Looking like tiny clear grapes in pastel colors, tunicates are marine filter feeders with sac-like bodies. (Photograph: WDR)
SOME SHINY CTENOPHORES
♥Mnemiopsis leidyi (Larva)
taken by Alvaro E. Migotto USP
Discovery of a New Deep Chemosynthetic Community
Deepwater Canyons Project Science Team
After several days of lost dives due to bad weather and making dives under difficult conditions, we are today in calm seas exploring an area that was discovered last year during a NOAA mapping cruise. While conducting a seafloor survey, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer found bubbles coming from the seafloor at a site south and offshore of Norfolk Canyon; they thought these bubbles may indicate a new methane seep site, but they had no way of verifying this idea.
Today, we deployed the Jason remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from the NOAA Ship Ron Brown to 1,600 meters (nearly a mile deep—our deepest dive yet!) to explore the area around those bubbles. After transecting over soft sediment for a short time, we saw some indications that we were getting close to a probable methane seep. These indications included white patches of bacteria on the sediment surface that feed on the methane and sulfides, plus shells of dead mussels, which are the dominant animals of methane seep communities…
(via: NOAA Ocean Explorer)
(photos: Deepwater Canyons 2013 - Pathways to the Abyss, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS)
What do you do with a squid that doesn’t belong? In 1995, a collection of eastern Pacific squids was donated to the Smithsonian — but one specimen didn’t fit into any known family of squids. It had wide fins that looked almost like elephant ears, and skinny arms that had been severed a few inches below the squid’s mantle. Together with a slightly larger juvenile specimen in the collections and a paralarva (baby) from Hawaii, this odd-looking specimen led to the identification of a whole new family of squids: the Magnapinnidae, or bigfin squids.
But that wasn’t the end of the story.
A few years later, researchers in deep-sea submersibles began spotting large and very strange squids. They had long spaghetti-like arms — reaching 20 feet (7 meters) — that bent like elbows. They were so unusual they were nicknamed “mystery squid” by Smithsonian and NOAA researcher Dr. Michael Vecchione.
By comparing videos of these “mystery squid” with the juvenile bigfins in the Smithsonian’s collection, scientists identified the strange squids as adult bigfins. With the help of long-dead specimens, a modern-day mystery was solved.
via: The Ocean Portal
Atlantic blue marlin larva (Makaira nigricans)
In one spawning, the female blue marlin may release up to 7 million eggs, each approximately 1mm in diameter.
The planktonic young may drift in the pelagic zone and may grow as much as to 1.6cm in a day.
© Cedric Guigand
Too. much. squee.
Damn Nature You Scary of the Day: Swimming Scallops
Have you ever seen scallops in their natural habitat?
Today, Tuesday, April 9th, BU Global Water Brigades will be hosting and educational event from 6 to 8:30pm in CAS 522 called “Tap into Boston’s Water Sustainability Network” featuring a screening of the documentary Tapped followed by a paneled discussion.The panel includes Jill Appel (Concord’s Bottle Water Ban Movement), Russ Cohen (Department of Ecological Restoration), Kim McCabe (specialist on the Pacific Gyre). The networking segment is an opportunity for aspiring activists and curious students to connect with industry professionals. Peter Campbell, a current BU student, will be playing some of his own music to open the event.The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Sign up here, http://tapintoboston.eventbrite.comNext week we will have our regular MSA meeting featuring BUMP alum Brendan Wylie to talk about his work on jellyfish.Also- don’t forget to get your Lobster Ball tickets ($23 each) at our eventbrite: http://bumsa.eventbrite.com/ Once you buy a ticket, be sure to fill out the SAO waiver (attached to the last email) and turn it in to Rachel (email@example.com).This year’s MSA shirts are also available at http://www.customink.com/signup/2tusc3lp. One of us will be at the event tomorrow to collect money for them if you have already ordered! They will be $14 each.Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/167754223305833/) to stay up to date on the Lobster Ball and shirts!!
Hey guys! We have a meeting tonight at 7pm in BRB113. We will have guest speaker Nathan Stewart from the Biology Department. He is talking about his work doing marine ecology in the Arctic.
Let us know if you’re coming in this doodle poll so we know how much pizza to get!
Human-generated rubbish unfortunately has a long history in the deep ocean. In the age of steamships, for example, vessels dumped the remains of burned coal, known as clinker, from their engine rooms. Clinker changed the nature of the seafloor in well-travelled areas, transforming the seabed from soft sediment in which some forms of marine life can burrow, into cobbled areas suiting other life-forms that can anchor to hard surfaces. The scale of that transformation is such that clinker is now recognised as a seafloor type when we are mapping the deep ocean.
At the time that our great-great-grandparents were dumping clinker, however, they only had hazy notions about the depth of the oceans, let alone what was going on down there. Just starting to map the depth of the ocean, let alone visit it, required two technological advances. One was the ability to fix a ship’s position accurately far from land, solved by inventions such as John Harrison’s longitude-determining chronometer. The other was steam-powered winches, which helped early survey ships to pay out and haul in the miles of cable required to plumb the ocean depths.
Today we can gauge the large-scale landscape of the ocean floor from satellites, map it in far greater detail using sonar, and visit its most extreme depths with deep-diving vehicles. Plastic, meanwhile, has replaced clinker as a common contaminant of the deep ocean. During our present expedition, we plan to collect sediment cores around the world’s deepest known undersea vents to see if there are any microplastics here: tiny ground-down remnants of plastic that may now be quite ubiquitous in the oceans.
Although we might not think about it, our daily lives have an impact on the deep ocean, not just through items of litter that end up there, but increasingly through the resources that we use. We are fishing in deeper waters, extracting oil and gas from deeper waters, and now eyeing deposits of metals and rare earth elements on the ocean floor, needed for the ever-developing technology of our modern lives.