Monthly Archives: February 2013

Photo of the Day ~ Step back in time with Octavio Aburto

Photo of the Day: In many ways, diving in the San Benito Islands is not all that different than diving in Southern California’s Channel Islands. If, that is, you could get into a time machine and go back 40 or 50 years. Thanks to its relative isolation from population centers, one of the best preserved Kelp forests in the Pacific Ocean is off San Benito Island, Mexico. Often the island is covered by clouds, and the light illuminates the Kelp creating incredible colors, as we see here surrounding these playful California Sea Lions. Location: San Benito Island, Baja California, Mexico Photo: © Octavio Aburto…
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Photo of the Day ~ What sea creature is this?

Today's Photo of the Day is a different kind of sea creature – it's Her Deepness, Dr. Sylvia Earle!  When asked the inevitable question, "What sea critter would you like to be," she has but one answer. "I AM a sea creature!"  As are we all, because without the ocean, there would be no life on earth. No blue, no green! When asked what she daydreams about, Dr. Earle replied, "Going under water…Saving the ocean…Being a fish…Or imagine being an eel and with no arms or legs and just slithery body, slide around, and then tuck back in a burrow with just your face sticking out….I would love to slip into the skin of a fish and know what it’s like to be one.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Biomineral Crystals

What's that, you say?  What looks like an abstract work of art is actually an image of biomineral crystals within a sea urchin's tooth. The photo took the top spot in photography at the International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. [Biomineral Single Crystals. Pupa U.P.A. Gilbert and Christopher E. Killian] Each color highlights a continuous single crystal of calcite (CaCO3) made by the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata at the forming end of one of its teeth. Together, these biomineral crystals fill space, harden the tooth, and toughen it enough to grind rock. The pair captured the shot using scanning electron microscopy, although Gilbert admits the palette choice is somewhat arbitrary. "The artist in me selected the colors. I picked them because I like the way they look," says Gilbert.…
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The corals look good, but where are the Fish?

Our partners at the The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation continue their Global Reef Expedition, a worldwide survey of coral reefs, reporting their findings to the world as they go. In the Acteon Group of French Polynesia, they found excellent coral cover, but a surprising lack of fish. The question is, why?  ~ Ed. During our surveys in the Acteon group we saw very few fish.  There were few sharks or other large predators and even large herbivorous fish such as surgeonfishes and parrotfishes were noticeably low in number. The fish community was dominated by small-bodied species such as damselfishes, wrasses, and butterflyfishes. So why are the fish communities in such a pristine and isolated coral reef in such poor condition?…
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