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Oceans of Life Photo Competition

celebrate our seas photo comp 300x198 Oceans of Life Photo CompetitionThe centrepiece of the Celebrate Our Seas events, this photographic competition is used to remind us that life is fragile and that we need to take care of nature.  The photographs are a celebration of marine life, how amazing nature is and how diverse, beautiful and inspiring it is. The photos are truly amazing, I’ve seen this year’s entries and it is truly worth the visit to the Iziko South African Museum, 25 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town between 7 October and 23 November 2014 (9am – 5pm daily).  From fish to birds to mammals, they’re all there and in jaw-dropping quality pics!  If you’re in the area, pop in! (Photo: One of the 2014 entries.) See for more.

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Fused Montastrea in Belize

14 300x200 Fused Montastrea in Belize

Close up of shared polyp between two colonies.

 I was recently going through pictures from my exploratory trip to Belize earlier this year. I was especially interested in coral that were growing in close contact with one another, and I took many pictures and videos of coral interactions. A relationship that struck me as particularly interesting was one between two colonies of Montastrea growing side by side. There was a streak of color in one colony leading from one coral to the other across the area where the two colonies met. I zoomed up with my camera and discovered that one of the polyps was shared by both colonies. I have seen this happen with many of my Acanthastrea echinata grafts (another coral species with high Thrausto counts), where only one area or polyp will fuse while the rest of the graft remains separated. I speculate that there is a regulation between the two corals’ immune systems, only at that location, aided by the presence of similar populations of Thraustochytridsymbionts. The white paper “Identification of a protist-coral association and its possible ecological role” by a team of scientists in Israel, ( ) expounds on this idea. The article has several pictures that show the colored striations of Thrausto populations in several coral species. Enjoy this video of photos I took in Belize of the coral, starting close and zooming out from the shared polyp between the two colonies:

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Seafront Sea Urchin Inspired Home Inspires Me On So Many Levels

dnews files 2014 09 sea urchin 140917 670 jpg 1 300x196 Seafront Sea Urchin Inspired Home Inspires Me On So Many LevelsDiscovery News posted this a few days ago but I seemed to have missed it until late last night (ok, super early this morning). The Hydroelectric Tidal House, the brainchild of architectural designer Margot Krasojević, harvests tidal energy and converts it into electrical current. Krasojević was inspired by some of the ocean’s most bizarre creatures, such as echinoderms like starfish and sea urchins. The nautical abode sports a turbine system of magnets and copper wire coils stored in an electrostatic capacitor. This is far from the first strange and unique concept Krasojević has proposed. Check out his ideas for an electric coral reef station, a cliff-hanger hotel (I need to book a room immediately here), and a 3D printed sea shell shaped lamp. I’d love to see what other brilliant ideas this man has in store for us – I like the way his mind works. I’m also really curious as to what the inside of the echinoderm structure would look like.

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Cute Babies Turned into Cuter Sea Creatures

Ok, someone just turned the cuteness factor way up. Anne Geddes, a photographer well-known for her creative and adorable baby portraits, has created the best baby calendar in the world. Simply titled the “Under the Sea”, it features 12 unique scenes that have babies dressed up as mermaids, sea turtles, hermit crabs, nudibranchs, and even coral polyps. But it’s not just the babies that got all dressed up. The scenery created also involved a lot of work and planning. Each backdrop was handcrafted with such detail so as to truly capture the marine environment. We have never seen such aquatic cuteness all in one place.According to the video above from ET Now, the calendar photoshoot took nearly a year of planning and pre-production, 12 days of shooting, 20 babies, and probably a ton of patience. But this isn’t Anne’s first rodeo. MORE: Cute Babies Turned into Cuter Sea Creatures

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Wild: ‘Plankton Boom’ Lures in Giant Jellyfish of The Deep to The British Coast

74791014 jelly 300x168 Wild: Plankton Boom Lures in Giant Jellyfish of The Deep to The British CoastFile this under your “pretty damn cool” tab for the day and take a look at these massive four-foot giant jellies spotted on the Southern Coast of Britain spotted over the past few weeks. Believed to be barrel jellyfish, experts hypothesize the Rhizostoma pulmo were enticed by a plume of plankton out of their normal habitat further out to sea. MORE

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Want a rare maxima clam? Check out two-face.

unnamed 300x143 Want a rare maxima clam? Check out two face.Hailing from the waters of French-Polynesia, this two faced maxima clam comes from the remote Austral Islands. Believe it or not, the genetic mismatch that causes this dual colored mantle to occur, only happens once in 2 million clams. So do you want an uber rare genetic coloration added to your reef? If so, this guy will be arriving at Pacific East Aquaculture in Salisbury, Maryland next week. The cost for a randomly occurring coloration, that takes a whopping 2 million clams to find, a mere $ 2,000.00. Certainly not chump change, even for the most financially well endowed hobbyist, but considering it takes millions of clams to find such diversity, the price is understandable. For more information, take a peak at Pacific East Aquaculture, and perhaps shoot a call or email over to the owner, Dr. Mac Terzich.    

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AlgaGen’s Live Feeds Program – An In Depth Look

4dfd1410878073868 150x150 AlgaGens Live Feeds Program   An In Depth LookAlgaGen’s Life Feeds Program (LFP): The use of live feeds in reef keeping is not a new concept. Aquarists have been collecting, culturing live feed organisms for years as a means to keep their reef happy and healthy. The issue is that live feeds are NOT readily accessible to all. Live feeds take some level of work and space to culture or collect which can discourage many from using them. In an attempt to make live cultures readily available AlgaGen has developed a Live Feeds Program (LFP). The concept is to provide participating stores with clean, hi-quality cultures each week. This way the store does not have to spend its time culturing but maintaining and selling the cultures. The aquarist community on the other hand now has wide access to fresh, quality cultures to experiment with in their MORE

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Planctontech’s New Planctondose: In Depth Review

DSC 0546 planctontech planctondose 400 Planctontechs New Planctondose: In Depth Review The New Planctondose from Planctontech is a zooplankton dosing station for marine aquarium, designed for benthic organisms, but also all the different types of corals and fishes that can be hosted in aquarium.  Testing such an object like the New Planctondose of Planctontech is not a simple affair. Beyond the technical aspects of our review, one of the key points is the actual need to feed live zooplankton in the marine aquarium.  MORE

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