Awesome Video: Pearlfish and their Sea Cucumber B&B

A POST HERE SEVERAL MONTHS AGO closed with the “Really Odd Fact” that blenny-like pearlfish (Periclimenes imperator) have a habit of taking up residence in the … well…rear ends of sea cucumbers. The overall post, “Sea Cucumbers – Superheroes of the Sea,” was about the fact that sea cucumbers, often ignored as inert, unimportant creatures, actually had a lot to recommend them.  THE PEARLFISH/CUCUMBER EQUATION The pearlfish/cuke interaction is generally described as commensal relationship, but that term implies a

Read more

Trending: Cuttlefish, Deep Sea Fish & Exploding Fish

“INCONSPICUOUS BATTLEGROUND”   bioGraphic.com   An area off South Australia may seem like a mundane stretch of coastline but beneath the waters a spectacular event takes place each year – normally solitary giant Australian cuttlefish (Sepia apama) gather to compete for mates. The event is spectacular and so is the photography by Justin Gilligan (the image above is by a different photographer). “THIS IS THE SOUND A DOLPHIN MIGHT HEAR IF IT’S ABOUT TO BECOME DINNER”    News

Read more

The Photo: Don’t Mess with Squid Eggs!

SOMETIMES, DURING DIVES, YOU ENCOUNTER THESE THINGS attached to the bottom. They’re squid eggs. Here’s a hint: Don’t Mess With Them! Remember Kirk Douglas battling the giant squid in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? It’s could be like that. Maybe. DESIGNED TO DRIVE GUYS MAD! When a female squid deposits her eggs on the seafloor, she also imbues them with a protein that essentially drives male squids crazy – not about her but about the eggs.

Read more

Horse Conch Meets Snail, Hermit Habitat Opens Up

THE FIRST PART OF THIS VIDEO OUTTAKE FROM BBC’S BLUE PLANET is amazing enough. A giant Florida horse conch (Triplofusus papillosus) chases, catches, dines on a smaller tulip snail (Fasciolaria tulipa). To some, perhaps gruesome but it’s part of the web of life. KEEP WATCHING             What happens then is equally engaging. A real estate battle follows almost immediately as hermit crabs (any of several species in Family Diogenidae) scramble to take up

Read more

How Mantis Shrimps See – With Polarity

MANTIS SHRIMPS ARE FAMOUS FOR HAVING UNIQUE VISUAL CAPABILITIES – not only do they have 16 color receptors in their eyes, they can see six types of polarized light properties that are invisible to us human beings. Presumably, this helps them in a lot of ways, from hunting to avoiding being hunted, possibly for navigation and other uses. Polarized vision is complicated. FORTUNATELY: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign engineer Viktor Gruev was inspired to develop a camera

Read more

Banded Coral Shrimps – A Dance, a Wave & Maybe a Nice Massage

BANDED CORAL SHRIMPS MAY BE THE FRIENDLIEST CREATURES ON THE REEF.  Well, they’re always waving at us. Waving, that is, their super-long white antennae trying to attract passing divers – okay, passing fishes, actually – to come over for a little close-up cleaning. With their prominent tentacles, red-and-white banded bodies and outsized claw limbs, they’re high-profile members of the fish-cleaning profession that’s also inhabited by anemone shrimps, cleaning gobies and other little (often-juvenile) fishes. Found in

Read more

The Sea Urchin’s Tale

THE (NEARLY IMMORTAL) LIVES OF SEA URCHINS IS THE FOCUS of this terrific video from the terrific folks at PBS’s Deep Look. Like most marine denizens, they endure long – and perilous – journeys as tiny larvae before settling into on some suitable substrate for a life eating algae. Once they transform into adults, they’re pretty much invulnerable, says Deep Look, with life expectancy as long at 200 years. The transformation process is amazing.

Read more

Sea Cucumbers – Superheroes  of the Seas

TO MOST DIVERS, SEA CUCUMBERS WOULD SEEM LIKE THE INACTION FIGURES of the oceans. Mainly, they come off as inert, sausage-shaped lumps lying randomly on the sandy bottom and perhaps the least interesting obects on the reef. In fact, some of them have real Captain Echinoderm moves in them. For one thing, they’re nocturnal so what you see in the daytime isn’t what you’d get at night, when they creep around on their little tube

Read more

Puffers Sleeping, Brittlestars at Work

THE MARKINGS OF THE FISHES AT LEFT AND LOWER RIGHT suggest members of the genus Canthigaster, sharp-nosed puffers often known as toby’s that are found in the Indo-Pacific. But the specific designs and colors are sufficiently different from the familiar black saddled toby (Canthigaster valentini) to suggest they’re not described in any of the references I have access to. CANTHIGASTER POSEIDONSWEBUS   But there are a lot of fishes in the sea, so to speak, and

Read more