The core idea behind Megavertebrate Week was to identify neritic species that can be found in the deep sea, in order to make that “deep-sea connection” for people outside our typical readership. It worked.
We hit the list serves for C Turtle and for MarMam. We made the blog rolls in Germany and Russia. We introduced you to many marine animals that you already knew, like the sea turtles, whales, elephant seals, and penguins, and we showed you how these marine megavertebrates spend a good part of their daylight hours diving well below 200m. The marine megavertebrates we profiled are all denizens of the deep.
The remarkable thing is that we still don’t understand why these animals dive. Many questions remain unanswered. But one thing is clear- most of these species are endangered and threatened. In order to protect fully them we will need to understand why and how they dive, and which resources they draw upon, so that commercial and recreational fisheries don’t out-compete megavertebrate populations for food.
This week’s postings were personal victory for the DSN writers, too, because we never once mentioned polychaetes or hairy snails, or deep sea corals even. We had to seek professional help, of course, but by doing so we introduced you to several laboratories and young researchers around the country and around the world who are doing important scientific research about the adaptations of air breathing animals foraging in the deep ocean. We barely scratched the seafloor, though. You can only fit so much into a single week.
DSN founder Craig McClain was extremely happy with the way things shaped up.
“Hit rates this week are through the roof”, he wrote. “Yesterday set an all new high for us [1700 visitors]. … The write ups [ from the guest authors] are well written and insightful. I especially appreciate the attentiveness to commenter’s questions. … We also seem to have won a ‘thinking blogger award’. I guess I have to take down the ‘Never Won a Blog Award’ blog award.”
Megavertebrate Week will likely return for years to come. Some new weeks could also be forthcoming. Jelly Week, perhaps? Or Fish Week? How about Wreck Week? We dunno. CK is looking for a Microbe Week. That’s very bold. Let us know what you would like to see.
In a way, it’s easy reporting on the world’s largest environment. There’s always something happening. If not, there’s always something about to happen. You know what I mean? ; )
Thanks a lot for reading and thanks for your comments. Stick around this summer for much, much more. Field season is just getting started!