Posts Tagged ‘weird creatures’

All Reef Creatures Great and Small

All Reef Creatures Great and Small

In a follow up to our interview with Prof. Charles Sheppard about his latest expedition to the Chagos Archipelago, here is PhD researcher Catherine Head in an exclusive Seamonster guest post giving us a glimpse of the incredible hidden word of coral reef cryptofauna. Chagos for me is what it’s all about, it represents why [...]


Online Encyclopedia of Life hits a million pages

The Encyclopedia of Life has hit a million pages!  From ScienceDaily: The Encyclopedia of Life has surged past one million pages of content with the addition of hundreds of thousands of new images and specimen data from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Launched in 2007 with the support of leading scientific [...]


Weird seahorse cousins found in stone for first time

My seahorse fossil-finding friend, Jure Žalohar, has made another amazing discovery.                         Back in 2009 Jure and his friend Tomas found the first fossils of extinct seahorses in his home country of Slovenia. His latest find is the world’s first fossilized pygmy pipehorse – a [...]


Stunning reminders of why the oceans are awesome

Here’s a few of the amazing pictures that won this year’s underwater photography contest run by the University of Miami Rosentiel School. Make sure you check them out in their full glory at the 2012 Winners website.


Teeny tiny glowing sharks could be missing link

Take a tour of sharks around the oceans and you’ll find that around one in ten has the ability to glow, sparkle and twinkle its own eerie light. Some of the tiniest and most mysterious sharks – the pygmy and lantern sharks – are the subject of a new study looking into how glowing sharks [...]


Helen in the Gambia

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll probably have heard that I’ve just begun a 2-month trip to West Africa. You can keep posted on my adventures here as I report back on all things seamonsterly. In the first of my reports, I encounter my first two local species down at the beach.  [...]


Sand bubbler crabs eat sand, make art

                    I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent many hours on tropical beaches gazing at the crazy patterns of tiny sand footballs left behind by crabs. Here’s a neat up-close video on them doing it. Big HT to Treehugger - head on over there for more [...]


Cuttlefish are cool

Yes they are. But don’t just take my word for it. Click & listen below to seahorse expert Heather Mason Jones from the University of Tampa making her pick of the oceans inhabitants for “Critter of the Month” in the latest episode of the Naked Oceans podcast. Cuttlefish are cool – Naked Oceans


Best invertebrate porn I’ve seen all week

I mean, not that I go looking for it or anything . . . but you will see from the video why they call it (no I am not making this up) penis fencing. And watch carefully: they each have two. Not sure exactly where they put them but, well, let’s not go there. Truth, [...]


Breaking news – fish mimics the mimic octopus

This is so very awesome you better sit down and pay attention. A fish has been caught in the act of mimicking that master of disguise – the mimic octopus. We all know how clever octopus can be. And of all the brainy cephalopods, the mimic octopus stands out with it’s extraordinary repertoire of impersonations. [...]


Newly evolved for 2012′s climate: world’s first hybrid shark

The changing climate that increasingly dominates the news is beginning to play its hand in some strange and unexpected ways. Creatures from algae to fishes are busting out of their old geographic ranges and striking out into new territories. A case in point: the microscopic phytoplankton species Neodenticula seminae, a dominant primary producer in North [...]


Ocean thoughts for New Years day

Today is New Year’s Day, the traditional day to look ahead. With that in mind, here is a neatened, expanded-on, written-down version of some thoughts I shared on my final appearance on the BBC radio show Home Planet just before Christmas when the producers gave me  a chance to cast an eye forwards. There’s no doubt that these [...]


Wave your claws in the air…

… like you just don’t care. Remember the Yeti crab? That fuzzy pawed deep sea denizen that revealed itself to science a few years ago and got given the name Kiwa hirsuta? Well, meet it’s newly-discovered cousin, Kiwa puravida. This chap has gone one step further down the weeeeird sea animals pathway. It’s not just hairy but [...]


Happy Thanksgiving!

 


Silky seabugs

As a long-time afficianado of the amphipod crustaceans I’ve come to terms with being alone in a crowd, having as it were a more rarified taste in biophilia than the average whale-hugger lover of sea life. Sure, they’re submicroscopic, sometimes pesky (crawling into your ears while working underwater, for example), and often devilishly difficult to [...]


Marine biodiversity: The tip of the iceberg

Who doesn’t love whales, beautiful fishes, octopuses, corals — even sharks? You know that we do here at SeaMonster. But those charismatic megafauna, as they are rather cumbersomely known in the conservation science-geek community, are only the tip of the biodiversity iceberg. Down in the jumbled rubble on the floor of the reef, among the [...]


Florida: haven for illegal immigrants

OK, so strictly speaking this has nothing to do with the Sea, except insofar as the Everglades are a semi-aquatic environment that drains at some remove into salt water. Still, it involves a large cold-blooded predator exhibiting a classic ecological interaction in a vivid and, well, somewhat appalling way. Which is good enough for me. [...]


The Dead Sea isn’t so dead

Life as we know it doesn’t exactly thrive in the Dead Sea. No fish have evolved to put up with the notoriously salty waters. But weird new forms of microbial life have been discovered inhabiting a network of massive craters at the bottom of the Dead Sea. A diverse mixture of sun-worshipping and sulphide-munching bacteria have [...]


Yeti crab – the Movie!

Live from the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Aberdeen, it’s . . . Yeti Crab – the Movie! Perhaps a bit of explanation is in order. We’re live (sort of) in Aberdeen with 953 of our closest friends and colleagues, catching up on the cutting edge of research on the wondrous and varied life [...]


Smackdown: bear meets squid

Now, I have truly seen everything. We all know the inspiring images from nature shows of majestic bears whacking big salmon out of the water as they make their grueling and intrepid homing migrations upstream (the salmon, that is). But squid? Unlike the photo of the shark in the streets of Puerto Rico (mea culpa) [...]


The coolest animal in the world

As a marine biologist it’s my job to understand the complex workings of our mysterious ocean planet, and to wrestle with the great questions of our time. One that has been exercising me lately is this: What is the coolest animal on earth? After considerable deliberation, I’ve made my decision. And I don’t say this [...]


Warming-induced killer crab invasion threatens Antarctic biodiversity

[Editor's update: One of our observant readers and experts on deep-sea crabs, Dr Thomas Shirley of Texas A&M, points out that the photo above taken from the Mail article is of the tanner crab (Chionoecetes sp.), NOT the the giant king crab Neolithodes yaldwyni that is moving onto the Antarctic shelf. This is correct - [...]


A fish out of water — and lookin’ for love

“Fish gotta swim”, as Julie put it in explaining why she can’t stop lovin’ dat man in the 1927 musical Show Boat. And we all know what she meant. But do they? Not this one. The Pacific Leaping Blenny (yes, that is its real name) wants to do anything but swim. It literally flees from [...]


Hydrogen-powered hydrothermal vent critters

Scientists have discovered a third source of energy used by animals in the deep sea. Hydrothermal vents aren’t for the feint hearted. It’s very dark and unbelievably hot down there, not to mention the pressure – we’re talking many miles beneath the waves, here – and all those zingy chemicals, gushing out from cracks in [...]