A New Global Initiative to End Plastic Waste

GLOBAL PLAYERS INVOLVED IN EVERY PHASE OF THE PLASTICS CHAIN, from production to consumer packaging to waste management, have announced the creation of a nonprofit effort to help end plastic waste in the environment, especially in the oceans. The new Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) is supported by nearly 30 corporations, as diverse as petrochemical manufacturers like ExxonMobil, manufacturers like the Saudi company SABIC and consumer products distributors like Proctor & Gamble. They propose

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Stomach-Everting, Arm-Regenerating Starfish Explained

BOTH LITTLE KIDS AND MARINE BIOLOGISTS KNOW STARFISH BY THEIR FIVE ARMS. The starfish anatomy that lurks underneath a starfish’s bumpy skin is another thing (To be clear, the biologists know sea star facts, the rest of us not so much). There are 1,500 to 2,000 species of starfish, or sea stars, found in oceans worldwide, in pretty much every depth and type of habitat. They’re all alike in general architecture but come in a myriad

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Watch How Starfish Walk…and Bounce

WITH FIVE ARMS STRETCHING IN FIVE DIRECTIONS, you’d think that starfish could move along the seafloor like Indiana Jones. In fact, usually they creep along on hundreds of little tube feet that line the undersides of those arms. But, researchers studying how starfish walk found something else: sometimes starfish bounce along for speed. As echinoderms in Class Asteroidea, starfish walk by operating their multitudes of little tiny feet through intricate networks of fluid-filled canals. With

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how do fish sleep

How Fish Sleep: By Resting, Snoozing & Totally Zonking Out

HOW FISH SLEEP DEPENDS ON THE SPECIES. Nocturnal fishes, like cardinalfishes and those closely packed platoons of grunts and gray snappers you see just hanging around by coralheads and pier pilings during day dives, are likely resting rather than actually sleeping. Some species, like parrotfish, clearly sleep at night, although they seem like they can be awakened with minor disturbances (I base this on my own clumsiness around them on night dives). Some, like bluehead

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Jellies as Prey, Benny the Beluga, Time-sharing Dolphins

INTERESTING STUFF ON THE WEB Jellyfish have generally been regarded as more nuisance more than key players in the ocean food web. But they may be much more significant than has been previously thought, according to a study described in the online magazine Anthropocene. While they have long been considered “tropic dead ends” ignored by predators, in fact they’re regularly consumed by marine life as diverse as fishes, penguins, turtles, crabs, octopuses, sea cucumbers and

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Squid Camouflage – an Awesome Video

SQUID CAMOUFLAGE WOULD APPEAR TO BE A TOUGH CHALLENGE. Squids’ cephalopod cousins, like bottom-dwelling octopuses and cuttlefishes, can disappear by blending in with the nearest coral. As free swimmers, squids have to find a way to hide out in the midst of open water. So the question is, how do squids manage their colors to disappear in plain sight?  IT’S ALL IN THE IRIDOPHORES As it turns out, as explained by the folks behind PBS’ terrific

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“Japan Pigs” & Tuna-Herding Sea Lions

GOOD READS ON THE WEB Researchers have added a new species of pygmy seahorse to the six already known, according to an article in National Geographic. Compared in size to grains of rice, Hippocampus japapigu – “Japan pig” – is tiny but active, playful and adorable, according to the international team of scientists who documented it. The little guys had been observed by divers for some time but the scientists realized it was an undocumented species

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Barnacles at Work

BARNACLES HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED AS SHRIMP THAT STAND ON THEIR HEADS AND FLYFISH WITH THEIR FEET. Despite the hard mollusk-like shells they build, acorn and gooseneck barnacles are crustaceans, related to shrimps, crabs and lobsters. Look closely and you’ll see fine, feathery extensions constantly being flicked into the current from within those shells, like expert fishermen casting and recasting into a stream. The creatures within use these “cirri” – adapted leg-like appendages – to capture

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Barnacles: Sticky Crustaceans Explained

AS ANIMALS THAT SPEND THEIR LIVES HIDDEN INSIDE HARD, PROTECTIVE SHELLS, IT’S EASY TO OVERLOOK BARNACLES. In fact, they may be subtle but they’re fantastic, busy little guys, always working the plankton for edibles. Need evidence? Here are some random barnacle facts. 1  Acorn and gooseneck barnacles are both crustaceans in the cirripedia subclass – cirripedia reflecting their singular adaptation of their legs into cirri used for capturing prey. 2   They’re the only crustaceans that are

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Happy Holidays from Poseidon’s Web! May your 2019 include lots of bubbles!  Ralph Fuller, Editor & Publisher Photo: A Panamic cushion star (Pentaceraster cumingi), found mostly in the eastern Pacific along the American coast, from the Gulf of California to northern Peru. This guy photographed in the Galapagos Islands. Sometimes referred to as a knobby sea star. I.D. REFERENCE:  “Pentaceraster cumingi,” Wikipedia.

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