MACNA is right around the corner – are you ready? Richard Ross (pictured here impressing NPR’s Ira Flatow with his tattoo) will be hosting Saturday night’s banquet, and will be giving a talk Friday on “The Difference Between Home and Public Aquaria”. Rich is a brilliant, entertaining speaker – in this interview with Ira on NPR’s “Science Friday”, he “describes some of the species’ unusual habits, including a method of hunting shrimp by tapping the prey on the back to surprise it”. You can listen to the broadcast here MORE
I tried and tested the new chiller from Teco‘s new Tank ChillerLine – the Teco TK 500 – throughout last summer and winter, and I hereby proclaim it the king of chillers.Teco previewed its new line of refrigerators at its offices last year, and on that occasion we left with two very different chillers to try, the Teco TK 500, the subject of this review, and Teco TK 150 , the subject of a forthcoming review. MORE
In July, a young Great White Shark became stranded on a Cape Cod beach. People on the beach saw the shark in distress, and came to its rescue by throwing water on its gills to help it breath. State Officials were immediately called and were able to drag the shark into deeper waters using a long rope that was attached to a motor boat. The shark was kept close to the boat and water was poured over its gills until it eventually was able to swim away. Researchers were concerned based on the injuries the shark sustained while it was beached, including overheating and oxygen depletion. Inexperienced juvenile sharks are more likely to become beached, as they can get confused when they are not in their deep sea environment, when they encounter sand and rocky shore lines. MORE
Yellow Clown Goby (Gobiodon okinawae) perching in coralsNano marine aquarium enthusiasts must be very discerning in their livestock selections to ensure any specimens they choose won’t outgrow their systems. Reaching a maximum size that can best be described as miniscule, the yellow clown goby (Gobiodon okinawae) is a pretty safe bet in this regard. It’s also charming, attractively colored, relatively outgoing and active, and typically very inexpensive to boot. Physical traitsG. okinawae is a uniform canary yellow in coloration. Its general body shape is somewhat similar to that of clownfishes, hence the “clown goby” moniker applied to it and its congeners. Size-wise, this western Pacific species is among the smallest fish available in the hobby, growing no larger than around 1 to 1½ inches. MORE
Kelly Warm Spring in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, has been an illegal dumping ground for non-native aquarium fish since the 1940’s. The non-native fish have become a threat to native species. Aquarium dumping is a widespread problem throughout all of the Unites States. You can see goldfish, madtoms, and bullfrog tadpoles, non-native species that were dumped illegally, throughout the springs. MORE
It may be a bit surprising that previously undescribed species can still be discovered in an area such as the rocky reefs of the Tamar River Estuary in Tasmania, which is fairly well studied and frequently photographed by recreational divers. Yet, that is exactly what occurred when Megan Dykman, a 22-year-old graduate student with the Institute for Marine Antarctic Studies (IMAS), conducted a study of the area between Beauty Point and Low Head, just beyond 10-15 meters of depth. Originally intending only to survey the known flora and fauna in the estuary, Megan ended up inadvertently finding what may turn out to be at least four new species of soft coral, possibly representing two new genera. Of 46 specimens, as many as six appeared to be unknown. Descriptions of these new species suggest that they are quite beautiful, exhibiting rich pink, orange and yellow coloration. In what could be taken as a bit of an understatement, she explains that “we know precious little about the ecology of soft corals in temperate regions such as Tasmania. Identifying the species is really just the start of understanding their role in these complex ecosystems.” To see her work in the sponge gardens of the Tamar Estuary, see the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU5H1_FkZms.
Natalia Molchanova, regarded as the World’s greatest competitive free diver, has been presumed drowned. Molchanova was teaching a private freediving lesson off the coast of Spain with friends, and had gone down for a recreational dive herself, when she didn’t come to the surface. Her friends called the authorities, who searched the surrounding area for two days with helicopters, underwater robots and boats. The authorities have stated that it is believed that Molchanova encountered a strong current while swimming down to 115 feet without fins. Molchanova was known as the ‘queen’ of freediving, and could hold her breath for up to nine minutes. At 53, born in Russia, Molchanova held an impressive 41 World records and 23 World Titles. Freedivers hold their breaths for minutes at a time, while they swim to depths of 200 feet or more on a single breath. Freediving is arguably one of the most challenging extreme sports, and requires extensive training. MORE
Good afternoon from Curacao… Here is a beautiful Deep Water French Butterflyfish, Prognathodes guyanensis, that we recently discovered at around 450 feet! It measures about four and a half inches in length. The main differences between the juveniles and adults are the black spot on the juvenile’s back, and it’s first two dorsal fins are black, other than that you would almost think they are the same exact fish. The little juveniles are so fun to watch, they really keep busy and boy are they fast! For a photographer, this fish can be a real challenge to shoot as it’s black and light yellow…MORE