To Define Plankton, Think: “Ocean Food Bank”

THE PLANKTON IS ONE OF THE KEYSTONES OF THE OCEAN FOOD CHAIN. In fact, it’s one of the most important elements of life in the sea. And, yet, every time I mention the word, seek to talk about plankton, discuss plankton, define plankton, I can hear eyes roll all across Planet Earth. True, plankton doesn’t have the same excitement attached to it as, say, a celebrity punching a shark on You-Know-What Week. On the other hand,

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Rambo Rules: An Octopus Takes Photos of People

Gone diving. Out of touch. Not posting too much new stuff. In the meantime, here’s a re-post that’s terrific:  FINDING A FRIENDLY OCTOPUS ON YOUR PHOTO SHOOT DIVE IS A RARE JOY.  Sony Corporation and Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium in Auckland, New Zealand, turned the tables. The concept: An octopus takes photos of people. The octopus is Rambo, so named because he wrecked two camera systems in the course of the training.  RAMBO RULES Of course, the

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Seahorses Are Super-Predators – An Awesome Video

IT MAY BE EXCITING TO FIND SEAHORSES ON DIVES – but watching them is like watching grass grow. They’re inept swimmers, so they rarely swim unless they have to.  But it turns out that seahorses are super-predators, more than 90 percent effective at bagging their prey – mostly tiny shrimp and copepods. WHY SEAHORSES ARE SUPER-PREDATORS – ANATOMY & SPEED One study using high-speed video to record seahorses’ movements found that the seahorse’s curved-body architecture

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A Great Fish Backscratch, Caught in an Awesome Video

SOMETIMES THERE’S NOTHING BETTER THAN A GOOD BACKSCRATCH. Clearly, the same is true for fish. I referenced this video at the end of an earlier post on fish “flashing,” a fishy habit of rubbing fish their bodies on the seafloor, possibly to scrape off parasites, or possibly in search of a good fish backscratch. A FISH BACKSCRATCH WORTH REPOSTING This video is so delightful I decided to post it in its own right. It’s a

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“The Fastest Punch in the World”

MANTIS SHRIMPS ARE PARTICULARLY AGGRESSIVE CRUSTACEANS with exceptional traits. One is their ability to smash hardshelled prey with lightning strokes. As this awesome Smithsonian Channel video shows, the mantis shrimp punch is perhaps the strongest, fastest left hook in the ocean. The mantis headlines earlier this year focused on their complex eyes and exceptional vision (seethe Poseidon’s Web post How Mantis Shrimps See – With Polarity). Even more impressive – and worrisome to fishermen who may accidentally

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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

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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

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Pygmy Seahorses:  Find them if You Can

PYGMY SEAHORSES (HIPPOCAMPUS BARGIBANTI) are small, fragile creatures of the Indo-Pacific, amazing in their ability to blend in with the colorful sea fans they spend their lives on. The question was: Do they choose the sea fan to match their color or do they acclimate to match the host sea fan’s color? Watch this awesome video from the equally amazing folks at Deep Look to find out – and learn a lot about pygmy seahorses

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Great Barrier Reef’s “Mysterious” Blue Hole

AN AUSTRALIAN MARINE BIOLOGIST HAS DISCOVERED A PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN BLUE HOLE in a remote area of the Great Barrier Reef, some 120 miles/200 kilometers from the nearest island. Unlike the famous 400-foot-deep Great Blue Hole of Belize, this blue hole is about 100 feet/300 meters deep at its center and serves as a protected habitat for healthy corals, fish and other marine life. To keep it that way, he won’t tell anybody where it is.

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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

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