Alex. twenty-something.
a heart of gold and a mind of similar mineral content.
Install Theme

montereybayaquarium:

How do you display deep-sea cephalopods like this vampire squid? It takes a big ship, a lot of scientists, and a robot. Learn how we do it, with the help of our colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, in our latest podcast.

mad-as-a-marine-biologist:

Vampire Squid from E/V Nautilus in the Gulf of Mexico

"Here’s video of the vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) encountered by Nautilus Live on June 27, 2014, in the Gulf of Mexico. This deep-sea cephalopod gets its name because of its deep color and red eyes, not because it feeds on blood.”

Original post.

rhamphotheca:

First Live Observations of a Rarely Seen Deep Sea Anglerfish

by Dana Lacono (August, 2012)

With a bulbous body and spiky scales, a shaggy lure dangling from its head, and foot-like fins that it uses to “walk” along the seafloor, the deep-sea anglerfish Chaunacops coloratus looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

In a recent paper, MBARI researcher Lonny Lundsten and his coauthors describe the first observations of these rare fish in their natural, deep-sea habitat. In addition to documenting these fish walking on the seafloor and fishing with their built-in lures, the researchers discovered that the fish change color from blue to red as they get older.

C. coloratus was first described from a single specimen collected off the coast of Panama during an expedition in 1891 aboard the U.S. Fish Commission steamer Albatross. However, for over 100 years, marine researchers collected deep-sea fish using trawl nets and dredges, so this anglerfish was never seen alive. That changed in 2002, when researchers from MBARI, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary used the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Tiburon to explore Davidson Seamount—an extinct volcano off the coast of Central California…

(read more: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

(via mad-as-a-marine-biologist)

skunkbear:

ted:

Eerie, beautiful, captivating images of sea urchins mating and being born (that little triangle guy is a baby sea urchin).

These are a glimpse of how life begins in the deep ocean — and there’s a lot of life down there. The oceans provide about 190 times as much living space as every other space on Earth — soil, air and fresh water — put together. A vast array of amazing creatures live in the depths of this watery world. Squid, jellyfish, and plankton are just a few of our favorites (all shown as tiny babies in that last gif).

Learn more here »

Another great look at the alien world of the ocean. See closeups of coral here.

(via allcreatures)

whatthefauna:

Male yellow-headed jawfish are mouthbrooders, meaning they incubate offspring in their mouths until they hatch. The eggs need to be aerated, so the father will occasionally open his mouth, partially spit out his brood, then suck them all back in.

Images: Keri WIlkPeter Allinson

(via mad-as-a-marine-biologist)

rhamphotheca:

Coelacanths might be monogamous, to the surprise of researchers

by Cynthia McKelvey

They evaded humans for millions of years and live very private lives. The hulking, fleshy-finned fish known as the coelacanth has beguiled scientists for generations. But the coelacanth mystique that enchants researchers also makes it difficult to study. Researchers recently revealed in Nature Communications one startling aspect of the coelacanth lifestyle: they might be monogamous.

Presumed extinct for over 60 million years, the coelacanth (SEE-lah-kanth) was known only in fossil form until a fisherman caught a live one in 1938 near South Africa. Recently, scientists have found populations of dozens of coelacanths nestled in caves hundreds of meters deep in the Indian Ocean near Kenya, Tanzania and the Comoros Islands.

Monogamy poses a risk to coelacanths in part because of the onerous three-year-long pregnancies in females. The babies are fully developed when they’re born, but the mother sacrifices a lot of energy and is more vulnerable to predators while she carries her young. If one male with a bad set of genes sires the brood, all the offspring can suffer—and those three years might be wasted…

(read more: MongaBay)

photos: Hans Fricke and Mark V. Erdmann

(via mad-as-a-marine-biologist)

montereybayaquarium:

A Sea of Sponges


Sponges aren’t the stars of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but their diversity of colors, shapes and sizes is eye-catching. And consider this: Every multi-celled animal on Earth is based on the genetic blueprint of sponges.They are truly the foundation of the animal kingdom.

Our sponges may not be as startling as the stove-pipe sponge that looks so much like the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. They don’t have the personality of Spongebob Squarepants. But they’re fascinating animals with a vital role to play in healthy oceans.

Sponges populate many of our exhibits in the Ocean’s Edge galleries. You can get a closer look — and even discover what they feel like — at our touch pools.

They’re simple: a group of loosely connected, nearly independent cells, with no organs and no tissues. If broken apart, they can put themselves back together again. Many produce powerful chemicals to defend themselves — chemicals that have cancer-fighting properties

Globally, it’s estimated there are upwards of 10,000 to 15,000 species of sponges in the ocean — with thousands left to be discovered. Not long ago, our colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute documented a new carnivorous sponge: the harp sponge, pictured above.

The yellow goiter sponge, also pictured here, was spotted on an MBARI dive to the Pioneer Seamount. Some goiter sponges can grow to be nearly 10 feet across.

Photo credits: red volcano sponge and cobalt blue sponge, © Monterey Bay Aquarium/Steve Webster; orange puffball sponge, © Monterey Bay Aquarium/David Cripe; harp sponge and goiter sponge, © MBARI

griseus:

STARFISH WITH BABIES, BROODING BEHAVIOR  REVEALED
ChrisM/ The equino blog
This motherly starfish is taking care of her starbabies. Some starfish species, such as this one Diplasterias brandti, brood and carry their babies until they are ready to leave the nest, just like some vertebrate species.
SEVERAL different species of sea stars brood. Almost all of them are either cold-water species, living in the deep-sea or at the poles. Sometimes brooding is in temperate water species.. But typically not in the tropics.
Brooding also takes different forms. The oral ‘mouth’ or gastric brooding mode is but one kind. Here is Diplasterias from the Antarctic!  MANY starfish in the Antarctic brood juvenile starfish!
Photo: Smithsonian NMNH USARP

griseus:

STARFISH WITH BABIES, BROODING BEHAVIOR  REVEALED

ChrisM/ The equino blog

This motherly starfish is taking care of her starbabies. Some starfish species, such as this one Diplasterias brandti, brood and carry their babies until they are ready to leave the nest, just like some vertebrate species.

SEVERAL different species of sea stars brood. Almost all of them are either cold-water species, living in the deep-sea or at the poles. Sometimes brooding is in temperate water species.. But typically not in the tropics.

Brooding also takes different forms. The oral ‘mouth’ or gastric brooding mode is but one kind. Here is Diplasterias from the Antarctic!  MANY starfish in the Antarctic brood juvenile starfish!

  • Photo: Smithsonian NMNH USARP

(via mad-as-a-marine-biologist)

griseus:

SCIENTISTS SOLVE MILLENNIA-OLD MYSTERY ABOUT THE ARGONAUT OCTOPUS

Ed Yong / DIscoverMag

The argonauts are a group of octopuses unlike any other. The females secrete a thin, white, brittle shell called the paper nautilus. Nestled with their arms tucked inside this beautiful, translucent home, they drift through the open ocean while other octopus species crawl along the sea floor. The shell is often described as an egg-case, but octopus specialists Julian Finn and Mark Norman have discovered that it has another function – it’s an organic ballast tank.

An argonaut uses its shell to trap air from the surface and dives to a depth where the encased gas perfectly counteracts its own weight, allowing it to bob effortlessly without rising or sinking. Finn and Norman filmed and photographed live animals in the act of trapping their air bubbles, solving a mystery that has been debated for millennia.

Since 1923 and the work of Adolf Naef, the shell has been viewed as a container for the argonaut’s eggs. After mating with a male (who is around 8 times smaller and 600 times lighter), the female secretes the papery shell using the tips of two large tentacles. She lays her eggs within the structure before snuggling inside herself. Besides her eggs, her only housemate is one of the male’s arms – the hectocotylus. The arm doubled as a penis, snapped off during sex and stays inside the female’s body….

  • continue here
  • photo by Yasushi Okumura, Japan Underwater Films

(via mad-as-a-marine-biologist)

laboratoryequipment:

Dolphins Talk to Each Other Using Personal NamesScientists at the Univ. of St Andrews have shown that bottlenose dolphins can use copying of signature whistles as a way of addressing or labeling animals on an individual basis.The research was carried out by marine biologists Stephanie King and Vincent Janik who conducted sound playback experiments with wild bottlenose dolphins on the east coast of Scotland.Read more: www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/07/dolphins-talk-each-other-using-personal-names

laboratoryequipment:

Dolphins Talk to Each Other Using Personal Names

Scientists at the Univ. of St Andrews have shown that bottlenose dolphins can use copying of signature whistles as a way of addressing or labeling animals on an individual basis.

The research was carried out by marine biologists Stephanie King and Vincent Janik who conducted sound playback experiments with wild bottlenose dolphins on the east coast of Scotland.

Read more: www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/07/dolphins-talk-each-other-using-personal-names

rhamphotheca:

DNA Sheds Light on Rare Killer Whale Type
by Megan Gannon
Scientists have long suspected that the killer whale, Orcinus orca, may actually be four different species or subspecies based of subtle differences in appearance and variations in behavior. The rarest of them all is known as type D. These fat-headed orcas, marked by tiny white patches around their eyes, were only recently observed in the wild, some 50 years after they were first identified in photographs from a mass stranding in New Zealand.
The skeleton of one of the type D whales that washed ashore in 1955 ended up at a museum in Wellington. In a new study, scientists analyzed DNA from the bones, showing, yes, type D is likely a distinct subspecies or species. The research, detailed in the journal Polar Biology, also suggests type D diverged from other killer whales about 390,000 years ago, making it the second oldest orca type…
(read more: Live Science)                    (image: Shutterstock)

rhamphotheca:

DNA Sheds Light on Rare Killer Whale Type

by Megan Gannon

Scientists have long suspected that the killer whale, Orcinus orca, may actually be four different species or subspecies based of subtle differences in appearance and variations in behavior. The rarest of them all is known as type D. These fat-headed orcas, marked by tiny white patches around their eyes, were only recently observed in the wild, some 50 years after they were first identified in photographs from a mass stranding in New Zealand.

The skeleton of one of the type D whales that washed ashore in 1955 ended up at a museum in Wellington. In a new study, scientists analyzed DNA from the bones, showing, yes, type D is likely a distinct subspecies or species. The research, detailed in the journal Polar Biology, also suggests type D diverged from other killer whales about 390,000 years ago, making it the second oldest orca type…

(read more: Live Science)                    (image: Shutterstock)

(via mad-as-a-marine-biologist)

jtotheizzoe:

The Sea’s Strangest Square Mile

Sit back and let your eyes soak up this goggle-fogging journey to the Lembeh Strait near Indonesia by Shark Bay Films. It’s known as one of the richest homes of odd coral reef creatures on Earth.

Lightning-quick eels! Coral-colored, pregnant frogfish stuffing their bellies with wriggling prey! Baby cuttlefish!! BABY CUTTLEFISH!!!

(via kottke)

Noctilucas scintillans- a bioluminescent dinoflagellate also called the sea sparkle.

Noctilucas scintillans- a bioluminescent dinoflagellate also called the sea sparkle.

(Source: grubial.blogspot.com)