Today's Catch

Aug 29, 2013
Credit:

Michael Bear, Flickr

Swimming by a black sea nettle may be a bit of a shock. These large jellyfish can grow to be over three feet in diameter, and their tentacles can be over 25 feet long. Despite their large size, much about them is still unknown, and they are relatively new to science: black sea nettles weren't an official species until 1997! This is because they are rarely observed in the wild, preferring calm...Read more
Aug 28, 2013
Credit:

Choo Yut Shing, Flickr

The Japanese spider crab is a large catch for any fisherman. With a leg span of 13 feet (4 meters) and an average weight of around 40 pounds (16-20 kg), it claims the title of largest crab. It may also have the longest lifespan of any crab, living to be 100 years old. However, Japanese spider crabs do not survive very long without injury. Their long legs are weak , and a study found that three-...Read more
Aug 27, 2013
Credit:

João Pedro Silva, Flickr

The blue-spotted stingray ( Taeniura lymma ) doesn’t like to be covered in sand like other species of stingray do. Instead, it prefers to show off its beautiful blue spots and, to stay up to the best standards, it needs the help of cleaner fish. These cleaner fish remove parasites from larger fish. Their coloring gives them a sort of uniform, which lets the larger fish know not to eat them. Other...Read more
Aug 26, 2013
Credit:

NASA Earth Observatory, Flickr

When hurricanes blow through an area, they don’t just have an impact on humans. These intense wind events also cause great damage to the ecosystems (pdf) they touch. They harm marine animals by spewing pollution and debris onto their habitats. While there are a few animals, such as sharks and dolphins, that can sense the change in air pressure as a hurricane approaches and swim away, many animals...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
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
May 23, 2013
Credit:

John Wang, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research

Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs, but now they are threatened by fisheries. It's estimated that some 4,600 sea turtles are killed by fishing nets and hooks every year in U.S. waters. But off the coast of Mexico, one community is trying something different: hanging lights on their nets so turtles can avoid them. They've found a 50% reduction in turtle...Read more
May 9, 2013
For two months, Cassandra Brooks , a marine scientist with Stanford University, travelled on an ice-breaking ship through the Ross Sea in the Antarctica—and she filmed the whole thing. A camera hooked to the front of the ship recorded the ship’s travels, and the ever-changing sea ice. Sea ice isn’t just a solid layer covering the water’s surface. Sometimes the ice looks like shining glass...Read more

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