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Reefs In Art: Plankton Edition Part Two

 Since posting one “Reefs In Art” post earlier wasn’t satisfying enough, I ventured out in search of more Plankton Art, because let’s be honest, diatoms can be pretty adorable! Seriously, have you ever seen a cuter Christmas Card? MORE

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More Disturbing Dwindling Species Numbers, This Time With Cuttlefish

giant cuttlefish sm 300x196 More Disturbing Dwindling Species Numbers, This Time With CuttlefishAustralia’s beloved massive cephalopod, the Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia apama) have been gathering in Southern Australian waters since the late 1990′s where there numbers spiked to over 180,000. Now it looks bleak for the big guys as their numbers dwindled down by a whopping 93%. MORE

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I’ll Be Heading Back to Denver Sooner Than I Thought – Really Need to See This!

whales exhibit 2 745x495 300x199 Ill Be Heading Back to Denver Sooner Than I Thought   Really Need to See This!The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will be debuting a new exhibit on October 1, 2014. Whales: Giants of the Deep is an exhibit on tour from the museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a facility boasting one of the world’s largest marine mammal collections. MORE

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Reefs In Art: Plankton Edition

diatom1 300x200 Reefs In Art: Plankton EditionExcited as ever to post another piece in my ongoing series of “Reefs In Art”, two of my favorite things, today’s post comes to us courtesy of Klaus Kemp, a microscopist from East Brent in the United Kingdom. Kemp devotes most of his time to carefully arranging the microscopic algae-like organisms into mesmerizing kaleidoscope patters and the results are simply remarkable. MORE

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The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of – 18-Inch Mantis Shrimp Caught By Fort Pierce Fisherman

Mantis Shrimp Giant 300x177 The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of   18 Inch Mantis Shrimp Caught By Fort Pierce FishermanThis is beyond terrifying. Just knowing what kind of blow the little three-inchers are able to deliver, I wouldn’t want to get into a fist fight with this guy, EVER. Just look the mantis shrimp next to that dude’s hand, he’s huge! The fisherman, Steve Bargeron, struggled to reel in the massive sea monster while out on his daily fishing trip. MORE

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Awww – Baby Mantis Shrimp and Their Invisibility Tactics

stomatopodlarva 209x300 Awww   Baby Mantis Shrimp and Their Invisibility TacticsOh, how clever. Utilizing reflectors that emit an opalescent bluish-green sheen, the juvenile mantis shrimp is able to camouflage itself from predators. While adult mantis shrimp are pretty badass sucker-punchers and capable of holding their own, the vulnerable little babes need some other tactics to keep themselves protected. A study of the whole process was published earlier by The Journal of Experimental Biology. Described to look not unlike “floating, clear pterodactyls”, the larval shrimp are known for their opalescent blue or green, shiny spherical eyes. Kathryn Feller, a a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County studying animal vision (how specific) observed captive and free-living mantis shrimp near Australia’s Lizard Island where she “was able to measure the contrast between the reflected light coming from the animals’ eyes and the background light underwater.”. The camouflage is remarkably fail-proof in the three species she observed regardless of the depth, time, angle they’re viewed at or the angle the sun hits the water. Researchers are still curious as to exactly how the shrimp are creating the reflection. Feller suspects the optical layer that’s responsible for the illusion may be made up of precisely structured crystal spheres that lay over the top of the pigments that isolate the receptors within their eyes. “[They're] arranged in such a way that they scatter light of a particular wavelength,” Feller explains. “These kinds of mirrored or reflective crystals aren’t unheard of in the animal world, Feller says. Beetles and weevils have them.”. Since the arrangement of the shrimp’s eyes are so bizarre, researchers are left stumped as to what’s actually going on.
plankton light invisible s2048x1509 p 600x4421 150x150 Awww   Baby Mantis Shrimp and Their Invisibility Tacticsstomatopodlarva 1 150x150 Awww   Baby Mantis Shrimp and Their Invisibility Tactics  

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Let’s Go With a Happier Seahorse Post This Time Around

140922 iSeahorse 01 300x180 Lets Go With a Happier Seahorse Post This Time AroundSince I had somewhat depressing news earlier about the Spiny Seahorse, let’s take a happier route this time around. These cute little seahorses, Hippocampus pontohi and Hippocampus severnsi, were captured on camera by two divers in the Philippines, where they’ve never been seen before in the country’s seas. The Weedy Pygmi Seahorse (H. pontohi) and the Severn’s Pygmy Seahorse (H. severnsi)  were spotted near the Island of Romblon, one of the provinces that surround the Verde Island Passages. There’s now a total of 11 known seahorse species inhabiting the waters of the Philippines. MORE

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Oh No! Only One Measly Spiny Seahorse Spotted in Studland Bay

1024px Hippocampus hystrix Spiny seahorse yellow 300x225 Oh No! Only One Measly Spiny Seahorse Spotted in Studland BayWell this is kinda sad. Britain’s Studland Bay use to be the home of over 40 Spiny Seahorses (Hippocampus histrix) in 2008. However, after an 80-hour survey this year in search of the spiky little ponies, they turned up with nothin’ at all and only one has been spotted in the past year. While boaters deny this claim, experts suspect that anchors tear up the eelgrass that these little guys call home. One day in July, as many as 350 boats were studded throughout the bay, plopping their fat anchors on the delicate seaweed. Andy Jackson, an underwater camera man, spotted one this past August that he followed for about an hour. MORE

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