Today's Catch

Jul 1, 2014
Credit:

Paulyn Cartwright et al. 2007 (PLOS ONE) Link

How long have jellyfish lived in the ocean? This jellyfish fossil is from the Cambrian period, more than 500 million years ago. It was found buried in Utah —an area that used to be underwater, covered by the ocean. Fossil jellyfish are rare because they have no bones or other hard parts to turn into fossils. Instead, scientists have to look for so-called "soft fossils," when organisms are quickly...Read more
Jun 30, 2014
Credit:

Flickr user bluewavechris

Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to locations around the world. Changes to the coast and ocean floor as well as sediment flow can change the nature of a wave as it reaches shore. So when three condos were going to be built on the shore of his favorite surfing spot, a surfer turned to economics . Turns out you can quantify the value of waves by looking at how...Read more
Jun 27, 2014
Credit:

Rob Peatling, Flickr

Instead of females, male seahorses carry the developing seahorse embryos in a kangaroo-like pouch. During mating season, the female deposits her eggs into the pouch, and the male fertilizes them. After about two weeks of development, out pop the seahorse fry, ready to swim off and explore the ocean world. Here is a very pregnant short-snouted seahorse ( Hippocampus breviceps ) in Australia. Read...Read more
Jun 26, 2014
Credit:

Kenneth Kopp

This nudibranch, or shell-less marine snail, is making a comeback to a location it hasn't been to in years along the California coast. First discovered off the coast of Southern California in 1902, Felimare californiensis was thought to be extinct in the region since 1984 due to pollution. But the nudibranch with its blue and gold color scheme has been spotted off the Southern California coast...Read more
Jun 25, 2014
Credit:

Ari Friedlaender

Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) can be found in Antarctic waters during the spring and summer in the Southern hemisphere, where they gorge on their main food source: tiny krill. How do they locate the small prey and maneuver their large bodies to eat? Scientists are looking at those questions and using different types of tags to learn more.Read more
Jun 24, 2014
Penguins are odd birds. For one, they cannot fly (but they are amazing swimmers), and, contrary to popular belief, the majority of penguin populations live in warmer regions. Only four of the 18 penguin species regularly live and breed in frigid Antarctica; the rest live in sub-temperate to temperate regions, along the coasts or on islands in the Southern hemisphere. But these beloved birds are...Read more
Jun 23, 2014
Credit:

© Alexander Semenov Link

The Arctic comb jelly or sea nut ( Mertensia ovum ) is commonly found in the surface (top 50 meters) in cold, northern waters. Like other cydippid ctenophores, it has two tentacles fringed with smaller tentacles, which are dappled with colloblasts. Colloblasts are specialized cells that, upon contact with other organisms, act as a glue, allowing the comb jelly to pull the food to its mouth with...Read more
Jun 20, 2014
Credit:

John Sylvester/Nature's Best Photography

Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act . Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal breeding grounds are being lost in the North Atlantic and Arctic. “Every March, up to 200,000 harp seal pups are born on sea ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due...Read more
Jun 19, 2014
Credit:

© Alison Kock, Save Our Seas

A great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ) emerges from the water's surface, gaping at the photographer. Gaping is a way sharks communicate with each other, and maybe even try and communicate with humans. In addition to gaping, sharks have six highly refined senses for both hunting and communication: smell, hearing, touch, taste, sight, and electromagnetism. These finely honed senses coupled...Read more
Jun 18, 2014
Credit:

Allen Collins

This rare staurozoan , or stalked jellyfish ( Haliclystus californiensis ) is about 2 centimeters in length and was collected off the coast of California. Unlike the traditional bell-shaped floating jellyfish, staurozoans live attached to rocks or other hard surfaces and mostly live in cold water. They tend to blend in with their surroundings, so often go unnoticed except to those who seek them...Read more

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