Posts Tagged ‘biodiversity’

Occupy Jamaica, Part 2: The lay of the reef

 Discovery Bay, Jamaica.  8:23 PM.  End of my second full (long) day since arriving Friday afternoon. Kristin, James, and Solomon had arrived Tuesday — three days ahead of me – and made good progress reconnoitering and sampling at the sites we’d worked in 2008. By this evening we had collected and processed over 100 samples […]


Occupy Jamaica, Part 1: Prelude

[Part 1 in the SeaMonster Expedition series: Jamaica. the team finalizes preparations for a 10-day research trip to Jamaica to solve the mystery of large, cooperative societies in lowly shrimp.] As ice skins over Timberneck Creek among the bare trees of Virginia, we are eagerly staging gear and making preparations for our first expedition of […]


Marine Ecologist Kristin Aquilino

A nice profile of marine ecology PhD student Kristin Aquilino. Kristin works in the Stachowicz lab at UC Davis on marine biodiversity. This video was filmed and edited by Neil Losin, Kelvin Gorospe, and Annie Schmidt (narration by Kelvin Gorospe). [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/19279147[/vimeo]


Newly evolved for 2012’s climate: world’s first hybrid shark

The changing climate that increasingly dominates the news is beginning to play its hand in some strange and unexpected ways. Creatures from algae to fishes are busting out of their old geographic ranges and striking out into new territories. A case in point: the microscopic phytoplankton species Neodenticula seminae, a dominant primary producer in North […]


Ocean thoughts for New Years day

Today is New Year’s Day, the traditional day to look ahead. With that in mind, here is a neatened, expanded-on, written-down version of some thoughts I shared on my final appearance on the BBC radio show Home Planet just before Christmas when the producers gave me  a chance to cast an eye forwards. There’s no doubt that these […]


What a wonderful world

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8WHKRzkCOY[/youtube] Happy Holidays — from Planet Earth


Underwater “Paper Parks”?

From this week’s Nature: “The easiest way to create a nature reserve from a car park is simply to declare it as such. The land is then designated as protected, and counts towards the relevant government’s targets to set aside a certain amount of its territory from development. That is a ridiculous example, of course, […]


The mass extinction of scientists who study species

A great article in Wired by Dr. Craig McClain of Deep Sea News fame.  Craig is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a deep sea ecologist and widely regarded as the first (and most successful) ocean blogger.   We are currently in a biodiversity crisis. A quarter of all mammals face extinction, […]


Silky seabugs

As a long-time afficianado of the amphipod crustaceans I’ve come to terms with being alone in a crowd, having as it were a more rarified taste in biophilia than the average whale-hugger lover of sea life. Sure, they’re submicroscopic, sometimes pesky (crawling into your ears while working underwater, for example), and often devilishly difficult to […]


Marine biodiversity: The tip of the iceberg

Who doesn’t love whales, beautiful fishes, octopuses, corals — even sharks? You know that we do here at SeaMonster. But those charismatic megafauna, as they are rather cumbersomely known in the conservation science-geek community, are only the tip of the biodiversity iceberg. Down in the jumbled rubble on the floor of the reef, among the […]


Meet Bernard the Gurnard & vote for UK marine reserves

Another cute save-the-ocean animation: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sk3neAZv23Q&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] From the UK Wildlife Trusts Petition Fish campaign and the creative folks at archipelago.


Florida: haven for illegal immigrants

OK, so strictly speaking this has nothing to do with the Sea, except insofar as the Everglades are a semi-aquatic environment that drains at some remove into salt water. Still, it involves a large cold-blooded predator exhibiting a classic ecological interaction in a vivid and, well, somewhat appalling way. Which is good enough for me. […]


Why do oceans matter?

Here’s why: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qojYm8JHKfE&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] From One World One Ocean


A price tag on Paradise?

How much is nature worth?  We can put a price tag on a fish (say, $350,000 for a prime condition bluefin tuna in Tokyo), or even on a salt marsh if it provides a breakwater out front of the house that reduces one’s flood insurance premium. But what about the value of Nature per se–the […]


The Dead Sea isn’t so dead

Life as we know it doesn’t exactly thrive in the Dead Sea. No fish have evolved to put up with the notoriously salty waters. But weird new forms of microbial life have been discovered inhabiting a network of massive craters at the bottom of the Dead Sea. A diverse mixture of sun-worshipping and sulphide-munching bacteria have […]


Rough seas for National Ocean Policy

Last summer, to the excitement of ocean policy wonks and yawns by pretty much everyone else, President Obama unveiled a new National Ocean Policy. The basic idea was to cut through the impenetrable tangle of regulations governing marine activities like fishing, shipping, oil drilling, and conservation that have sprouted up willy-nilly in the various agencies […]


Fish – the tool user

Used to be us primates. Then the birds, and now this. Watch your back–the lower vertebrates are getting uppity: The perpetrator was an an orange-dotted tuskfish. The deed was caught on film by Giacomo Bernardi of UC Santa Cruz. From the story at Science Daily: ‘”What the movie shows is very interesting. The animal excavates sand […]


Yeti crab – the Movie!

Live from the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Aberdeen, it’s . . . Yeti Crab – the Movie! Perhaps a bit of explanation is in order. We’re live (sort of) in Aberdeen with 953 of our closest friends and colleagues, catching up on the cutting edge of research on the wondrous and varied life […]


Live blog: World Conference on Marine Biodiversity 2011

The second triennial World Conference on Marine Biodiversity begins next week in Aberdeen, Scotland, and your dedicated SeaMonster reporter will be on the scene. We will be trying something new and experimental (for us, at least) — pseudo-live blogging from the Conference site, covering late-breaking news on marine research advances, marine conservation, fantastic new animals, […]


Three ocean scientists receive Heinz awards

Shout-out to three of our colleagues who’ve received the prestigious Heinz award for work that benefits the environment. The Pittsburgh-based Heinz Family Foundation has presented the awards since 1994 in memory of Sen. John Heinz III. From the WaPO: “Teresa Heinz told The Associated Press that the awards recognized innovative approaches to serious topics for […]


The coolest animal in the world

As a marine biologist it’s my job to understand the complex workings of our mysterious ocean planet, and to wrestle with the great questions of our time. One that has been exercising me lately is this: What is the coolest animal on earth? After considerable deliberation, I’ve made my decision. And I don’t say this […]


Warming-induced killer crab invasion threatens Antarctic biodiversity

[Editor’s update: One of our observant readers and experts on deep-sea crabs, Dr Thomas Shirley of Texas A&M, points out that the photo above taken from the Mail article is of the tanner crab (Chionoecetes sp.), NOT the the giant king crab Neolithodes yaldwyni that is moving onto the Antarctic shelf. This is correct – […]


Fish – a good idea on paper

  During a visit to the Suma Aqualife Park in Japan a few months ago, I came across a captivating display of little origami sea creatures arrayed across an entire wall. The lighting was not right for photos at the time but I’ve since found a great collection of these online, most notably — and […]


A fish out of water — and lookin’ for love

“Fish gotta swim”, as Julie put it in explaining why she can’t stop lovin’ dat man in the 1927 musical Show Boat. And we all know what she meant. But do they? Not this one. The Pacific Leaping Blenny (yes, that is its real name) wants to do anything but swim. It literally flees from […]