Salmon find their homes using magnetic fields, innate internal map
Scientists are working to determine just how precise the Chinook salmon’s personal GPS actually is when it comes to returning to ancestral feeding grounds.
Drone films superpod of Dolphins, and Whales
Start your Monday right.
Brian Skerry: Swimming With Giants
This month National Geographic magazine features an article on bluefin tuna—a super creature being relentlessly overfished—written by Kenneth Brower with photographs by Brian Skerry. Here, Skerry tells of his experience swimming with Atlantic bluefin tuna, and the power of being underwater with these “thoroughbreds of the sea.”
In the dark, chilly waters they materialized—massive beings with large eyes that I knew were watching my every move from deep below long before I ever saw them. The fish were nearly 10 feet in length and several feet thick, weighing around 1,000 pounds, and moved unlike anything else I had seen underwater.
Spinning around in circles I would see them rocket up from the depths, turn on a dime while flashing colors, then disappear back into the gloom. At least a dozen of them swam around me, and I scanned all axes trying to follow their movements. As they passed by I rolled in the wake of their mighty bulk…
(read more: National Geo)
Paradise RevisitedA return to the reefs of Kimbe Bay
1. A threespot damselfish swims near a trio of pink anemonefish in Papua New Guinea’s Kimbe Bay.
2. Its flippers spread like wings, a hawksbill sea turtle flies past batfish and barracuda. Submerged peaks attract many species from the open ocean and make Kimbe Bay a haven of biodiversity.
3. Animals that look like plants, feather stars sweep plankton from Kimbe’s waters. With 900 species of reef fish, the bay literally pulses with life—a movable feast for predators like these barracuda.
4. Volcanoes shrouded in rain forest slope to the bay, here punctuated by tiny Tuare and Kapepa Islands. According to the Nature Conservancy, Kimbe’s wide variety of marine habitats—coral reefs, mangroves, seagrasses, deep ocean waters, and submerged mountains—make it a global conservation priority.
5. Amid the folds of their host anemone, a pink anemonefish fans the eggs his mate has laid, keeping the nest free of sediment. Anemonefish are hermaphroditic, possessing both male and female tissue. Some develop functioning sex organs to reproduce.
6. Cupped in the safety of an anemone, an anemonefish peers up at the vast bay beyond its home. A protective layer of slime lets these fish thrive where others dare not swim—anemones’ tentacles produce a paralyzing venom.
7. A garden of delicate coral is sheltered from storms in the lee of a nearby peninsula. Kimbe’s reefs help sustain local fishermen, some of whom still rely on traditional outrigger canoes.
8. A 60-foot-tall tower of barracuda rises past photographer Doubilet’s wife and collaborator, marine biologist Jennifer Hayes. Many of Kimbe’s coral pinnacles host a resident school of barracuda—a sign of a robust reef.
9. The bignose unicornfish may lack a horn, but two bony plates on its tail can cut predators.
10. Among the reefs’ tiniest residents is the pagurid hermit crab, which lives in coral burrows made by tube worms and nabs plankton with its antennae.
All photographs by David Doubilet.
Taken from National Geographic.
Indonesia Announces World’s Largest Manta Ray Sanctuary
by Jane J. Lee
The move, hailed by conservation organizations and researchers, has resulted in the world’s largest protected area for these migratory animals. Indonesia’s EEZ stretches for almost 2.3 million square miles (6 million square kilometers). (Watch a video to learn more about manta rays.)
(via: National Geo)
photo: Herman Harsoyo
Marbled Electric Ray (Torpedo marmorata)
Electric rays are an order of marine cartilaginous fish known for their ability to generate electrical discharges. The shock can be used to stun prey and predators, and can range from 8 to 220 volts depending on the species (which is comparable to dropping a mains-powered hair dryer into a bathtub.)
The ray produces its electricity with a pair of specialised organs located on either side of the head, which consist of 400-600 columns. Each column is composed of a stack of around 400 gelatinous ‘electroplates’ which function like a battery connected in a parallel circuit.
Philippe Guillaume on Flickr
daniel stoupin, a doctoral candidate in marine biology at the university of queensland, has photographed a variety of coral species using full spectrum light to reveal fluorescent pigments that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. each piece (click pic for name) is from the great barrier reef. given the complexity of the techniques used, which involve time-lapse and stereoscopic and focus stacked photography, the images take up to ten hours to produce in the lab.
Join us tomorrow night for a movie and pizza! We are going to be showing Planet Earth: Shallow Seas in BRB 113 at 6:00 pm. If you plan on coming please sign the poll! It’s important to have an accurate number of who’s coming. Thanks!
Hope you see you tomorrow!!
Schoolchildren could soon be observing life beneath the ocean waves without getting their feet wet. Coral reefs, seagrass beds and kelp forests can be viewed in real time from a classroom thanks to an educational programme that uses a network of underwater cameras. - Read more at: http://bit.ly/11gOxzJ