Snails and other mollusks

Flying Scallops – An Awesome Video!

UNLIKE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BIVALVE FAMILY, SCALLOPS CAN FLY. And flying scallops make for an amazing sight! Well, actually scallops swim, by jetting along underwater, as shown in this awesome video from East Coast Divers, my old dive shop in Brookline, Mass. NEITHER A BURROWER NOR AN ATTACHER BE Like other bivalves – clams, oysters and mussels – scallops share the basic anatomical structures of other members of Phylum Mollusca. As members of Family

Read more

 Nematocysts & the Science of Sting

NEMATOCYSTS ARE OCEAN STINGERS’ SECRET WEAPONS. In fact, they are the stingers. The way in which nematocysts sting is a story of the sneaky, harpoon-like ordnance of Phylum Cnidaria – jellyfish, coral and gorgonian polyps, sea anemones, fire corals and hydroids. If you happen to touch a sea anemone, a sea plume or coral tentacles (which you shouldn’t do), you’re likely to not feel their sting. Actually, you’ve probably been stung, ineffectively. Those animals’ stingers

Read more
how cuttlefish hunt

How Cuttlefish Hunt – an Awesome Video

THE FIRST REASON FOR WATCHING THIS VIDEO OF A FLAMBOYANT CUTTLEFISH stalking a shrimp is that it’s a fascinating view of how cuttlefish hunt and capture their prey. The second  is that it’s a flamboyant cuttlefish – that’s its street name – an astoundingly dramatic, colorful creature described as the “flamenco dancer of the cuttlefish world” by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium (MBA), which produced the video. A FRONT-PAGE FEATURE SIDEBAR I get into the characteristics and

Read more

This Walking Cuttlefish Makes a Colorful Statement

WHENEVER THE FLAMBOYANT CUTTLEFISH MAKES ITS ENTRANCE, it does so with flair, a walking cuttlefish that lives up to its diva-like street name. The Monterrey Bay Aquarium, which breeds them, describes them as “the flamenco dancers of the cuttlefish world.” Small and rare, flamboyants (Metasepia pferreri) are singular among cephalopods in that they live on (or hover near) the ocean bottom. They’re the only walking cuttlefish, moving along the seafloor on arms and fins. As most sources see it,

Read more

Conch Eyes & Zen

FOR MANY OF US, DIVING IS ZEN, A MEDITATIVE EXPERIENCE. For me, communing with our fellow travelers under the sea is a major part of it. Spending time on the sandy bottom contemplating a queen conch while its (somewhat eerie) conch eyes contemplate me is a part of that. Some places are better for conch fellowship than others. I’ve found friendly conchs at Little Cayman, Roatan and in the Bahamas (this queen conch specimen was

Read more

Bioluminescent Firefly Squid: “Flashes of Brilliance,” bioGraphic

THREE INCHES LONG, MOSTLY DEEP-WATER DENIZENS and found in Japanese waters, bioluminescent firefly squid (Watasenia scintillans) are not particularly familiar to western divers. But once a year, female fireflies come to the surface in large, nightly aggregations and put on dazzling shows of light. “The squids’ twinkling displays have captured scientists’ attention since the early 20th century, and have helped researchers better understand the chemistry of bioluminescence,” says science writer Elizabeth Preston in “Flashes of

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

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

The Moon Snail Sand Collar Mystery

FOR A LONG TIME, DURING MY NEW ENGLAND DIVING DAYS, the northern moon snail (Euspira heros) represented a mystery to me. I kept seeing these structures I knew were moon snail “sand collars,” mucus-bound masses of sand that were said be be egg-laden. Except that there didn’t appear to be any eggs. SANDY SAND COLLARS  MOON SNAIL SAND COLLAR MYSTERY SOLVED Then, one day, I found this: BIGFOOT SIGHTED! Thinking about moon snails brings to

Read more