Showing posts tagged as "mbari"
Love jellies? We have a new species, lemon jellies (Aegina citrea), in “The Jellies Experience”. They were collected here in the bay with the help of our sister organization, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and raised behind the scenes. These jellies are unique because they swim with their tentacles out front, using them like a rake to catch other jellies.
This group (there are several species) also is one of the most abundant jellies in the bay, and is found in high numbers even in the oxygen minimum zone.
It’s #WeirdWednesday, and we can count on our friends at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to captivate us with creepiness.
More to Sea in Our Octopus Exhibit
The most famous residents of our giant Pacific octopus exhibit are, of course, the beautiful octopuses themselves. But did you know there are lots of other amazing animals sharing the display? These species came from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, our sister organization just up the road.
White or glass sea cucumber (Pannychia moseleyi): Lives at depths greater than 400 meters in the Monterey Bay Canyon. When disturbed, it bioluminesces with brilliant blue-green spirals to deter predators. (Dave Robel)
Deep sea sun star (Rathbunaster californicus): This animal has as many as 22 arms, which it can shed as a defense mechanism. Predators investigate the wriggling arm as they crawl to safety, then it regenerates the lost arm! This star scavenges dead animals such as fishes and whales. It also feeds on fishes, crustaceans, and molluscs. (Dave Wrobel)
Common feather star (Florometra serratissima): This star has feather-like pinnules that cover the arms and are used for feeding. Tiny tube feet secrete mucus that helps capture food particles such as marine snow and small zooplankton. (Craig Racicot)
Johnson’s sea cucumber (Parastichopus johnsoni ): Like many other deep-sea creatures, this animal is bright red, helping it hide in deep water, where red is invisible (appearing black). (Dave Wrobel)
High drama in the deep sea! Watch as a squid captures and eventually strangles an owlfish in this amazing video, captured by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute using a remotely operated vehicle.
What caused the demise of the dinosaurs? MBARI researchers find evidence along an immense underwater cliff in the Gulf of Mexico.
Battle of the (tiny) titans: five-inch squid attacks owlfish. Owlfish definitely loses!
Here’s the full story, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s expedition blog:
“Most of the time we spend flying through the midwater with the ROV, we see a whole lot of marine snow. Every once in a while we see something that makes us all stop and say - WOW! Yesterday was one of those days! This small squid, Gonatus onyx, managed to catch this large owlfish and despite its eyes being too big for its stomach, it was determined to win the battle!”
Follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute on Facebook for more amazing deep-sea stories.
Seen any of these creatures lately? We doubt it, since they live thousands of feet underwater! They’re just a sample of the amazing, deep-sea animals found on the recent Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) Midwater Ecology Expedition, which is documenting the effects of declining oxygen concentrations on midwater communities.
Animals living on the abyssal plains, miles below the ocean surface, don’t usually get much to eat. Their main source of food is ”marine snow”—a slow drift of mucus, fecal pellets, and body parts—that sinks down from the surface waters. However, researchers have long been puzzled by the fact that, over the long term, the steady fall of marine snow cannot account for all the food consumed by animals and microbes living in the sediment. A new paper by MBARI researcher Ken Smith and his colleagues shows that population booms of algae or animals near the sea surface can sometimes result in huge pulses of organic material sinking to the deep seafloor. In a few weeks, such deep-sea “feasts” can deliver as much food to deep-sea animals as would normally arrive over years or even decades of typical marine snow.
This #Halloween, we think you’ll agree: the eyes definitely have it!
Fifteen-foot white shark bites robot? Now that’s a battle of the titans! An underwater research robot from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute recently came back with shark teeth embedded in its aluminum hull.
This underwater robot, known as Tethys, just came back from two continuous weeks at sea, helping MBARI scientists monitor harmful algal blooms as part of the Fall 2013 CANON experiment. When MBARI engineers pulled the long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (LR-AUV) from the water they discovered large scrapes on its sides. Based on the gape of the bite mark, shark expert Dave Ebert from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories estimates that it was a 15-foot-long white shark that attacked the AUV!
Learn more by following MBARI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MBARInews