Squid typically aren’t my thing, but I can certainly be wooed by their microbes. Example: the very awesome symbiotic relationship between the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, and its “luminous symbiont” bacteria, Vibrio fischeri. This squid, like us, has its own body clock dictating it’s routine. But instead of waking up in the morning and . . . → Read More: All hail! Bacteria that control their squid overlords
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 . . . → Read More: Flesh Eating Sponges?
Dear Abby, It’s just not fair. There I was, a freshly produced sand tiger shark embryo, developing nicely and making my way down the ovarian ducts to one horn of the uterus. I had blastulated like a boss, totally owned gastrulation and even did a half decent impersonation of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny. Things were looking . . . → Read More: It’s not uterUS, it’s uterME
A “species” is a hypothesis. And for microscopic critters, this hypothesis is very often wrong. Everyone knows I despise charismatic megafauna (especially dolphins). I will now secretly admit that I also don’t care much for charismatic invertebrates. I mean, Yeti crabs are pretty much the Lindsay Lohan of marine creatures – they’re just too damn . . . → Read More: When 2 becomes 12: Cryptic species need some love like they’ve never needed love before
Chromodoris posing for thecutest picture ever taken. Source: NatGeo Another epic post from Alex Warneke, aka lil’ A Disposable nudibranch penises are all the rage this month thanks to a study published in the Royal Society’s journal Biology Letters. Undoubtedly a unique skill in the animal kingdom, there is just something about the phrase “detachable . . . → Read More: Can’t Touch This
The bubbles around me clear and as I regain my visibility my first thought is how wide is the mouth coming for me. Five feet? Six Feet? Will my whole body fit in there? As the whale shark closes the distance between us mouth first, I’m focused entirely on the size of the beast. It’s . . . → Read More: Whale Sharks and Giant Squids: Big or Bu!!$hit?
Neritina canalis with its eggs. Each egg contains a few hundred larvae that will be washed down into the ocean. Photo from Eric Krandall Many animals do not spend their lives entirely in saltwater or freshwater choosing rather to fully explore the world around them. These species are referred to as diadromous from the Greek . . . → Read More: The Oceanic Travels of Freshwater Snails
I was going to do a “demons of the deep” post for Halloween but as I was considering which animals to include I had to stop and ask myself what this was really all about and it took me in a slightly different direction, viz: Consider the viper fish with its capacious maw and manifold . . . → Read More: Is this fish evil?
Brittle stars, a sea pen, and sea cucumber dealing with the lack of energy on the deep-sea floor. Photo courtesy of MBARI If energy is the currency of life then deep-sea organisms are in a long-term recession. Energy comes in three major forms important for life: solar radiation in the form of photons, thermal kinetic . . . → Read More: The Great Recession of the Deep Oceans
Courtesy of Shutterstock In Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare a slow-moving but determined tortoise defeats an obnoxious and speedy hare, who decides to nap mid race. The moral of the fable is generally taken that slow and steady wins the race or alternatively over-confidence loses the race. However, perhaps Aesop meant to highlight a . . . → Read More: Understanding How Hares and Big Lineman Lose Races Through Sucking Feet