Posts

October 15, 2014

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5:27 PM | #24: Our work in the Christian Science Monitor!
This week's edition of the Christian Science Monitor features our Right Whale Research Program on the cover and in the article "The Whale Savers!" The author, Doug Struck, spent time this summer interviewing researchers at our field station and even went out with the survey team on our research vessel Nereid.  Mr. Struck details the history of the Program, the work we currently do to
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2:14 PM | Project Puffin 4: Tern studies
Earlier this summer, aquarists Austin Brayton and Jackie Anderson camped on a remote island in Maine to assist with Project Puffin, an Audubon Society project designed to restore populations of these clownish little seabirds. In this post, Austin takes us on surveys for terns on Seal Island. June 20, 2014  Tern studies Jackie and I helped gather data for two major tern studies: tern productivity
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1:43 PM | Five Points About The Fossil History of Echinoderms! Happy National Fossil Day!
Happy National Fossil Day!Every few years I'm in a position to share some more love about echinoderms and fossils. I've done this on previous National Fossil Days and tried to shed some light on the often arcane world of fossil echinoderms...Here's one on paleocology & fossil parasites..A nice gallery of fossil crinoids..   and this classic piece on giant floating/pelagic crinoids! Paleozoic Echinoderms: The Ophiocystioids!  and the Helicoplacoids! A LOT of the […]

October 14, 2014

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8:25 PM | My research and I were the victims of a conservative media attack
Dr. Will White is an assistant professor of marine biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  He uses a combination of lab experiments, field studies, and mathematical models to study fish behavior and population dynamics, in particular how fish populations respond to protection in no-take marine reserves. My adventure with the news media began […]
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2:41 PM | The strange world of the bright blue Velella
Over the past few months, odd floating jellies have been washing up on Pacific US beaches by the thousands. With clear plastic-like sails, and bright blue flesh, these harmless jellies have stumped many a beachcomber. Now, Steve Haddock and Susan von Thun of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have put together a video explaining exactly what these creatures are, […]
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2:41 PM | The strange world of the bright blue Velella
Over the past few months, odd floating jellies have been washing up on Pacific US beaches by the thousands. With clear plastic-like sails, and bright blue flesh, these harmless jellies have stumped many a beachcomber. Now, Steve Haddock and Susan von Thun of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have put together a video explaining exactly what these creatures are, […]
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6:49 AM | Speckles, Style And Blending In
Fish have evolved some fantastic disguises over time, mastering the ability ...

October 13, 2014

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11:10 PM | Guest Post: World’s Most Fabulous Diving Hotspots
World’s Most Fabulous Diving Hotspots by Angel Jessica For some international tourists, a leisure trip would not be complete without engaging in some form of fun activity. For such tourists, planning a vacation includes identifying locations that can be described as sporting destinations. These locations are either naturally or artificially designed to support various sporting […]
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2:50 PM | Male, female, or both? When it comes to sex, fishes do it all!
This is a guest blog from Luiz Rocha, curator of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences.  Luiz gets to do some amazing work documenting fish biodiversity around the world.  The Academy’s Philippine biodiversity expeditions have become an extraordinary collaborative enterprise that marries the best of biodiversity research and technical diving in the heart of […]
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2:50 PM | Male, female, or both? When it comes to sex, fishes do it all!
This is a guest blog from Luiz Rocha, curator of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences.  Luiz gets to do some amazing work documenting fish biodiversity around the world.  The Academy’s Philippine biodiversity expeditions have become an extraordinary collaborative enterprise that marries the best of biodiversity research and technical diving in the heart of […]

October 12, 2014

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9:55 PM | What is that WEIRD THING on FACEBOOK???
So by now, everyone and their 3 best friends have seen the critter above and the video on Facebook (below) which seems to have freaked everyone the frack out. Its been circulated and seen by over 5.6 million people!!Post by Jr Saim.And everyone keeps on asking WHAT IS IT?? I've received this video now, what feels like a million, jillion times from people who want.. nay, DEMAND to know:  What IS IT???Answer: A basket star. A distant relative of sea stars.First thing: HARMLESS.  and out […]
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7:22 PM | Whales Can Only Taste Salty
Five basic types of taste exist: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. Most people are familiar with all of these except the last, umami, which is best described as a pleasant savory taste. These tastes occur because of receptors that occur on cells in the mouth. Genes dictate the presence and number of these cells […]
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7:22 PM | Whales Can Only Taste Salty
Five basic types of taste exist: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. Most people are familiar with all of these except the last, umami, which is best described as a pleasant savory taste. These tastes occur because of receptors that occur on cells in the mouth. Genes dictate the presence and number of these cells […]

October 11, 2014

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2:16 AM | The mysterious case of the missing manta bits
This spectacular picture has been doing the rounds of my Facebook network lately, of a Mr Bell at AMNH working on a manta ray specimen in 1917:   Woah, right?  Helluva fish.  Well, hold your horses there, Tex.  It’s actually a model.  I was a bit suspicious that the specimen was just so…perfect…so I dug around […]
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2:16 AM | The mysterious case of the missing manta bits
This spectacular picture has been doing the rounds of my Facebook network lately, of a Mr Bell at AMNH working on a manta ray specimen in 1917:   Woah, right?  Helluva fish.  Well, hold your horses there, Tex.  It’s actually a model.  I was a bit suspicious that the specimen was just so…perfect…so I dug around […]

October 10, 2014

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8:24 AM | Train to airport to Sydney to home to writing essays to airport again…
Can’t complain about having too much work lately (and seeing the latest unemployment figures there’s nothing I can whinge about that would gain me any sympathy) and I’m off to Sydney again on Sunday for more World Parks Congress preparation with L’Agence des aires marines protégées (French Agency for Marine Protected Areas). I was lucky to […]

October 09, 2014

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4:30 PM | Arctic seabirds sound their warning; who’s listening?
This past weekend, New Hampshire Public Radio, my preferred news venue, wrapped up their fall fund drive. I listen even during the drive, possibly out of a self-flagellating penance for not actually donating. There’s something satisying about the guilt. During the fund drive, the announcers were pushing their drawing for a free trip to Costa […]

October 08, 2014

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1:48 PM | A panoply of Pycnogonid (sea spider) biology from the latest round of Okeanos Explorer
So, after a few days of bad weather, we finally finished this last round of the 2014 Okeanos Explorer's dives into the North Atlantic! BUT we were not left high and dry! There was an unusual abundance of GREAT observations! But wow! there were some SPECTACULAR SEA SPIDER aka Pycnogonid biology events seen! Especially on the last few dives.. I have a soft spot for these. I did a previous post on the very colorful ones that live in shallow-water tropical habitats here. I don't know […]
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1:43 PM | #23: Salps
From reading our blog you are aware that so far this season we have documented two newly entangled whales this summer/fall in the Bay of Fundy (Catalog #3279 and Catalog #4001).  The last couple of weeks of the field season have been frustrating since we have been plagued with high winds, rain and fog.  Inclement weather can be very frustrating so when we were faced with a small weather window we
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12:08 PM | Party with These 8 Famous Octopuses to Celebrate Octopus Awareness Day!
It’s Octopus Awareness Day, and although we at Octopus Chronicles treat every day as if it were a celebratory day for the cephalopod, today it gets extra special treatment. So to ring in the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 05, 2014

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1:43 PM | Project Puffin 3: Tern Census
Earlier this summer, aquarists Austin Brayton and Jackie Anderson camped on remote islands in Maine to assist with Project Puffin, an Audubon Society project designed to restore populations of these clownish little seabirds. In this post, Austin and Jackie take us on surveys for terns. June 15, 2014  Tern census and the first tern chicks Today was a busy day on Seal Island as we performed a

October 03, 2014

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9:08 PM | Glowing Octopus Bacteria Light Up Living Lamp [Video]
Octopuses might be charismatic, but not many can literally light up a room. One enterprising designer, however, has figured out how to repurpose bacteria from rare glowing deep-sea octopuses for... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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8:50 PM | #22: When in Doubt Eat PIZZA!!!
A large fire is built to heat the oven to over 500 degrees. The last couple weeks of any field season is filled with mixed emotions.  Frustration - where are the whales? Overwhelmed - we have so much to do before closing up the field station. Defeated - I didn't accomplish everything you wanted to during the field season. Everyone has a different way of dealing with all these feelings.  My

October 02, 2014

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10:34 PM | Brutal Battle Between Great White Sharks? Not really, no.
The following post is by Luiz Rocha, Associate Curator and Follett Chair of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences. His major research interests include evolution, conservation, taxonomy, and community ecology of coral reef fishes.The overall objective of this interdisciplinary research is to test existing hypotheses (and propose new ones) about what generates and maintains the […]
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10:34 PM | Brutal Battle Between Great White Sharks? Not really, no.
The following post is by Luiz Rocha, Associate Curator and Follett Chair of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences. His major research interests include evolution, conservation, taxonomy, and community ecology of coral reef fishes.The overall objective of this interdisciplinary research is to test existing hypotheses (and propose new ones) about what generates and maintains the […]
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10:21 AM | Are swimming zooplankton driving ocean currents? Sort of.
Biomixing, where the ocean is mixed by swimming animals, has long been a hot topic in oceanography. Some people think all that biological flapping and stroking could be a major source of oceanic turbulence. Others, not so much. But a new laboratory study by M. Wilhelmus and J. Dabiri from Caltech is certainly going to ignite scientists love […]
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10:21 AM | Are swimming zooplankton driving ocean currents? Sort of.
Biomixing, where the ocean is mixed by swimming animals, has long been a hot topic in oceanography. Some people think all that biological flapping and stroking could be a major source of oceanic turbulence. Others, not so much. But a new laboratory study by M. Wilhelmus and J. Dabiri from Caltech is certainly going to ignite scientists love […]
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10:19 AM | A story about fish, plastic debris and sex
This is a guest post by Chelsea Rochman. Chelsea is a post-doc at the University of California Davis. This is her fourth guest post at DSN, and the first one to come with this.  WARNING: Some content may not be acceptable for a younger audience. (Note from Miriam: It’s ok, Chelsea, nothing in this post is at all out of […]
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10:19 AM | A story about fish, plastic debris and sex
This is a guest post by Chelsea Rochman. Chelsea is a post-doc at the University of California Davis. This is her fourth guest post at DSN, and the first one to come with this.  WARNING: Some content may not be acceptable for a younger audience. (Note from Miriam: It’s ok, Chelsea, nothing in this post is at all out of […]

October 01, 2014

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6:48 PM | Mr Darcy’s Guide to Conference Etiquette – Part 2
(click to see part 1) It is indeed most vexing when an uninvited guest appears on one’s doorstep unexpectedly. So why is turning up at a conference without registering considered to be acceptable? When invited to dinner, one is expected to RSVP so that the host knows to expect one, and it is common courtesy […]
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