Posts

October 30, 2014

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11:09 PM | How much weight is the “Ocean Atlas” really carrying on its shoulders?
Artist Jason deCaires Taylor has teamed up with B.R.E.E.F. to create “Ocean Atlas”, the worlds largest underwater sculpture. Underwater reef, diverter of tourists from natural reefs and a new hub for underwater selfies, “Ocean Atlas” is a sculpture of a woman supposedly holding the weight of the ocean on her shoulders. Which of course led my tiny science mind to wonder…exactly how […]
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11:09 PM | How much weight is the “Ocean Atlas” really carrying on its shoulders?
Artist Jason deCaires Taylor has teamed up with B.R.E.E.F. to create “Ocean Atlas”, the worlds largest underwater sculpture. Underwater reef, diverter of tourists from natural reefs and a new hub for underwater selfies, “Ocean Atlas” is a sculpture of a woman supposedly holding the weight of the ocean on her shoulders. Which of course led my tiny science mind to wonder…exactly how […]
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5:18 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: almost zombie like brachiopods
The lowly brachiopod.  They make my list because they represent the antithesis of a charismatic organism. Today the attention they get is mostly by mistake. Brachiopods are often confused for mollusks because of their superficial resemblance to clams*. But if it wasn’t for that pesky Permian mass extinction, they might be kicking clam butt all over the place. 99% […]
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5:18 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: almost zombie like brachiopods
The lowly brachiopod.  They make my list because they represent the antithesis of a charismatic organism. Today the attention they get is mostly by mistake. Brachiopods are often confused for mollusks because of their superficial resemblance to clams*. But if it wasn’t for that pesky Permian mass extinction, they might be kicking clam butt all over the place. 99% […]

October 29, 2014

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8:08 PM | Interview with the Vampire Blennies
This is our second guest post from ichthyologist, tech diver and all-round good guy Dr. Luiz Rocha at the California Academy of Sciences.  You should follow him on Twitter When you hear “vampires” you usually think “Twilight”, “Vampire Diaries” or “True Blood”. However, a very interesting group of fishes have also taken up the name. […]
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8:08 PM | Interview with the Vampire Blennies
This is our second guest post from ichthyologist, tech diver and all-round good guy Dr. Luiz Rocha at the California Academy of Sciences.  You should follow him on Twitter When you hear “vampires” you usually think “Twilight”, “Vampire Diaries” or “True Blood”. However, a very interesting group of fishes have also taken up the name. […]

October 28, 2014

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10:06 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Anything with an instrument on it
As a physical oceanographer I have a love-hate relationship with sea life. Ocean biology is totally cool….until it interferes with my measurements. I’m looking at you barnacles on my ADCP. But swimming animals that can measure where oceanographers fear to tread, I am ALL OVER THAT. So here’s my favorite species…the ones I can stick instruments/tracking devices […]
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10:06 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Anything with an instrument on it
As a physical oceanographer I have a love-hate relationship with sea life. Ocean biology is totally cool….until it interferes with my measurements. I’m looking at you barnacles on my ADCP. But swimming animals that can measure where oceanographers fear to tread, I am ALL OVER THAT. So here’s my favorite species…the ones I can stick instruments/tracking devices […]
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4:43 PM | Stinkin' Seaweed Makes Tasty Food for Coastal Animals
[php]Most people try to avoid rotting kelp at the beach. The feeling of a floating piece of seaweed wrapping around an ankle is enough to shake even the most steeled swimmer, and then there's the strong smell! But in our research group, we go out of our way to find rotting seaweed at the shore so that we can study how kelp tissues change as they die and decompose.  While this may seem like an odd thing to care about, detached and decomposing kelp blades are actually a very important part […]
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12:19 AM | These Are a Few of My Favorite Species: Carnivorous Sponges
Most sponges, inspiration for dish cleaners and mess absorbers, feed by filtering water through those many holes and channels.  Their scientific name, Porifera, literally means pore bearer.  The channels are lined with special cells, chanocytes, each containing a flagellum that continuously beats.  This whirling action by the flagellum filters nutrients and small particles of food […]
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12:19 AM | These Are a Few of My Favorite Species: Carnivorous Sponges
Most sponges, inspiration for dish cleaners and mess absorbers, feed by filtering water through those many holes and channels.  Their scientific name, Porifera, literally means pore bearer.  The channels are lined with special cells, chanocytes, each containing a flagellum that continuously beats.  This whirling action by the flagellum filters nutrients and small particles of food […]

October 26, 2014

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9:12 PM | These Are a Few of My Favorite Species: Spotted Porcupine Fish
As scientific mariners, we spend an inordinate amount of shore time on sleezy docks and seedy piers around the world, from the gritty shipyards of Callao, to the bustling ports of Capetown, and the rowdy embarcaderos of Barbados. These landings provide a chance to shake off the sea legs on tierra firma, and sample the […]
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9:12 PM | These Are a Few of My Favorite Species: Spotted Porcupine Fish
As scientific mariners, we spend an inordinate amount of shore time on sleezy docks and seedy piers around the world, from the gritty shipyards of Callao, to the bustling ports of Capetown, and the rowdy embarcaderos of Barbados. These landings provide a chance to shake off the sea legs on tierra firma, and sample the […]

October 25, 2014

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5:09 AM | Codeword Bacon? Piggy? Pork Belly?! Let me in!!!!
 As I am getting ready to leave on another cruise in a week, I need to recount the old stories before new ones pile on! This is a good one, well, it is a good one now, at the time it was rather frightening.   Late October 2011, the R/V Roger Revelle sat steady on the equator in the Indian Ocean south of Sri Lanka. Every ship from the American fleet of research vessels obeys the US Coast

October 24, 2014

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10:33 AM | Shark vs. CTD. Shark 1, CTD 0.
There is a common saying amongst oceanographers, “if you put something in the water, there is no guarantee you will get it back.” I’ve been in that situation before and it sucks. Unlike these guys, I’ve never had to actively fight the ocean to get an instrument back. What appears to be just ordinary shark fishing is actually an […]
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10:33 AM | Shark vs. CTD. Shark 1, CTD 0.
There is a common saying amongst oceanographers, “if you put something in the water, there is no guarantee you will get it back.” I’ve been in that situation before and it sucks. Unlike these guys, I’ve never had to actively fight the ocean to get an instrument back. What appears to be just ordinary shark fishing is actually an […]

October 23, 2014

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12:42 PM | A Case for Anonymous Open Review
I recently reviewed a manuscript for the pioneering journal PeerJ. This presented me with a quandary. PeerJ’s experiment in open reviewing is nicely outlined in their recent post, and includes two steps: reviewers can sign their reports, and authors can publish the review history alongside their accepted paper. My quandary was this: I love the second idea, and think it is an important step forward in opening up the peer review process; but I don’t like to sign my reviews.... Read […]

October 22, 2014

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7:35 PM | These are a Few of My Favorite Species: Pistol Shrimp
My dream day includes Clint Eastwood and I drinking bourbon, smoking cigars, and watching The Outlaw Josey Wales. At one of the most memorable moments in the film, Clint as Josey Wales states “Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?” Shortly after projectile shenanigans ensue. Like Josey, Pistol Shrimp (Family Alpheidae), are entering guns […]
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7:35 PM | These are a Few of My Favorite Species: Pistol Shrimp
My dream day includes Clint Eastwood and I drinking bourbon, smoking cigars, and watching The Outlaw Josey Wales. At one of the most memorable moments in the film, Clint as Josey Wales states “Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?” Shortly after projectile shenanigans ensue. Like Josey, Pistol Shrimp (Family Alpheidae), are entering guns […]

October 20, 2014

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2:59 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Pig Butt Worm
This species bring a whole new meaning to butt face. It’s Latin name even means butt face.  I jest… it actually means resembling a pig’s rump. Chaetopterus pugaporcinus is a polychaete and like other worms it has segments.  Some of the segments are just a little bit inflated, i.e. this worm is all about the […]
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2:59 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Pig Butt Worm
This species bring a whole new meaning to butt face. It’s Latin name even means butt face.  I jest… it actually means resembling a pig’s rump. Chaetopterus pugaporcinus is a polychaete and like other worms it has segments.  Some of the segments are just a little bit inflated, i.e. this worm is all about the […]

October 17, 2014

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5:21 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Painted Frogfish
Leaving alone on the seafloor is the lonely painted frogfish, Antennarius pictus. Males and females only come together for the dirty deed but quickly become intolerant of each other.  If the female stays too close, the male will eat the female…which in the whole evolutionary passing the genes to the next generation scenario seems like an idiotic move. […]
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5:21 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Painted Frogfish
Leaving alone on the seafloor is the lonely painted frogfish, Antennarius pictus. Males and females only come together for the dirty deed but quickly become intolerant of each other.  If the female stays too close, the male will eat the female…which in the whole evolutionary passing the genes to the next generation scenario seems like an idiotic move. […]
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5:55 AM | Hydrophone arrays, FTW!
We do a lot of things out here on the CalCurCEAS cruise – we play cribbage, we eat cookies, we ride the stationary bicycle – but mostly we do these two things, A LOT: 1) Look for whales and dolphins. 2) Listen for whales and dolphins. Part 1, the “Look” part, is within the realm […]

October 16, 2014

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1:04 PM | Marine Environmental Data and Information Network Coordinator
Dr. Clare Postlethwaite has been appointed coordinator of the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN).Dr Clare Postlethwaite ©Clare joined MEDIN two years ago as a member of the Core Team with responsibility for metadata and data standards. During this time she has worked with members of the marine community from across the public and private sectors. She believes MEDIN’s goal is to make it easier to share marine data for both data collectors and data users and […]

October 15, 2014

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3:53 AM | Whales, dolphins, and seabirds, oh my!
Hi all! I’m on a ship called the R/V Ocean Starr, and we’re out on the 2014 California Current Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey, or CalCurCEAS for short. We are collecting data that will allow NOAA scientists to estimate the abundance of whales and dolphins off the west coast of the U.S. They’ll also be […]

October 14, 2014

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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, […]

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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