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Fathers Day Comes Early At The Tennessee Aquarium

Dwarf_Seahorse1 The Tennessee Aquarium has been observing some of the seahorses in the tank who appeared to be pregnant. Whats interesting about this species is that Male Dwarf Seahorses are the ones who actually give birth. MORE

Light Pollution and the Effects on Marine Coastal Environments

A bit of a duality was discovered when researchers from the Universities of Exeter and Bangor in the UK studied light pollution around coastal settlements. What they found was that light pollution from human coastal settlements can effect change in the ecological flow of marine coastal environments by both inhibiting and inducing colonization of specific invertebrates. 150429090144_1_900x600Dr Tom Davies from the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall adds: “We know that artificial light at night alters the behavior of many marine animals but this is the first study to show that it can disrupt the development of ecological communities in the marine environment. Further research is urgently needed to assess what level of light can be considered ‘safe’ so that legislation can be put in place to minimize future light pollution from new and existing developments.” Read more here!

Friday Rewind-Goniopower!

Four years ago, I sang about tropical coral in one of the worlds driest climates. Somewhere near the Mexican border, a gang of us Southern California rabble rousers gathered to make music and have fun; it is one of my favorite memories from my time spent living on the West Coast. So sit back, relax, and enjoy Thor and I in this acoustically driven version of “Goniopora.” MORE

Long Island Collecting Log: The tropicals are in

The northern sennet, a close relative of the great barracuda, is usually among the first warm-water species to appear on Long Island each year.

The northern sennet, a close relative of the great barracuda, is usually among the first warm-water species to appear on Long Island each year.

 After a long cold winter and amid disturbing reports that the North Atlantic may be entering a cool phase, I am very happy to report that the first tropical species of the year have made their appearance in Long Island waters.Yesterday, I was joined by an elite team of fish collectors MORE

Ain’t no party like a spawn party

IMG_7610Ain’t no party like a spawn party, ’cause a spawn party don’t stop! You read that right: spawn party. Here at the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center we have a spawn party about once a month. What’s a spawn party, you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like. We sit around with some pizza and drinks and watch the fish have sex. We do this a couple of days after the full moon when spawns are the highest.

  This last spawn party was a special treat. If we are lucky, we usually see only one or two species spawn. This time, however, we saw three species of anthias, yellow tangs, a Genicanthus species, and some flame angels all spawn. I was also able to catch some of the sexiness on video to share with all of you! Watch all of the videos below carefully, spawning is very quick. You could blink and miss it happen.  As the lights slowly turn off, more species MORE

First Invasive Lionfish Found in Brazilian Waters

Thats right folks the infamous Caribbean species has made its way all the down the coast to Brazilian waters. A single lionfish was speared off the coast and a team of researchers including scientists from the California Academy of Sciences confirmed species analysis through DNA testing. A massive focus has been placed on the finding while scientists urge for a swift intervention plan: “For the past 20 years, invasive lionfishes have been restricted to the Caribbean,” says Luiz Rocha, PhD, Academy curator of ichthyology.fig1 “This new record shows us that lionfishes are capable of reaching far into other areas of the Atlantic, and other countries should be on guard, preparing for them to arrive.” The effort to stem invasion includes minds from all over the globe because the species (Pterois volitans) is particularly aggressive and can consume just about any an reef fish that will fit into its mouth. Rocha adds: “Brazilian fishes are being hit from all sides,” says Rocha. “Overfishing and habitat degradation are pervasive, and not even the most basic fisheries data are being collected. The best—and easiest—way to control an invasion is by trying to slow it down at the start.” Read more here.

Summer Shark Attacks Continue

dyatonaI hate to perpetuate the growing public paranoia over shark attacks. However, the unusually high number of sharks attack which resulted in serious number have been high profile this summer. After the extremely sad story of two teenagers in North Carolina who both lost limbs last week, another 10 year old child was attacked in Florida this week. Yesterday, around 1pm, a 10 year old boy was attacked while swimming in shallow water in Daytona Beach. He was visiting Daytona Beach from Georgia. Thankfully, he only suffered minor injuries to his calf, and was treated and released on the same day. Last year, Florida had the most shark attacks in the U.S. Lets hope that these unfortunate attacks stop so we can let the unneeded fervor die down. MORE

Bringing the Lab to the Reef

Technology is ever-present in the lab as well as the hobby of reef keeping but scientists from Europe are now going to be taking their instruments directly into the field, or reef I should say. To better understand coral metabolism and respiration researchers from Denmark will be deploying remote operated vehicles (ROV) and high-resolution cameras to help them deploy lab equipment and take measurements. “Traditionally the metabolism of cold-water reefs are typically investigated by collecting animals and analyzing them in a laboratory. Preferably, however, researchers would like to do the opposite, and bring the laboratory to the seabed, where the reef can be studied in its own environment. Since cold water reefs grow incredibly slowly — about 5 mm per year — and are fragile habitats, we were looking at novel techniques that could be used on a reef to asses metabolism with little impact on the reef structures,” says Dr. Lorenzo Rovelli, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), visiting researcher at the Nordic Center for Earth Evolution (NordCEE), Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark.150506111513_1_900x600 Employing a method termed ‘Aquatic Eddy Covariance’ the team will be able to simultaneously measure oxygen content and flow. “We are particularly interested in finding out how much carbon is being turned over by a reef — and by that I mean the whole reef community. The community consists of the corals, which are the engineers behind the reef structure, as well as all the other organisms that inhabit the reef: from large crabs to microscopic organisms. Currently, we still do not know if and to what extent such reefs are contributing to the global carbon budget.” Read more here!

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