Category: Ocean Critters

  • Senegalese seahorse caught on camera

    For the first time ever a rare West African seahorse (Hippocampus algiricus) has been caught on camera. Kate West from Imperial College London has been in Senegal on a joint project with Project Seahorse and ZSL. During her investigations into the growing trade in seahorses from this part of the world, she spotted fishermen hauling […]

  • Manta rays – the low down

    Hot off the presses, a new study has just come out that brings together all that is known about manta rays and their close relatives the devil rays. Over the past few years, some incredible discoveries have been emerging from scientists around the world who are finding out more about these beautiful and mysterious beasts. […]

  • Belize field log 2: Social breakdown on the reef

    [The second installment in our New York Times “Scientist at Work” field log.] Wednesday, July 4 Our hunt yesterday produced a good haul of shrimp species, but, alas, none of the social ones we’re searching for. I worked with my former Ph.D. student, Tripp McDonald, long into the night identifying the shrimp. Though little known […]

  • Belize 2012 field log 1: Snapping Shrimps and Hidden Sponges

    [Our team has just returned from a 10-day research trip to the Belize Barrier Reef, searching for social sponge-dwelling shrimp in a long-term study of these curious animals as models for understanding the evolution of altruism and cooperation. The New York Times “Scientist at Work” feature is posting updates from our field log. We reprint […]

  • Do slomo sharks snack on snoozing seals?

    This week I wrote a piece for National Geographic News about a study just out suggesting that Greenland sharks could sneak up on seals and catch them while they’re sleeping. It’s a neat study, involving putting motion-sensors on individual sharks to see how fast they swim. In fact, turns out these guys swim so very […]

  • Giant headbutting fish

    The world’s biggest parrotfish – the bumphead parrotfish Bolbomepoton muricatum – have been caught on camera for the first time headbutting each other. [vimeo][/vimeo] The finding was published in the open access PlosOne (so go have a read) and as Roldan Muñoz and his colleagues point out, the only way they got to observe this crazy behaviour […]

  • Happy International Day for Biological Diversity!

    Not only that but Marine Biodiversity (yeah, it caught us by surprise too — I think the Convention on Biological Diversity needs some marketing advice . . .) Anyway, they have a cool logo which is worth a post in its own right. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, today, 22 May 2012, is the official International […]

  • Twilight of the giants in taxonomy

    [Adapted in part from my recent review at Faculty of 1000] In an important sense, nothing exists until it’s given a name.  And in the living world of organisms, names—official, scientific names—are assigned by unique creatures called taxonomists, experts in the minutiae of structure and biology of particular groups of organisms, working according to a […]

  • Weird seahorse cousins found in stone for first time

    My seahorse fossil-finding friend, Jure Žalohar, has made another amazing discovery.                         Back in 2009 Jure and his friend Tomas found the first fossils of extinct seahorses in his home country of Slovenia. His latest find is the world’s first fossilized pygmy pipehorse – a […]

  • Teeny tiny glowing sharks could be missing link

    Take a tour of sharks around the oceans and you’ll find that around one in ten has the ability to glow, sparkle and twinkle its own eerie light. Some of the tiniest and most mysterious sharks – the pygmy and lantern sharks – are the subject of a new study looking into how glowing sharks […]