Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why do Mobulas jump?

I'm back with mixed feelings from my trip to Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico.

For sure, there are things I wish they never happened... but as I said yesterday over the phone to someone I still deeply care for, time may eventually transform all sad memories into good ones. Changing the past is impossible, but there might still be some chance for learning.

While I wait and see if this is true, I intend this post to be only about one of many good memories from my first day there.

* Scenario: The Baja California Peninsula

I won't burden you with the details, which you can check here. For now, I'm concentrating on the southernmost part of the peninsula.

Imagine a sandy desert chaparral complete with vultures, eagles, foxes, bats and hares; mountain chains are common but spaced and the weather is surprisingly mild (at least during the ongoing season). This desert is surrounded by the Sea of Cortes and the Pacific Sea to the east, west and south; intringuingly, it´s not as humid as other places I have visited further up north.

Most beaches are covered with little pebbles more than sand; combine that with strong winds and it is easy to figure out sea waves are not for the inexperienced.

In spite of all this, I am left with a sense of awe.

* Scenario: Almost any beach

Go to a beach on any morning or late afternoon, sit down and wait for a few minutes. You'll see Mobulas jumping out of the sea and back into it, flipping their wings and sometimes even making somersaults as they try to reach for the sky. Sometimes it's just one, at others there are three or more jumping in succesion. Locals call them by the uninspiring names of "Cubanas" or "Tortillas".

First question in mind: Why do they do this?

The short answer: Nobody knows.

Maybe they are getting themselves rid of parasites... or perhaps they are just happy to be alive (compared to other fish, they have very large and complex brains).

Without professional equipment and a good deal of luck, it's quite difficult to capture their exploits on camera. So I'll direct you instead to this site which contains both excellent images and story.

More posts to follow as soon as I can keep recalling memories without sorrow.

Check this out:

No comments: