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Old 07-18-2011, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default Mottled Sculpin (Cottus bairdii)

From the Saco River in NH. I had originally IDed this as a Tesselated Darter, although I was unsure of that bit of information. I wanted to submit it to the "Encyclopedia of Life" group on Flickr, so made another attempt to nail the ID. I got lucky and found some online flash cards of NY fishes and they had an illustration of the Mottled Sculpin that left no doubt. I consulted my Audubon Field Guide to confirm and relabelled accordingly. What's more, the EOL had no pictures of this species so I may have made a real contribution with this photo.
Mottled Sculpin (Cottus bairdii)-mottled-sculpin-cottus-bairdii-06.jpgMottled Sculpin (Cottus bairdii)-mottled-sculpin-cottus-bairdii-08.jpg
For those who aren't aware of it, the EOL is an attempt to build just what it's name says, a comprehensive online encyclopedia of all the life on earth (and someday, maybe, beyond). While obviously this is impossible, it is something to shoot for. One resource that they employ is the vast number of citizen scientists who are out roaming the world with their digital cameras and posting the results online.
The Flickr group is for that express purpose. They have somewhat strict guidelines for submitted images. For them to be able to sort them they require a specific kind of tag called a machine tag, which allows a program to sort them according to binomial name, common name or region of the world. In order to use the image on the website, they also require that the image has a creative commons license. Once your image is submitted and the tags and permissions are in order, it will usually appear on the appropriate page on the website. However, not until an expert in the relevent field vets the picture is it marked as "trusted". I have several pictures on the site, but only one trusted one, a picture of a swimming squirrel.
Before I post to the group, I always check the website to see if they need my image. I'll only post if they have no image of the species (like my sculpin here) or if my image is of a higher quality than what they have (not uncommon) or if it shows the species exhibiting certain behavior or in a unique environment (the squirrel pic & my beetle vs worm pics).
I really like this idea and think it really shows the power and potential of modern technology. It also makes science personal. I feel that, even though I'm "only" a high school graduate, I am still part of the scientific process in the most visceral way, as a field observer. As I was posting this picture, I realized that I had never mentioned this site here, and felt that it was time to correct this oversight.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulucanagria View Post
From the Saco River in NH. I had originally IDed this as a Tesselated Darter, although I was unsure of that bit of information. I wanted to submit it to the "Encyclopedia of Life" group on Flickr, so made another attempt to nail the ID. I got lucky and found some online flash cards of NY fishes and they had an illustration of the Mottled Sculpin that left no doubt. I consulted my Audubon Field Guide to confirm and relabelled accordingly. What's more, the EOL had no pictures of this species so I may have made a real contribution with this photo.
Attachment 24798Attachment 24799
For those who aren't aware of it, the EOL is an attempt to build just what it's name says, a comprehensive online encyclopedia of all the life on earth (and someday, maybe, beyond). While obviously this is impossible, it is something to shoot for. One resource that they employ is the vast number of citizen scientists who are out roaming the world with their digital cameras and posting the results online.
The Flickr group is for that express purpose. They have somewhat strict guidelines for submitted images. For them to be able to sort them they require a specific kind of tag called a machine tag, which allows a program to sort them according to binomial name, common name or region of the world. In order to use the image on the website, they also require that the image has a creative commons license. Once your image is submitted and the tags and permissions are in order, it will usually appear on the appropriate page on the website. However, not until an expert in the relevent field vets the picture is it marked as "trusted". I have several pictures on the site, but only one trusted one, a picture of a swimming squirrel.
Before I post to the group, I always check the website to see if they need my image. I'll only post if they have no image of the species (like my sculpin here) or if my image is of a higher quality than what they have (not uncommon) or if it shows the species exhibiting certain behavior or in a unique environment (the squirrel pic & my beetle vs worm pics).
I really like this idea and think it really shows the power and potential of modern technology. It also makes science personal. I feel that, even though I'm "only" a high school graduate, I am still part of the scientific process in the most visceral way, as a field observer. As I was posting this picture, I realized that I had never mentioned this site here, and felt that it was time to correct this oversight.
Nice catch on the sculpin. How deep was the water where you took the shot??
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:39 PM   #3
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No more than four or five inches. My first pictures were with the sun shining directly on the water. Then I saw that moving my body to put him in shade made the image much clearer. These pictures are crops to eliminate the sunny parts on the edges.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:34 PM   #4
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They remind me of the Johnny darters. Prehistoric looking.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:32 PM   #5
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Great photos, Bulu.

I'm surprised that I knew it was a fish before I opened the thread... I'm sure I saw the name in print along with its picture last year while looking for native fish for a streambed. (I'd like to put some native minnows in my pond eventually --gotta finish it first!)
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