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Shiny things collected by an easily distracted marine biologist. There will likely be fish, critters, science, other people's art, fannish stuffs (mostly of a science fictiony, Sherlocky, or cartoonish nature), teapots, things that make me laugh, and occasionally, kids.
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Sparklefish! Or is it a sparklepus?
I’m convinced stubby squid (or bobtail squid, depending on where you are) are the cutest cephalopods in the world.
two thing I didn’t know (and probably you too) about the giant isopod (Bathynomus sp) swims very well, and digs burrow.
A important detail is the two red dots are from lasers mounted on the ROV and are 10 cm apart (this techique is called photogrammetry)
- gif from Andrew David Thaler’ videos
- More about giant isopods at Griseus
Related to What are those things?!
Urchin-tail Mantis Shrimp (Echinosquilla guerini)
…a species of mantis shrimp that is widely distributed throughout the Pacific Ocean. E. querini is unique in that it’s telson is modified to mimic a sea urchin, this adaptation likely helps E. guerini hunt as it can ambush and consume unsuspecting animals that wish to prey on what looks like an urchin. Interestingly E. guerini is one of the few stomatopods that seem to feed regularly on other stomatopods. E. guerini is crepuscular and during the day it will retire to a burrow which is usually a worm tube or rock cavity.
Images: decapoda.free.fr and flmnh.ufl.edu
thanks Andrew for my request :)
It figures, it would take a mantis shrimp to prey on another mantis shrimp…
You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but many Wolffish are surprisingly friendly creatures. If you meet with their approval you can even hand-feed them and they’ll allow you to keep your entire hand!
If you’re a sea urchin or crustacean then Wolffish are as savagely evil as their despicable appearance suggests. Their obnoxious fangs and powerful molars will crack you open and they will feast upon your naked flesh. Their one saving grace is they look EXACTLY like the kind of thing that would do just that.
Images: Norm Despres/Eirik Mikkelsen/Gaellery
Most wolffish live in the northern Atlantic (except for the Bering wolffish), while another family member, the wolf eel, lives in the North Pacific. They have similar faces, but wolffish have a caudal fin, while wolf eels have a tapering tail like their namesake - they are not actually eels themselves.
The Newport Aquarium in Oregon has a few of them that, last time I visited, which was quite a while ago, were hand fed by a diver. They were like big wrinkled toothy puppies.
Arial shot of leopard sharks in La Jolla
[x][x] by Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Before they moved across the street to the new building, my former boss could see these guys from his office. And every year they show up (this happens at certain coves on Catalina Island, too), the news has some vaguely panicky story about Sharks Off Our Beaches!, until they interview someone, often from his office, who says (again!) that they’re harmless. They’re mating aggregations, and they’re far more interested in other sharks than you.
Spanish Shawl, a type of nutibranch my friend found at the tide pools!
Eee, Flabellinopsis iodinea, my favorite!
Recently, the first known VENOMOUS CRUSTACEAN was discovered in caves in Mexico and Central America… a remipede. But, wtf is a remipede? Luckily, Stefan Koenemann et al. have written a great article about them at MarinSpecies.org…
Remipedes - a Class Apart
Remipedia represent a comparatively small group of crustaceans, with only 20 living species assigned to three families. The first specimens were discovered three decades ago during a cave diving expedition on Grand Bahamas Island (Yager, 1981).
At first glance, a remipede does not look much like a crustacean at all. The remipede trunk is long and undivided, composed of 15 to 42 homonomous segments. It does not exhibit a structural subdivision into two or more distinct body regions, such as a thorax followed by an abdomen, or a pleon. Among the morphological disparity of crustacean forms, this body plan is unique, and superficially, remipedes bear a certain resemblance to another, terrestrial group of arthropods, the Myriapoda (Fig. 1).
However, upon closer examination, remipedes reveal a number of characters that they share with many crustaceans. These include, among others, two pairs of antennae, each with two branches; the morphology of some of the mouthparts; paddle-shaped trunk limbs, also composed of two branches; and a posterior body terminus with caudal rami…
(read more: MarineSpecies.org)
source: Koenemann, S., Hoenemann, M., Stemme T. (Eds) (2009). World Remipedia Database. Available online at http://www.marinespecies.org/remipedia. Consulted on 2013-10-29
photos by Thomas Iliffe
Wow, look at those little chelae, just perfect for injecting something. Although, if I saw this critter without touching it, I would’ve thought it was a polychaete worm.
Halloween Hermit Crab (Ciliopagurus strigatus)
Also known as the striped or orange-legged hermit crab, the Halloween hermit crab is a brightly colored species of Diogenid hermit crab that is distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific. Like other hermit crabs C. strigatus is a bottom dweller and an omnivore. Its diet consists of really anything it can get its chelae on including algae, detritus, and small animals. Halloween hermit crabs typically wear the shells of cone snails, and they are even known to attack snails for a large shell.
Images: Rokus Groeneveld and Martha Kiser
Youngest fry had some stockings like that for her costume… ;)
The Shame-faced Crab looks ridiculous with its huge, armoured skirt and gigantic, face-covering claws…
But their appearance belies a remarkable ability to disappear beneath the seabed in seconds, leaving nothing but a pair of eyes poking up out of the floor.
The Color of Marine Animals and Ocean Depth
Unlike animals on land or in shallow water – where skin, fur, and feather coloration may differ within habitats like hues on an artist’s palette – deep-sea animals follow a surprisingly regular pattern in their coloration.
Blue animals in the ocean live near the surface. Deeper down, animals are blue on top and white on the bottom. At greater depths, animals are generally transparent, but have red stomachs. Below that, animals are red or black over their entire bodies. Finally, at the bottom, almost all animals are either a pale red or a cream color. The most likely explanation for this distribution is camouflage (color that blends in with the surroundings)…
(read more: NOAA Ocean Explorer)
Diatoms. Wow. I was wondering if this arrangement of glass skeletons of single-celled plants had been photoshopped, given the precise matching of species and sizes. But it isn’t.
This was made by English diatomist John Albert Long in 1925, as you can read here. Amazing. He was apparently well-known for his prepared slides, which collectors vie for today.
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A lovely, little Larvacea!
It’s a tunicate that swims through oceans all over the world with their wriggly tail.
They build a structure around themselves known as a house. It’s a mucus thing with all sorts of corridors and nets for filtering out plankton. Then a conveyor belt of mucus brings food right into their mouth.
Once the house gets all clogged up, they abandon it and make a new one. They need to build several houses each day!
It also looks like a jelly baby flying through the air with a huge helmet and a long cape. Because even superheroes are safety-concious.
This is actually really cool. One of those critters you learn about in Invertebrate Zoology in school, but very rarely see. Textbooks always have diagrams of their mucus houses (which is very difficult to see here), but I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen the animal in action. Other pelagic tunicates (salps and pyrosomes) are colonial and swim by means of the entire colony’s cilia. And of course the tunicates most are familiar with are sessile, and don’t move around at all.