A couple of weeks back, I saw my first ever Bull Kelp at Huntington Beach!
Technically, Bull Kelp is a broad name for a genus, Nereocystis, meaning mermaid’s-bladder in Greek.
The thing about the genus is, it’s monotypic meaning it contains just one species: Nereocystis luetkeana.
Depending on where you’re from, you might call it by different names: bullwhip kelp, bladder wrack, edible kelp, or some others.
It’s an annual kelp that can grow to lengths of 115 feet or so. It grows and thrives in rough coastal waters where it uses its root/finger-like projections called haptera to anchor down to rocks. From the anchor, or holdfast, the stem (stipe) extends 30 to 60 feet, gradually enlarging to form a single buoyant bulbous structure called a pneumatocyst full of carbon monoxide. From there, dozens of leaves extend outward to form a golden brown canopy in the sea.
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The Wild Life was created in January of 2017 by, me, Devon Bowker (He/They) after finishing my degree in wildlife biology. It’s been amazing to see how things have changed over the past 5 years, both personally and here. I have tons of ideas and projects in the works and cannot wait to share them with you. Whether you’re a long-time follower or new to The Wild Life, thank you for being here.
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