All snails and their ancestors, the Gastropods, share a common feature. We people with fancy Ph.D.’s in biology call this a synapomorphy, a word derived from the Greek words for “together with”, “away from”, and “shape”, namely syn, apo, and morphe. You might think the shell is a common feature of snails, but Gastropoda also . . . → Read More: How the Gastropod Got Its Twist
The larvae of eels and other related species are called small heads or in the fancier Greek, Leptocephalus. The video above should give you some insight into this moniker. Unlike fish larvae, Leptocephali can grow quite large from a few inches to well over a foot in length. Also unlike fish larvae, Leptocephali do . . . → Read More: TGIF: Eel larvae
The holidays are a time for lists: shopping list, grocery list for the holiday meal, things I must accomplish before the year ends, and Santa’s naughty or nice list. In case your wondering, all of us at DSN were naughty, except for me. I’ve been more nasty nice. To these lists, I will add the . . . → Read More: The Twelve Days of Snails
Long time readers will know how perverse and socially inappropriate the unseemly sea squirt is. But there is an interesting property of sea squirt pornography and local oceanography that may have consequences in the debates surrounding marine reserve design. Castillo and colleagues examined the spawning behavior of intertidal tunicates (Pyura praeputialis, an invasive) from the . . . → Read More: Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex
What hid’st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells? Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main! – Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-colour’d shells, Bright things which gleam unreck’d-of, and in vain! – Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea! We ask not such from thee Felicia Hemans, 1827 The Treasures of the Deep Just when you think you have . . . → Read More: First New Snail Larval Form Discovered Since 1878
Daniel Brown brought my attention to this Ocean Portal video featuring the Echinoblog’s Chris Mah on the potential impact of oil on the Gulf of Mexico’s marine invertebrates. (The video also features Daniel’s original echinoart!) For more on oil impacts, see Dr Bik’s recent posts on dispersant toxicity. . . . → Read More: Chris Mah on Oil’s Impact on Marine Invertebrates
The Wonderful Reproductive Cycle of Cyliophora The Loriciferans were first described in 1983 and since then around 20 species were described with at least 80 species waiting in the wings for their official names. However, Loricefera were known since the 70′s but because of there complex life cycle with a larva (Higgins-larva) that looks completely . . . → Read More: Life Without Gonads and Toes
Post by Shawn M. Arellano. Dr. Shawn Arellano is a postdoctoral researcher at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Her PhD research at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology concerned the reproduction and recruitment dynamics of a methane-fueled seep mussel. B. childressi: Photo courtesy of Shawn M. Arellano I have a dirty secret: . . . → Read More: I have a dirty secret: I am a mussel sex voyeur.