Category Archives: Funny

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Sea Sheep

sea sheepThis is, without a doubt, one of the most adorable sea creatures I have ever seen – and it’s a slug! The tiny creature looks like a cartoon or maybe a Wallace and Gromit character, but it is most certainly real. Costasiella kuroshimae (or ‘Leaf Sheep’ for short) is found in saltwater environments near Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines, and can grow up to 5mm in length. And, like the mammal it gets its name from, it likes its greens. The Leaf Sheep eats algae, and is one of the only animals in the world that is able to photosynthesize. And while it is not very efficient at it, some species can live for months on photosynthesis alone. As it eats, it partially digests the algae, but leaves the chloroplasts intact, incorporating them into its own body, and storing them in its multiple spiky appendages. The cute little slug then uses the chloroplasts to manufacture energy. The process is called kleptoplasty,a term derived from the Greek word Kleptes (κλέπτης), which means “thief”. and can only be found in certain sacoglossan sea slugs…like this little guy.… More:

The Lawnmower Blenny: a Funny, Fascinating Fish of Unpredictable Utility

Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus)The lawnmower blenny, aka the jeweled blenny, jeweled rockskipper, or sailfin blenny (Salarias fasciatus), is commonly purchased not just for its comical behavior and only-a-mother-could-love looks, but also for the utilitarian purpose of controlling algae in marine tanks. While you can pretty much count on this droll little fish to provide interest and entertainment, its performance when it comes to eradicating problem algae from aquaria can best be described as hit-or-miss. Physical traitsS. fasciatus is “all blenny,” with an elongated body; long, continuous dorsal fin; blunt head; wide mouth; high-set, bulbous eyes; and frilly cirri on the head above and below the eyes. Color-wise, this fish is mottled in shades of brown, green, and white, and the eyes feature white stripes extending outward from the pupil in a radial pattern. Maximum length for this species is around 5 inches.

Football Takes a Hit from The Mantis Shrimp

Researchers from the University of Riverside are studying the internal bone structure of Mantis Shrimp in an effort to reduce the damaging effects of head trauma associated with American Football. Within the dactyl forearms of the Mantis a spiral structure of bone material called chitin is specific, and this formation allows for the buffering of damaging elastic waves such as shear waves, through its forearms. “This is a novel concept,” said David Kisailus, the Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Energy Innovation at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering. 150617144502_1_540x360Researchers will attempt to apply the architecture of mantis shrimp arms to products such as football helmets and body pads: “It implies that we can make composite materials able to filter certain stress waves that would otherwise damage the material.” “The smasher mantis shrimp will hit many times per day. It is amazing,” said Pablo Zavattieri, an associate professor in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering and a University Faculty Scholar at Purdue University. Read more here!  … More:

Friday Rewind

More robots! Today’s video brings us footage of some more advanced models of the CRM line of robots. Here we can see the robot going through its paces and performing various tasks, from dish washing and snow shoveling to fish netting and pet store clean up. Sadly, not everyone is polite to robots. If you see a robot today, give ’em a hug. More:

Friday Rewind Anatomy Lesson

Today we will review an important coral anatomy lesson. Did you know that corals have a dual use mouth-anus combo? It’s true! Sometimes, when we refer to certain LPS coral or Zoanthids, we talk about mouths or eyes. But the label “mouth” is only half true. Folks, what we’re really talking about is mouths AND butts. It’s entirely accurate to say “How many butts does that Acan colony have?” In celebration of this two way street, enjoy this musical treat!   … More:

Friday Rewind: Goniopora Love

For today’s Friday rewind I reflect back on my love song for Goniopora. In fact, I will be singing it tonight to friends and strangers at my rock show. What is your favorite coral? I think you can guess mine. More:

Friday Rewind

…and because it’s my birthday I’ll indulge myself and you all with a Friday afternoon look back at one of my favorite coral and music videos. More:

Beware Marine Aquarium Complacency!

A funny thing sometimes happens to marine aquarium hobbyists who have a few years’ experience under their briny belts—they have a tendency to become complacent in their methods and attitudes. Once they’ve mastered the basics of aquarium keeping, it can become all too tempting for some to kick back, switch to “autopilot,” and say, “Hey, I got this!”But this mentality can be detrimental on the road to long-term aquarium success. At the very least, it can lead to some unnecessary—and very avoidable—bumps in that road. Here are a few common symptoms of marine aquarium complacency to watch for: Signs of benign neglect Complacent hobbyists aren’t typically guilty of gross negligence when it comes to their tanks, but they often lapse into a somewhat lackadaisical approach that could best be described as “benign neglect.” That is, they get so comfortable and absentminded in their methods that problems sometimes arise very slowly and almost imperceptibly. For instance, they may perform water changes of the same frequency and volume for many years without accounting for the increasing bioload in the tank as fish and invertebrates grow. As a result, nitrate and phosphate levels can gradually rise, leading to “unexplained” algae outbreaks and other issues related to declining water quality.

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