Practically nothing was known about the biology of whale sharks up until about 15 years ago. Since that time there has been a veritable explosion of interest in the world’s largest fish. As we have learned more about them, some surprising aspects of their life history have emerged, including a tendency to be far more . . . → Read More: Whale shark ecotourism: the good, the bad and the ugly
Science is about discovery, observation and understanding, but it doesn’t always proceed smoothly and inexorably towards success. Real science, especially RealBiology®, is often messy and complicated, and the real challenge of being a biologist is distilling out of that sloppy chaos some meaningful patterns that might advance the field. I am with a team from . . . → Read More: Notes from the field: Mexico whale shark research 2012
If you’re at all interested in charismatic megafauna (it’s OK, embrace the shame), then you’ve probably heard of satellite tagging before. This is the idea that you can attach a small device to some species of interest and follow its progress and know its location without actually having to be able to see it all . . . → Read More: Fishy phone home
Dead pelicans on the beach in Peru. Img: The Guardian As many as 900 dolphins and over 4,000 pelicans have washed up dead on the beaches of northern Peru in the last couple of months, (see news coverage here, here and here), leading to a flurry of activity as various authorities and other interested parties . . . → Read More: What is Peru’s dolphin and pelican die-off telling us?
A paper by Marc Nadon and colleagues from U. Hawaii and U Miami RSMAS has been getting a good bit of press lately (see here and here and here), and rightly so, it’s an interesting and important subject. They studied populations of reef sharks in the Pacific and attempted to reconstruct what the “starting” populations . . . → Read More: Are humans and reefs sharks mutually exclusive?
This week the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer has been dropping its ROV Little Hercules onto various features in the northern Gulf of Mexico, including an old wood/iron wreck, salt domes and man-made seismic trenches. Okeanos has an interesting remote arrangement where folks back on the continent can direct the ROV pilots in real time by . . . → Read More: TGIF – Pretty pictures from Okeanos Explorer
From the Barber lab at UCLA comes this awesome video. Not only can they sing better than most biologists, but the lyrics are great! I especially liked the line about not caring about income, just wanting to discover stuff. I feel ya… Hat tip to @neillosin on Twitter . . . → Read More: TGIF – the coral triangle, a-capella style!
Right now our own @rmacpherson is in the Pacific, talking coral and shark conservation Fiji. In honour of his trip, here is a beautiful video of 100% live acroporid coral cover in the nearby Solomon Islands, shot by Bruce Carlson. I offer it as evidence for this TGIF that there are still many beautiful and . . . → Read More: TGIF – 100% live coral cover
John Bobbitt: Baby, this is not what I meant by “trial separation” Once upon a time in 1993, when I was imbibing my sophomore year at college in Australia – drinking in the knowledge, so to speak – I heard tell of a horrific crime, one that struck fear into the hearts and sub-heart-areas . . . → Read More: More annelid than anaconda
CITES is the 1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, to which 175 nations are signatories. Along with the IUCN Red List, it’s one of the main ways that the international conservation status of a species is recognised (IUCN) and regulated (CITES). The main mechanism for this at CITES is through listing of a . . . → Read More: Will marine conservation miss out at the next CITES meeting?