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Mating Pair Slender Filefish

Good morning from Curacao! Sorry for the lack of blogs these past few days but we had another three day weekend due to another holiday and I was no where near my computer. Yesterday was “Kings Day”, one of the biggest holidays of the year, and NO Curacao does not have a King but the Netherlands does. Kings Day is the Kings birthday and is celebrated with everyone wearing orange, (the Netherlands national colors), wild non-stop parties and live events all day long, I stayed home! I have two Slender Filefish for you all today in their pre-mating mode

Coastal Activities Making it Harder for Fish to Breathe

New research out of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University finds that the impacts of human activities like dredging are making it harder for fish to breathe, and are likely increasing the rates of gill disease amongst coastal reef fish. “Fish gills are in direct contact with their environment and are the first line of defense in the animal’s immune response, which makes them the perfect place to look for damage associated with sediment,” adds co-author of the study Dr Jodie Rummer. 150616093642_1_900x600“Suspended sediments result from flood plumes, coastal agricultural and industrial development and from dredging operations and are increasing in coastal waters worldwide,” says co-author, Dr Amelia Wenger. The study simulated sediment accumulation in the lab and subjected clown fish larvae to increased levels, and what they found might be some what of a duality. “The gills in sediment-exposed larval clownfish fish were congested, exhibiting twice as much mucous of what could be found in clean-water exposed fish,” says study lead author, PhD Student Sybille Hess. Yet Rummer added that”Sediment-exposed fish also increased the number of protective cells on their gills, presumably safeguarding the delicate tissue from the damage that sediment particles could cause.” The findings could mean fish are adapting to the elevated levels of sediment but they most definitely underscore the increased need for awareness as it relates to coastal impacts like dredging and agricultural runoff. Read more here.… More:

Fish Faces: Banded Butterflyfish

Good morning, I have a very gentle, super fun to watch, reef fish for you all today called a Banded Butterflyfish or Chaetodon striatus. The name is derived from the dark vertical bands on the fish’s body. This, combined with a vertical, black bar through the eye, is an adaptation that can confuse predators. These fish are around five inches in length, can be found easily in the 10-60 foot zone and  are usually always found in pairs. These two here can always be found in the same area and I have been swimming with them for years so they are more or less pretty used to me and my giant camera. As I was taking my pictures one of them (top photo) left the safety of the gorgonian and swam right up to the front of my camera and proceeded to just hang out there without a care in the World, it was great!

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:

Whitespotted Filefish – Monacanthidae

Good morning from a tiny island in the Caribbean called Curacao! I have a super cool fish for you all today called a Whitespotted Filefish, Cantherhines macrocerus, it’s one of our personal favorites! This fish has so many unique built-in features, it reminds me of a swimming Swiss Army knife! This fish has the ability to change and flash colors, it has a super cool retractable spine on top of it’s head, it can puff up it’s belly to look bigger and to lock itself into a crevice for protection and it has wild looking spines at the base of it’s tail, talk about cool!!! Filefish (also known as foolfish, leatherjackets or shingles) are tropical to subtropical tetraodontiform marine fish of the diverse family Monacanthidae.

Recall Of Aquarium Heaters


Top Fin Aquarium heaters, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, are on now on recall due to possible fire or electrical hazard to consumers. The heaters were sold at Petsmart from August 2014 to April 2015. The models include 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 watt aquarium heaters. The company has 13 reports of incidents so far, including fire, four reports of electrical shock and multiple reports of electrical shortage. Petsmart is giving consumers a full refund for any returned units purchased at the store. MOREMore:

Geoengineering Coral Reefs

Solar Radiation Management is a theory of approach towards stemming the effects of global warming, and its principle benefits are now the focus of a new paper published by the University of Exeter, with regard to coral reefs worldwide. Dr Paul Halloran, from the Geography department of the University of Exeter adds: “The study shows that the benefit of SRM over a conventional CO2 reduction scenario is dependent on the sensitivity of future thermal bleaching thresholds to changes in seawater acidity. This emphasizes the need to better characterize how warming and ocean acidification may interact to influence coral bleaching over the 21st century.” 150525120430_1_900x600Currently The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is considering and implementing many different approaches to reverse some of the effects of global warming. With this new study finding a more suitable approach towards coral reefs is possible as two hypothetical climate mitigation strategies were compared, and it was found corals have a much better chance of avoiding large-scale bleaching events under the SRM strategical approach. Professor Peter Cox, co-author of the research and from the University of Exeter states: “Coral reefs face a dire situation regardless of how intensively society decarbonizes the economy. In reality there is no direct choice between conventional mitigation and climate engineering but this study shows that we need to either accept that the loss of a large percentage of the world’s reefs is inevitable or start thinking beyond conventional mitigation of CO2 emissions.” Read more here!… More:

New Symbiont Invades Caribbean Coral Reefs

A non-native symbiont to live coral (Symbiodinium trenchii) is slowly invading the Caribbean reefs making it harder for corals to calcify, yet protecting against the warmer waters created by climate change. This non-native micro-algae hails from the Indo-Pacific but its presence on Caribbean reefs is a bit of a conundrum as “the results raise a potentially contentious issue about whether this invasion is relatively good or bad for the long-term productivity of reef corals in the Atlantic Ocean and the ecosystems they support,” said Todd LaJeunesse, associate professor of biology, Penn State. 150601172829_1_900x600The presence of a new species of symbiont in Caribbean waters has researchers wondering when the introduction first occurred: “We found that the Caribbean population of S. trenchii contains very little genetic diversity and is highly inbred,” said Tye Pettay postdoctoral fellow at the University of Delaware. “In contrast, S. trenchii in the Indian and Pacific oceans is extremely diverse and contains far more genetic diversity on a single reef the size of a football field than it does in the entire Caribbean Sea. Our evidence indicates that the introduction of S. trenchii to the Caribbean was relatively recent. There has been no time for it to evolve any novel genetic diversity.” Read more here!… More:

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