as the water retreats.
With its large wings, a Great Blue Heron flies past me. Its long neck is coiled to streamline its flight. The heron lands far ahead of me. I see the heron is patiently peering at the sea – presumably waiting for its next meal. Its beak is sharp and pointed. The neck muscles are strong and finely tuned for a quick, harpoon-like harpoon. A few minutes later, as I walk by, I notice the large wings now appear more as a cloak.
Some seagulls are flying over the water while others are lounging on the sand. Seagulls are primarily scavengers, but they can be predacious. Their peaks are designed to pry open shells, break eggs, get through exoskeletons of crabs and shrimp, and shred flesh from a dead fish carcass.
Sandpipers stroll the beach along the waterline. Their long legs put their body above the water through which they move – and feet with very little webbing. A long bill for going into the sand for small insects, worms, snails, and edible slime.
I do not often see living crabs wash ashore, but I did today. The crab did not seem very willing to get out of the water. They do not have a beak or bill – but they have a mouth. Those claws are for capturing and holding the prey to meet their nutritional needs – yet crabs can raise their claws to protect or alert.
Pelicans, sanderlings, Great Blue Herons, seagulls, sandpipers, and crabs in their daily routine. Each doing something that the other cannot. Each doing what they need to do, but in their way. Each searching for food – food to survive.
Each of these living things have physical and behavioral features for living in their environment. Yes – adaptations are required for survival in their field experience of life – and survival so they can reproduce to pass those successful traits on to the next generation – therefore, their tradition continues.
I think of all the shelled animals and different fish in the water that I cannot see. Each of them have adaptations specialized from their existence. The living world displays countless adaptations. Adaptations are more than Hollywood changing a book into a movie. In the living world, adaptations are natural history’s book and movie – the tale of living organisms: their structures, their behaviors, their food, their habitats, and more. Simply put, their life.
All this as I walk in nature. Organisms fitting to their environment – an evolutionary fitness designed for their unique functionality biologists call adaptations – structures and behaviors that have an upside and a downside.
These are just more reasons why I like walking on the beach. Plus, it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
See what other bloggers have posted about adaptations
- Plant adaptations in different environments (a resource)
- Human behaviors and adaptations
- Co-evolution and adaptations
Next Post: Dawn – Saturday 12 December @ 1 AM (Eastern US)
Follow Beach Walk Reflections
- Facebook (BeachWalk Reflections)
- Instagram (BeachWalk Reflections)
- Twitter (@ReflectionsWalk)
- WordPress (Follow or Subscribe)