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.

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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

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COMB JELLIES: THE BEAUTIFUL SEA GODDESS 

THE ESTIMABLE FOLKS AT THE MONTERREY BAY AQUARIUM RESEARCH INSTITUTE are celebrating their success at breeding the comb jelly Leucothea pulchra with a video chowing off its otherworldly, pulsating beauty. As a comb jelly, L. pulchra (whose Latin name means “beautiful sea goddess”) is more properly known as a ctenophore, a gelatinous sea creature somewhat resembling a jellyfish. CTENOPHORES VERSUS JELLIES Unlike with your basic jelly, ctenophores don’t sting. Instead, they have sticky tentacles that trail

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For Sea Spiders, It’s All in the Legs

SEA SPIDERS ARE CREATURES WITH LONG LEGS radiating from tiny central bodies. In a class of marine arthropods called Pycnogonida, they’re found in more than 1,300 species in oceans all over the world LOOKS SIMILAR, WORKS VERY DIFFERENTLY    The only association they have with terrestrial spiders is … a physical appearance of long legs and tiny central bodies. Other than that, they are totally unlike real spiders, or anything else, for that matter. IT’S ALL IN

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Mantis Shrimps – Tough, Strong and Hot!

MANTIS SHRIMPS ARE HOT.  Not as hot as sharks and manta rays always are, but in recent years they’ve been experiencing a flurry of attention, from a NatGeo special – “KILLER SHRIMP,” naturally – to a spate of research looking at their speed of attack, strength and visual acuity. Despite their common nomenclature and NatGeo’s hyper-dramatic program titling, mantis shrimps are neither shrimps nor assassins of divers or other human beings. They are highly efficient predators of other marine

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