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Shiny things collected by an easily distracted marine biologist. Here you may find fish and other marine critters, land and aerial critters, fannish things, especially of a science fishin' -y, Sherlock-y or cartoonish nature, art and fanart by other people (and very rarely by myself), tea oddities, occasionally my offspring, neurodiversity, cats, and other oddments. Enjoy!
The ask is open, and while I may bite, my teeth are pretty dull.
I am a biologist. That means I find creepy crawlies fascinating. There will be occasional spiders, bugs, and other invertebrates. I do try to tag liberally for those who screen - but if there's anything I need to add, just ask.
Btw, if you'd like to leave a real comment instead of liking or reblogging, Disqus comments are enabled; just click the date, and scroll to the bottom.
when the moon hits ur eye like a big pizza pie
when u swim in a creek and an eel bites ur cheek
thats a moray
im still laughing @ this
(if an eel bites your cheek in a creek, it’s probably just a regular eel, but I’ll excuse it for the pun)
We’ve tried lots of strategies for getting salmon over dams to their spawning grounds — fish ladders, fish elevators, fish trucks … even fish helicopters. But all of those methods are expensive and none of them are efficient.
Enter the salmon cannon.
(This reminds me of the old joke: What did the fish say when it ran into a wall? “Dam.”
Maybe they’ll have to change the punchline to “Shoot.”)
Really?! Wow. It says they’re not harmed by it, and the system was developed originally for fragile fruit. I dunno, man; apples and pears don’t have spines, and just because something swims away doesn’t mean it’s not injured. I’m sure they must have done mortality studies…
WHAT KIND OF WIZARD FISH IS THIS
DUDE THATS A BABY KAIJU
SCIENCE SIDE OF TUMBLR URGENT
This fish is not actually spitting bioluminescent spit…it’s spitting out its bioluminescent food! Some clever scientist has put some bioluminescent ostracods in a tank with some little fish. When agitated, these ostracods (tiny shirmpthings) secrete chemicals that, when combined, emit light.
You’re seeing why right here. Just before the fish spits it out, those light chemicals are filling up the belly of the fish. Now, it isn’t poisonous or anything…but the fish wants NOTHING TO DO WITH IT because the fish has predators too.
So yeah, if you’re a little fish and suddenly you’re FREAKING GLOWING, your lifespan has just gotten a lot shorter.
As soon as the fish realizes that there’s light emanating from its belly, it pukes out the glowing juices (and the little shrimp). You can actually see the ostracod in this gif swimming away down toward the bottom of the tank happy as a clam…or a shrimp.
Evolution is AWESOME.
This is why you gotta follow SciShow on Tumblr.
(Source: glukauf, via snowangel2013)
Yet another El Niño sign… These guys (I’m including the remoras attached to the big fella) are way north of where they should be. This video was taken at San Clemente Island, off southern CA. Edit: Deep Sea News has a few more details on the encounter…
At least one sportfishing vessel has reporting catching wahoo (a sort of long skinny tuna, also found in warmer waters) 20 miles of Newport Beach.
Too Close for Comfort. A Great Wonderful Summer (GWS) experience
Local white shark encounter - divers working on removing net from a sunken purse seiner are investigated by (very pregnant-looking) female white shark while making a decompression stop while ascending. Not much place to hide if she decided she wasn’t hungry. However, this is not how whites take their prey usually; they generally ambush things at the surface from underneath - this one seemed to be curious.
Still, if that were me, the water would’ve probably gotten a lot warmer very quickly.
Terracotta fish plate
27.6cm in diameter (10 7/8.) and 6.7cm high (2 5/8.)
Greek Period (Sicilian), Late Classical Period, 375 - 360 BC.
Source: metropolitan Museum
Heathy Habitat, Essential Fish Habitat and Ecosystem Management. And some animation.
(via How to control invasives? Put a fork in them! :: NOAA Fisheries)
Northern snakeheads - Do you think a fish as invasive and ugly as the northern snakehead could be yummy to eat? There’s a grassroots movement to create a market demand to control the spread of this species.
Um, I thought I’d read that’s kind of how they got to the US in the first place. To eat. You’d think it would be a fine way to get rid of them, but once people start liking something, they tend to want to keep it around, and markets want a steady supply.
We have a similar problem with Chinese mitten crabs in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento Delta area - not only invasive but they damage the flood-control dykes in the Sacramento River Delta by burrowing. They’re also a delicacy in their home range, but I believe they got here through larvae in ship ballast water. I think you’re allowed to take them recreationally (no limit), but not commercially, thus no incentive to create a fishery with a monetary value.
Anchovy school at Scripps Pier, July 8, 2014
Some of my coworkers in La Jolla could see this from their office yesterday. Pretty amazing!
Loosing it, in fact.
Felt like drawing some tuna!lock, whoever invented this thing, THANK YOU ❤
Scientists in Australia tagged a healthy 9-foot great white shark as part of program to track these animals. Four months later they found the tracking device washed up on a beach. Something—something really big—had eaten this apex predator. But what creature could dine on such ferocious prey?
Scientists: A mysterious animal ate an entire 9-foot great white shark
My first thought was how did they they know it was eaten? Because tags often are shed, especially if not attached properly; however, there’s a link at the bottom to the mystery, solved.
(And damn my scatological sense of humor, one of the last comments on the second article tickled me.)
Hint: a 9’ great white is really not all that great.
Whoa! Had Disney elected to make Finding Nemo scientifically accurate, Marlin would have turned into a female and mated with Nemo. Freaky. I’m glad they didn’t.
Welcome to the wonderful world of protandric hermaphroditism!! It’s surprisingly common among fish, who probably think that we land-lubbing air-breathers are pretty weird for being so set in our gender ways. Being able to change sexes is a great survival adaptation for Nemo’s kind, a way to make sure that there are always enough breeding partners to go around, and that everyone has an spread their genes.
The size difference between male and female clownfish or anemone fish is also an example of something called sexual dimorphism, which is seen in all kinds of species (including us). There’s many kinds of sexual dimorphism in nature, and all kinds of reasons for it, but bigger clownfish females may be able to produce more eggs, while smaller males may be able to migrate more easily between anemones to find a mate. Any know of other theories?
Destin, judging by your kids’ reactions, I’m not the only one who would enjoy watching the scientifically accurate Finding Nemo.
As opposed to California sheephead (Semicossyphous pulcher), which are protogynous hermaphrodites, like many in the wrasse family. They’re all born females, which are slender and uniformly pink to red. If the local large male disappears, the largest and most dominant female will begin a rather dramatic transformation into a male, developing a black head and tail, heavy jaws, and a characteristic forehead bump - while retaining the species white lower jaw, red middle, and large, dog-like teeth. Sometimes you can see individuals that are in the midst of the change, heads and tails graying but bodies still slender.
It’s an invertebrate, here in California, that’s a protandrous hermaphrodite. Spot prawns (Pandalus platyceros), a handsome deep water shrimp with four white dots on its abdomen, stripey cephalothoraxes and an extremely long pointy rostrum, are all males when small, while larger ones above a certain size have morphed into females. In the spot prawn’s case, sexual dimorphism is only in size.
Coincidentally, both of these species are popular with restaurants that specialize in keeping aquariums of live animals just prior to being cooked and served - partially because they’re fairly hardy and stand up to transport. Female sheephead are prized in certain Asian restaurants because they look similar to a fish on the other side of the Pacific, considered auspicious because of their red coloring.
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