This image shows female Antillogorgia elisabethae with newly released eggs and developing planulae larvae. (Credit: Howard Lasker) You might be surprised to learn that an ingredient in some skin crèmes is coral, or more accurately coral extract. More specifically, Pseudopterosin A is a topical anti-inflammatory agent derived from the sea whip Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae and often . . . → Read More: By trying to look sexier you may be ruining sex for corals.
In the third or, um, sixth Star Wars movie, Emperor Palpatine finally reveals himself as the evil Sith lord Darth Sidious when he orders the assassination of every Jedi in the Galaxy by clone soliders (who either later or earlier become the infamous storm troopers of the first or, er, fourth episode). This edict is . . . → Read More: Execute order 66
Coral reefs are famous for their beautiful colours, but in fact when I visit them I am usually surprised how colourful reefs AREN’T. Most healthy corals have a sort of dusty tan or pink hue to them, and it’s only on reefs with particularly high coral cover, superb water clarity and bright overhead sun that . . . → Read More: TGIF – The spectacular fluorescent colours of Coral Reefs
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
eBay’s history is dotted with carcasses of endangered and vulnerable species. In 2000, the Sea Turtle Conservancy announced that a large selection of illegal hawksbill turtle shell products were available on the online auction site. “On Jan. 6, about about 50 genuine tortoise shell items were listed for sale through ebay, said Gary Appelson, advocacy . . . → Read More: Finding Endangered Life on eBay
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
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?
Exallias brevis male My good colleague Dr. Bruce Carlson just uploaded a very nice short YouTube video about a reef blenny called Exallias brevis. Exallias is fairly special (but by no means unique) not just because it’s quite the looker, but because it is a coral predator. Like many blennies it has a mouth that . . . → Read More: TGIF – Exallias brevis, a very special fish