Category Archives: Marine biology

World Oceans Day ~ Terrific Video

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World Oceans Day ~ June 8th

and today is the day you can help!

But first a let’s watch a terrific Youtube video, “The Ocean”, uploaded on 8 Jun 2010 by The Cube -

…A staggering 80 percent of all the life on Earth is to be found hidden beneath the waves and this vast global ocean pulses around our world driving the natural forces which maintain life on our planet… Without the global ocean there would be no life on Earth…

Helping the ocean and its animals is just a click away.
Celebrate World Oceans Day by showing your support for clean energy.

You can help celebrate #WorldOceansDay! Support wind energy to protect the ocean and its animals http://owl.li/xABhA

 We love the ocean! Do you? Take a selfie for the sea for #WorldOceansDay and share how you want to help http://owl.li/wqwFh
— Click here to tweet now

If you are unable to pledge here are a number of ideas where you can make a big difference!

BAGI promise to use reusable bags at the
grocery store

 

BOTTLEI promise to use a
reusable water bottle

 

MEATI promise to not eat
meat on Mondays

 

SHOWERI promise to take shorter showers

 

BUSI promise to take public transportation
to school/work once a week

 

FOODI promise to only eat sustainably caught
or farmed seafood

 

THRIFT STOREI promise to shop a thrift store first
instead of buying new

 

UNPLUG

I promise to unplug my electronic
chargers when not using them

 

 

TURN OFFI promise to turn off all the lights and
the heat or A/C when I leave my house

 

BIKEI promise to bike instead of drive for at
least one errand a week

 

 

LITTERI promise to participate
in a litter cleanup

 

 

PESTICIDESI promise to not use toxic pesticides
on my garden or lawn

 

“Bet you didn’t know water sponges are animals”!!!

SEA SPONGES

ROPE SPONGE2The title quotation, “Bet you didn’t know sponges are animals” is from Dr. Jonathan Bird, on his studies of living sea sponges.
TUBE SPONGESponges live at the bottom of the ocean attached to the surface – never moving.
ENCRUSTING SPONGESSponges look like plants, but are multi-cellular animals.
Sponges are found in the Arctic, Antarctic oceans and the tropics on many coral reefs. These ancient animals have been around for 1/2 billion years.
BARREL SPONGEThe most common is the barrel sponge, some of which can grow larger than a person.
According to Jonathan these sponges are “not as cool as sharks, but still fascinating animals.”

youtube video “Jonathan Bird’s Blue World: Sponges!” published on Mar 11, 2014

BASE SPONGEA sponge might not look like much, but these simple animals with no brain or ability to move have lived on Earth for hundreds of millions of years. They can hunt prey and spawn, and Jonathan demonstrates how in this fascinating segment about the biology of sponges!

There are more than 14,000 videos and webisodes on Jonathan Bird’s Blue World’s site and Youtube – all entertaining, amazing and thrilling!

Friday’s ‘Aw… and Wow’ Factor ~ Amazing!

PENGUIN NURSERIES

The following article, “Hey, I think that’s our kid, 3,233rd from the left: Stunning pictures of island where penguins have created the world’s largest crèche” by Emily Allen, was updated 2 June 2011, on http://www.dailymail.co.uk.

I thought you might also enjoy this great Youtube video, “King penguins – Attenborough: LIfe in the Freezer” – BBC, uploaded Mar. 7, 2012. In a fantastic clip from Attenborough’s 1993 series ‘Life in the Freezer’, Sir David demonstrates how inquistive baby penguins are. A great glimpse into the life of king penguins and their parental instincts.

These stunning aerial images of a King Penguin colony in South Georgia show just how extraordinary penguin parenting really is.
In what looks to be the world’s largest crèche, thousands of King Penguins instinctively herd their recently born young into giant huddles to stop them freezing to death.
Parental instinct takes over in the inhospitable climate of the South Atlantic and the chicks with their long, brown, downy coats are made to crowd together to retain their body warmth in the equivalent of bird crèches – visible as brown swathes on our photo.
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Birds of a feather: Thanks to these stunning aerial images we can see penguin parenting in action. The brown swathes are the young penguins herded together.

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P-p-p-peckish? A King Penguin feeds its baby in the colony in South Georgia.

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The young brown penguins are clearly visible in their huddles.

IMAGE4Meanwhile their extraordinary parents waddle down to the shore to bring back dinner for their offspring. The chicks, which take between 10 to 13 months to raise – cannot regulate their body temperature and the parents care for them round the clock for the first three weeks.

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Extraordinary patterns emerge as the brown baby penguins are herded into crèches.

The penguins look after their young around the clock for the first three weeks. They then put the chicks in one of the crèches, returning every two or three days with food. 

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A King Penguin protects a female from another male as the sun sets.

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South Georgia is a British territory close to the Falkland Islands and is one of the main breeding colonies for the birds.

IMAGE9The King Penguin is the second largest species of penguin, weighing up to 35 lbs. The Emperor penguins are the largest. They eat small fish – mainly lantern fish, and squid and repeatedly dive to more than 100 metres to find lunch. A full penguin breeding cycle lasts more than a year and pairs generally breed twice every three years.
There are an estimated 2.23 million pairs of King Penguins with numbers increasing.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1393379/King-Penguin-colony-South-Georgia-Stunning-pictures-worlds-largest-cr-che.html#ixzz2qaj35Ki1

Devastating effect on Canada’s lakes caused by acid rain

BLAME IT ON THE RAINThe following article, “Blame it on the Rain” appeared in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Watercanada magazine, written by Rebecca Taggart.

Acid rain leaves its mark in Canada’s freshwater lakes:

Calcium deficiency is commonly  considered an ailment of the elderly. However, many of Canada’s freshwater lakes are now being diagnosed with a similar condition.
Calcium levels in many of Canada’s freshwater lakes are dropping. Just as it’s necessary for a healthy human body, calcium is also essential for supporting life in aquatic ecosystems. Environment Canada scientists are involved in collaborative research that sheds light on a pattern of calcium loss in our small lakes and wetlands. For almost 30 years, samples were collected from lakes across southeastern Canada to monitor chemical levels in ecosystems sensitive to acid rain. In an assessment of chemical changes from 770 Ontario lakes, researchers noticed a troubling pattern of declining calcium.

MAKING A RECOVERY:  When rain falls on the land or drainage basin surrounding a lake, it washes a small amount of calcium from the soil and drains it into the lake. This natural process has occurred over thousands of years, and accounts for most of the calcium found in lakes.
Acid rain speeds up this process by washing calcium from the soil and into lakes at a much faster rate than regular rain.
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Acid rain also increases the acidity of lake waters, which can negatively affect the aquatic species that rely on the lake to survive. Acid rain peaked during the 1970s and 1980s because of increased urban and industrial development throughout eastern North America. Since then, aggressive environmental policies have reduced the harmful emissions that cause acid rain, and have succeeded in reducing its occurrence.

However, those decades of faster calcium leaching due to acid rain have depleted the natural stock of calcium found in the soil of land in lake drainage basins. Now that we are seeing less acid rain, calcium concentrations in some lakes are declining, perhaps to levels that are lower than those before acid rain became a problem.
This means that there may not be enough calcium available for some aquatic species to survive in these lakes. Low calcium levels may also slow the biological recovery of lakes from the higher acidity levels that were also caused by acid rain.
GETTING TO THE CORE OF OUR LAKES: To demonstrate the effects of this problem, research scientists studied Daphnia, a crustacean that lab studies have shown is strongly dependent on sufficient calcium concentrations in lakes.
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Researchers conducted a paleolimnological survey, which involves using a coring device to remove a sample of the lake’s sediment floor. Lying within these sediments are remains of plants and animals that have been preserved over time.

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Based on an analysis of lake sediment cores, scientists found that Daphnia began to decline in the 1970s, showing a strong link with measured declines in lake calcium levels.
Declines in Daphnia and other calcium rich foods have the potential to threaten many other species. Daphnia graze on algae, which regulates their presence in a lake. This affects other animals in the food chain such as fish and birds.

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The results of this research teach an important lesson about the role that each creature plays in an ecosystem. Small lakes and wetlands provide important habitat for many species. The individual roles these species play in our ecosystems demonstrate the interconnectedness of all life forms and illustrate the potential for habitat pollution and other impacts to have complex consequences for ecosystems. WC Rebecca Taggart is with Environment Canada.

Here’s a link to a related and more in-depth article, “Acid rain legacy hurting lakes”
ONTARIO'S PLASTIC LAKE
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2008/11/28/acid_rain_legacy_hurting_lakes.html

Stop Oil Tanker Traffic in B.C.

BC OIL TANKER TRAFFIC
Just ONE Exxon-Valdez-like spill on British Columbia’s coast could devastate thousands of families and a spectacular diversity of life. We shouldn’t take that risk!

Aren’t you tired of Big Oil targeting populated areas with rich flora and fauna and delicate environments as the next hot place to traffic oil? I sure am. It’s almost like they’re targeting areas of the world with the most to lose from an oil spill!

OIL COLLAGE

Send a message to Canada’s and British Columbia’s governments: Don’t traffic oil along B.C.’s coast!

Enbridge, Kinder Morgan, and CN Rail are all chomping at the bit to expand crude oil tanker traffic through B.C.’s coast en route to Asia. It would put a number of salmon rivers – as well as the thousands of people, cultures, and livelihoods that depend on B.C.’s coast – at risk for an oil spill, an event that could devastate the area.

First Nation communities are banning these projects with the Coastal First Nations and Save the Fraser declarations. Let’s unite with these strong efforts and stand up against oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s coast!

Please sign the petition by clicking the link below ~

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/333/333/751/?z00m=20630007

Tall Tales in Curacao ~ love dolphins!!!

CURACAO DOLPHINS

The Youtube video, “Curacao Sea Aquarium Park”, published on May 18, 2012 is described as follows: ‘Plan a Curacao Sea Aquarium Park vacation for the entire family. Come and enjoy the daily tours at the aquarium with the sea lion show, get a chance to feed the sharks or just enjoy the exciting dolphin show. For the thrill seekers we have the submarine, Curasub, going to 1,000ft deep or interact with a dolphin up close at Dolphin Academy. And the end of the day you can stay in one of the rooms of the boutique hotel, the Dolphin Suites hotel, which is completely adapted to guests with special needs.’

With many thanks and much admiration, the following is a ‘reblog’ , dated July 22, 2013, from my very favorite blogger, Lesley Carter, of Bucket List Publications.

Tall Tales in Curacao.

I would love to be able to swim with dolphins ~ a lifelong dream of mine, so this trip has to go to the top of my bucket list ~ especially if it can be in this Curacao paradise.

JELLYFISH LAKE ~ PAPUA ~ DELIGHTFUL PARADISE!

JELLYFISH LAKE, PALAU
An enchanting and mesmerizing paradise exists in Palau – judged to be the #1 underwater wonder of the world.

CORAL FISHPalau’s waters host as many as 600 types of coral and 1500 species of  fish.

The following excerpt is from MNN – ‘Where the jellies roam’ (link at end of blog).
JELLYFISH LAKE
Photo: Helen Pippard/IUCNWeb/Flickr
Nestled within a lush forest on the Micronesian island of Eil Malk is one of the world’s most remarkable snorkeling destinations: Jellyfish Lake. The freshwater diving spot, located in Palau’s Rock Islands, is named quite literally for the millions of jellyfish that spend their days bobbing back and forth across the lake’s length.
JELLYFISH STINGSWhile many cnidarians are known for their lethal stings, the two species that live in this lake — MOON JELLYFISHthe moon jellyfish and the golden jellyfish — are harmless, making them perfect swimming companions. Protective stingers were rendered pointless after the gelatinous, glass-like creatures evolved in a closed environment lacking in predators …

‘Diving in Jellyfish Lake’, published on Apr 18, 2013,  Welcome to Jellyfish Lake!  Population: millions!  It’s about as unique as a dive location can get … and our crew can safely swim amongst its cnidarian residents since their stings are harmless to humans.  Time for a little dive in jellyfish soup!

‘Jellyfish Lake’, uploaded on May 8, 2006 – Trip to visit a million stingerless Jelly fish at Jelly fish Lake Palau

link to mnn.com article

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/eco-tourism/blogs/jellyfish-lake-will-stun-you-no-stingers-involved