By Mera McGrew
Did you know that there are real life zombies that secrete acid, vampires that don’t kill, and ghosts that burrow underground? Meet the zombies, vampires, and ghosts you never knew existed.
Ocean Zombies: Osedax
So-called “zombie worms” are an unusual group of creatures from the genus Osedax, which is Latin for “bone devourer.” Only discovered in 2002, these worms were found on the ocean floor feeding on the skeletons of dead whales and fish. The bone-devouring worms lack a mouth, gut or anus, but are still able to remove nutrients from the bones that they bore into.
Researchers discovered that the worms secrete acid through their skin, which allows them to essentially drill into bones. Symbiotic bacteria inside the worms are able to digest the fats and oils the creatures extract from bones, which provide these “zombie worms” with the nutrients that they need to survive and thrive in the ocean.…
Monthly Archives: October 2012
By Mera McGrew
By Mera McGrew
They don’t wear sheets to look like ghosts or don fake blood and fangs to resemble vampires, but one family of crabs seems to have mastered the art of disguise. Majoidea crabs, commonly known as decorator crabs, have the unusual habit of “decorating” their backs or carapaces. They use bits of algae, sponges, anemones, coral polyps or whatever else they find lying around the ocean floor.
Researchers report that Majoidea crabs “decorate” as a form of camouflage, which is an essential survival technique used by many creatures. These crabs are known to live in shallow water along with multiple other ocean creatures. Without being able swim or run quickly through the ocean, researchers explain that by camouflaging themselves, these crabs are able to blend into their environment and hide from other animals that might otherwise harm or eat them.…
Go on a journey with Mission Blue founder, Dr. Sylvia Earle, to the Southern Ocean as she narrates a short video [watch below]. Click play, to learn about the distinctive life that lives in the frigid Antarctic waters and see beautiful visuals of the unique ecosystems that exist in the most southern reaches of the world.…
The United States and New Zealand have put forward a joint proposal that would create a 1.6 million km2 no-take protection area in the Ross Sea located in the Southern Ocean.
Earlier this month, Leonardo DiCaprio and the organization Avaaz set out on a mission to gain 1 million signatures to back an initiative to protect the Southern Ocean. Today, they have reached 1 million signatures — representing 1 million voices calling for the protection of the Southern Ocean. The petition is now set to go before delegates of the Antarctic Commission currently meeting behind closed doors in Hobart, Tasmania.
The petition states the following: “As concerned citizens from around the world, we call on you to act decisively to secure the precious habitat of whales and other ocean species when you meet in Hobart, Australia. We call for an ambitious deal that establishes the world’s largest network of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean, starting with the Ross Sea and East Antarctica.”…
his past weekend, the Colorado Ocean Coalition hosted its second annual Making WAVES in Colorado – a two-day public ocean film festival
By Mera McGrew
The Smithsonian Institution has announced a new global long-term project to monitor the ocean’s coastal ecosystems and biodiversity. The project being dubbed the Tennenbaum Marine Observatories, is being made possible by a generous $10 million donation from Suzanne and Michael Tennenbaum who have expressed that a comprehensive study like this is past due. The first project of its kind, the Tennenbaum Marine Observatories initiative will offer long-term data and understanding that promise to be critical in addressing both current and future challenges to sustaining healthy marine ecosystems.
“As our coasts undergo accelerating change due to human activity and the effects of climate change, it is more important than ever to monitor and understand the ocean’s biodiversity,” explained Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough.…
Take a virtual trip to a faraway place, explore coral reefs, discover the high seas and learn about your favorite marine creatures with Mission Blue without ever leaving your desk.
Flags from countries across the globe are flying on Macquarie Street in Hobart, Tasmania. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is meeting and over 200 marine scientists...
Mention Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and images of remoteness, vast ice sheets, and large glaciers immediately come to mind. But despite the area’s harsh wind and severe cold, the Antarctic is bursting with marine life.