Posts Tagged ‘weird creatures’

Bali-wood turns to the ocean

[Sorry, I couldn’t resist.] May I say that this video is awesome! This is the sort of thing that reminds me why I got into the marine biology business in the first place. Plus, hard on the heels of shark week, it provides lots of great material for my planned grand opening of (wait for […]


Ode to a sea cucumber (Dear Helen)

A friend who knows me well recently sent me this poem. Dear Helen, by Charles Simic There’s a thing in the world Called a sea cucumber. I know nothing about it. It just sounds cold and salty. I think a salad of such cukes Would be fine today. I would have to dive for it, […]


Treasures of the White Sea

  I’ve just discovered this fabulous gallery of exquisite images by Russian underwater photographer Alexander Semenov. Alexander works in a place that most of us have never heard of, and few would dream of as hosting some of the beautiful animals that he’s virtually captured — the White Sea, an embayment of the Arctic Ocean […]


Sea monster proves to be a regular animal

The mystery is solved. After more than a week of holding their collective breath, sea monster enthusiasts throughout the world can now rest easy, albeit a bit deflated. The serpentine 30-foot creature that washed up on a Scottish beach has been identified by a crack team from the Scottish Agricultural College. Alas, it appears that […]


How to spot a mimic octopus

Love this ID chart from xkdc. HT to Ben Shearon.


Helen Arney sings ‘Animals’ (with moderate levels of fish-related naughtiness)

I’ve just about finished washing off the mud after spending the weekend getting rained on in a field in Suffolk (England). Among the festival of delights at Latitude – awesome music, literature, comedy etc  – was the wonderful songwriter/comedian/science geek Helen Arney. Here’s Helen singing about animals and the things they get up to make […]


Hollywood Amphipod

ALIEN IS ALIVE! …but this real-life version of Alien from the half-billion-dollar movie franchise isn’t even an inch long and lives in the ocean. Phronima, a hyperiid amphipod related to shrimps, crabs, barnacles, krill, and other crustaceans, is found just about everywhere in the oceans. Though their offspring are not about to burst through anyone’s […]


Octopus Houdini

Octopuses have a gift for squeezing themselves through any hole larger than their beaks. Is this what childbirth is like? [cincopa AUCAPoKGL9ML] This video was filmed by Chance Miller of Miller’s Landing in Seward, Alaska


Cuba journal: Day 7 – The Wall of Mouths

Day 7: Thursday 2 June Done. All over now but the last dregs of clean-up and packing. Five days in the “Gardens of the Queen”, and what a time it’s been. A journey back in time in both the state of society and of the Sea. In the last five days we’ve become accustomed to […]


Why pufferfish puff

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkXhC7yzISI&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] Okay, so I admit this is a river story but I can only imagine similar things go on in the sea. And it just goes to show how blowing up like a beach ball is a really effective way of seeing off predators. HT to Practical Fishkeeping for the link.


Name that seamonster (and you thought British seas were boring!)

It seems it’s all the rage to get members of the public to name species that are otherwise stuck with boring scientific epithets. Latest is the UK’s Guardian who are running a name-that-species contest on their website today, including a bunch of critters than inhabit British seas. My favourite is this orange sea spider – it looks […]


Giant squid: Panda bear of the ocean?

Some people think so. Not in the sense of being cute and cuddly, of course. But in superstar potential. Think World Wildlife Fund’s iconic panda logo — who doesn’t recognize that image? A team of researchers has published a new paper in Biological Conservation arguing that ocean conservationists should take a page from WWF’s book […]


What are gelatinous plankton?

An amazing video about gelatinous plankton from MBARI. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HzFiQFFQYw&[/youtube]


Classic film series: Barnacles tell no lies

Alright. John has broken the ice in introducing invertebrate porn to SeaMonster. So I can’t resist a shout-out out to the grandaddy of ’em all, a true classic, and a runaway favorite for best soundtrack. Ladies and gentlemen, from 1991, it’s . .  Randy Olson’s Barnacles Tell No Lies! [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZQE0Z2aZHE[/youtube]  


Barnacle mating (x-rated!)

Warning: the following post may contain material not appropriate for children and some adults. Barnacles have sex. And as marine biologists are fond of saying, male barnacles have the largest “boy part” relative to body size in the animal kingdom. Male marine biologists frequently attempt to increase their own genetic fitness by sharing this information with […]


Jellyfish have eyes AND brains!

A great article in the NYT by Natalie Angier about the surprising complexity of jellyfish: For all their noble antiquity, jellyfish have long been ignored or misunderstood by mainstream science, dismissed as so much mindless protoplasm with a mouth. Now, in a series of new studies, researchers have found that there is far more complexity […]


Who’s the daddy?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAU-E7KLoaY&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] 20 leopard sharks born in April at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, after their mother went through a 12-month pregnancy. But the question is – Who’s the Daddy? PhD student Andy Nosal is doing a paternity test on the little sharks to work out how many males were involved in their conception (chances are, it’s more […]


Sea squirts and the secret to eternal life

[A guest post written primarily by my PhD student Jonathan Lefcheck] Have you ever dreamed of living forever? Since the dawn of time people have sought in vain for the fountain of youth. The latest clue to its whereabouts comes from an unlikely source – our closest relative among the invertebrates, the sea squirt. A […]


How to get a horseshoe crab in the mood

Persuading prehistoric-looking horseshoe crabs to mate in captivity may not be on most of our minds, but Carmela Cuomo from the University of New Haven spent 10 years figuring out how to get them in the mood. And it turns out all you need is some sand from home. Horseshoe crabs look like a weird type […]


Rock-eyed limpets

A simple mollusk appears to use hundreds of eye-like structures made of a calcium carbonate crystal to scope out potential predators and to protect itself against being eaten. The “eyes” of the three-inch-long mollusks, called chitons, have lenses made of aragonite, a type of rock. It’s the first time scientists have found an animal that […]


Social shrimp: Discovery of new species and a new family tree

Of all the wondrous creatures of the sea, only a small handful of inconspicuous shrimps have risen to the pinnacle of social life shared by the ants and honeybees with their large, organized, and cooperative colonies, the condition known as “eusociality”. Because of their retiring habits—making their homes in tunnels within living sponges—and the devilish […]


A deep-sea fish with a transparent head and tubular eyes

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM9o4VnfHJU[/youtube]


Greetings from the Seaster Bunny


Top Ten Sea Monsters (OK, make it a dozen)

We couldn’t have done this better ourselves. Meet the “12 most bizarre and frightening sea creatures“, courtesy of Asylum UK.  This is so good I had to reproduce it: The planet Earth is full of scary stuff. Not just like the threat of bird-flu and unemployment, but even scarier things like angry bears and bity […]