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Photo of the Day ~ Larval Flounder

A tiny larval Flounder. Who would ever expect it to be so exquisite? A translucent body disguises a larval flounder to keep it safe from predators. It will lose this defense mechanism later in life. Flounder undergo several striking physical transformations during their lifetimes. Very young flounder swim upright and have an eye on each side of their face. As they age the fish begin to swim on their sides and one eye slowly migrates until both are on the body’s “top side.” Courtesy of Reddit.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Bering Sea Canyons Hope Spot Exploration

From the 2012 Greenpeace Expedition, an exciting description of his experience exploring the Zhemchug and Pribilof Deep Canyons, from John Hocevar ~ Ed. If you’re a SCUBA diver, you’ve probably got a favorite wall dive. It’s hard to beat the feeling of moving slowly up a steep reef, with dense marine life above and below. I’ll always remember my first deep wall dive, on a visit to Curacao as a teenager in the 80s. My new favorite, though, involves a submarine rather than SCUBA. After a few dozen dives in Pribilof and Zhemchug Canyons, on the Bering Sea shelf break, I thought I had some idea of what to expect: gradual slope, soft sediment bottom, with coral and sponge density somewhere around 1 per square meter.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Bering Sea Hope Spot: Cold Water Corals

Bright red swiftia coral found during a Greenpeace Expedition to the Bering Sea’s Zhemchug Canyon, in Mission Blue’s new Hope Spot! Much of the expedition was focused on studying the abundance and diversity of deep-sea coral within the canyons. The expedition revealed “significant densities of coral, higher than most places in the world,” said Robert J. Miller, a biologist conducting research for the Marine Science Institute at the University of California Santa Barbara. Photo: Todd Warshaw/Greenpeace…
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Photo of the Day ~ Polar Bear

Polar Bear exhales upon surfacing.  The combination of disappearing Arctic sea ice due to climate change, and continued development of oil and gas in critical habitat areas spells double trouble for Arctic polar bears. Photo (c) Jeff Rumans.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Yeti Crab

The deep water Yeti crab is so unusual that a whole new family of animal had to be created to classify it. Kiwa hirsuta was found on the floor of the 7,540-foot-deep (2,300-meter-deep) Pacific Ocean some 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) south of Easter Island. In many ways the newly discovered species remains a mystery. Its hairy pincer arms host colonies of bacteria, which it may cultivate for food, for protection from toxic fluids issuing from nearby volcanic vents, or as “sensors” that help the blind animal find a mate. Photographer Unknown  …
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Photo of the Day ~ Mauve Stinger

Commonly known as the Mauve Stinger, or Pelagia noctiluca,  this exquisite animal  is found around the globe in temperate waters. In Latin, Pelagia means “of the sea”, nocti stands for night and luca means light thus Pelagia noctiluca can be described as a marine organism with the ability to glow in the dark. Mauve stingers can move vertically, but are unable to propel themselves horizontally and so are carried by currents. They move up and down in response to migrations of their prey, zooplankton. They are most venomous in the Mediterranean, but their sting is usually limited to the skin surface with local pain only.  In an unprecedented event on November 21, 2007, an enormous 10-square-mile swarm of billions of these jellyfish wiped out a 100,000 fish salmon farm in Northern Ireland.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Honeycomb Moray

Photographer Tony Wu reported from Ambon, Indonesia, a magical nighttime encounter with a moray he named Barney. Scientists would rather we refer to this noble critter by his Latin name, Gymnothorax favagineus.  They are also known as the leopard moray, tesselate moray or laced moray, and to us, a beautiful face is just that, a beautiful face. The Laced moray can grow up to 300cm in length, and as such are one of the larger species of moray eel. They feed mainly on small fish and cephalopods.  It has been observed that adults are prone to be aggressive in the wild. They are found in the Indo-Pacific, and East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to southern Japan, south of Australia.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Shark Swarm

During an organized shark dive, photographer Justin Lewis dressed in chainmail to get in the middle of a group of feeding sharks in the Bahamas. The Bahamian Reefs Hope Spot is located East and South of Florida and host forest, wetlands, swamps, and the Andros Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. The Bahamas Island eco-region consists of over 3,000 low-lying islands and covers over 14,000 square kilometers. Photograph: Justin Lewis Photography…
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Photo of the Day ~ Zebrafish Larvae

These strange-looking creatures may look like ear-less teddy bears with tails – but this micrograph is actually two-day-old zebrafish larvae, as seen through a scanning electron microscope. The image was captured by Jurgen Berger and Mahendra Sonawane, both employees at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology. The zebrafish, or Danio rerio, is a common tropical fresh-water fish. Within three months, the larva turns into an adult (the two holes above the mouth in the picture above show not its eyes but a developing olfactory system.) During the larval stage, the zebrafish has the ability to regenerate fins, skin, heart and brain. Learn more about this fascinating critter here: zebrafish.org…
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Photo of the Day ~ World Penguin Day

Emperor penguins mill in the depths as they prepare for their swift ascent to the sea ice. “Once they start to launch,” says Nicklen, “within 30 seconds they’re all standing on the ice.” Why is today the most important Penguin Day ever? In less than three months, two dozen countries and the EU (the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources meets in Germany July 15) will decide whether to create the world’s largest marine reserves. CCAMLR will vote on one proposal from New Zealand and the United States, and another sponsored by Australia, France and the EU. A consensus vote would create reserves in marine areas that are teeming with life, and arguably the best penguin habitat on Earth.…
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