Today's Catch

Aug 22, 2013
Credit:

Tony Brown, Flickr

The blue lined octopus may be small, growing to at most 15 cm, but it can be deadly: its venom can cause breathing failure in humans as well as other animals. Turtles can accidentally consume the octopus when grazing and drown due to the immobilizing toxins. The blue coloring serves as a warning since it only appears when the octopus is aggravated. Even though the blue lined octopus is more...Read more
Aug 21, 2013
Credit:

Bo Pardau, Flickr

The false killer whale (pdf) ( Pseudorca crassidens ) is a large dolphin that, despite its name, is not closely related to the killer whale. Instead, it's named for similarities in their skull shapes, as the first false killer whale was described from a fossil in the mid-1800s. They are very social animals and form strong bonds with each other, causing them to stick together in pods. This can be...Read more
Aug 20, 2013
Credit:

L. Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. (WHOI) (www.cmarz.org)

In the Coral Triangle, a biodiverse area between Indonesia and the Philippines, scientists discovered this swimming polychaete (bristly worm), which they have dubbed the "squidworm." Using a remotely operated vehicle, the researchers with the Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ), a project of the Census of Marine Life , dove 1.8 miles (2,800 meters) to first discover Teuthidodrilus samae in 2007...Read more
Aug 19, 2013
Credit:

Tony Brown, Flickr

The Eastern cleaner-clingfish ( Cochleoceps orientalis ) has its job title in its name: “cleaner.” They prove invaluable to larger fish by removing parasites to keep the larger fish clean and healthy. To do their job, Eastern cleaner-clingfish move by clinging onto different surfaces instead of swimming themselves. They can hold onto kelp or sponges with a strong grip before moving onto a fish...Read more
Aug 8, 2013
Credit:

© Michael Rutzen

Great white sharks ( Carcharodon carcharias ) are marvels of evolution, with highly-evolved senses keeping them among the ocean’s top predators. However, they are threatened with extinction and listed on the IUCN Red List as "Vulnerable." Their biggest (and, perhaps, only) threat is people. Great whites are often portrayed as terrifying man-killers, which makes them a target for sport fishing and...Read more
Aug 6, 2013
Credit:

DougWood2013, Flickr

Bull sharks cut a threatening figure with the largest recorded bull shark reaching 11.5 feet and 500 pounds. They prey on dolphins, birds, turtles, bony fish, and other species of shark. Catching such a wide array of prey is possible because bull sharks can survive in both coastal freshwater and saltwater. However it was still a surprise for some golfers in Australia that these versatile sharks...Read more
Jul 30, 2013
Coral reefs are some of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet that are home to beautiful wildlife and provide food to many people living on the coast. So how do you protect the reefs without cutting off communities from their food source? Instead of creating one big marine protected area to conserve coral reefs, one idea is to protect a series of smaller reef areas. A series of protected...Read more
Jul 18, 2013
Credit:

© BBC

When coral reefs are damaged, they sometimes struggle to grow back because there aren't enough coral seedlings around, and the ones that are around are growing together too closely. Enter: the coral gardeners. Fiji's coral gardeners, who are fishermen trained by biologists, collect small corals that are struggling to grow because they have little space, and bring them to a raised platform that...Read more
Jun 28, 2013
Credit:

Edy Setyawan

A smasher mantis shrimp came out from its burrow on a fringing reef adjacent to the USS Liberty ship wreck in Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia at a depth of 6 meters. The smashers use their raptorial claw to break their food, like clams. Mantis shrimps have good vision as their eyes have 16 photo-receptors to recognize prey and avoid predators.Read more
Jun 7, 2013
"We too are sea creatures," entreats ocean explorer Sylvia Earle in this beautiful short film, which calls for protecting the ocean and, in particular, for ending destructive fishing practices. It's estimated that we've lost on the order of 90% of many of the ocean's big fishes, such as tuna, sharks, and cod, through overfishing what was once considered a limitless resource. Today, people still...Read more

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