Category: Ocean Critters

  • Why whale poop is worth a fortune

    Did you know there may only be 3000 sperm whales alive today that are capable of making ambergris? Find out more about this rare, strange stuff with a smell that is very hard to describe, in this a short podcast I made for Chemistry World.

  • Meeting marine predators (aka diving with sharks) – Part 2

    I’m in Fiji on a research expedition with Joshua Drew from Columbia University. Before the hard research work started I took off a day and went diving with bull sharks. Read part 1 of my encounter with some of the oceans biggest predators here. Within a minute or two of being surrounded by forty bull […]

  • Meeting marine predators – Part 1

    In the lead up to my first dive in Fiji a lot of people asked me if I was scared. Was I nervous? It was going to be my three hundred and somethingth dive, so by now I’m used to being beneath the waves. But the conversation that I had a few times ran like […]

  • Fiji fish – Napoleon wrasse

    Another coral reef fish I'm hoping to see in Fiji (on my upcoming expedition with Joshua Drew) is the Napoleon wrasse or humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus). They are fish that are especially close to my heart because I spent four years studying them for my PhD. Here's a splendid male: So I'm biased – clearly – […]

  • Fiji fish – Emperor Angelfish

    I'm stoked to be going to Fiji this June with Joshua Drew from Colombia University and his crew of PhDs and masters students. My main role on the expedition is going to be documenting the science and spreading the word to the rest of the world about reefs and conservation and all things fishy (I like to think of myself […]

  • Glowing sharks caught on camera for first time

    One in ten shark species are bioluminescent and now for the first time glowing sharks have been caught on camera. Check out this video from Jérôme Mallefet at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. I’ve written several stories for National Geographic News about Jérôme’s work, together with Julien Claes. They’re uncovering fascinating things about these illusive […]

  • Diving with goliaths

    Earlier this year I came face to face with some of the biggest and quite possibly the most endangered fish I’ve ever met. For my PhD I studied humphead wrasse and spent a lot of time in their company underwater so I’m quite used to seeing big fish. But goliath groupers are massive. Like humphead wrasse, dozens […]

  • When I got lost at sea

    A little while ago I got lost at sea and washed up in an old lighthouse in London’s docklands. As luck would have it, I found myself in a room full of people sitting on blue and white striped life rings on the floor. Turned out I was in just the right place for the […]

  • A pair of seahorses for your weekend

    Tomorrow I’ll talking at the Royal Institution about seahorses. In my moochings around the net for cool things to show the kids I found these awesome vids by liquidguru of a severn’s & a pontohi’s pygmy seahorse. So tiny! They come from a clutch of recently described mini-seahorses from SE Asia. (check out the enormous […]

  • Argonaut pops out of its shell

    This week fishermen off California snagged an unusual visitor to their temperature waters – a beautiful female argonaut. They took her to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and here’s a video of her popping out of her shell. [youtube][/youtube]