Showing posts tagged as "mbari"
Killer sponges! Sounds like creatures from a B-grade horror movie, doesn’t it? In fact, they thrive in the lightless depths of the deep sea. Learn more about the latest finds from our sister organization, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).
Did you know that sunken logs can create new worlds for seafloor animals? Recent deep-sea research by our sister organization, The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, shows that even bits of waterlogged dead wood can support thriving communities of animals, where wood-boring clams serve as “ecosystem engineers.”
True Facts About the Octopus
Ze Frank has done it again! His latest True Facts video offers his unique take on amazing octopuses — including giant Pacific octopus that he and his crew filmed on location here at the Aquarium. The video incorporates spectacular deep-sea octopus footage from our colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, too.
Whet your appetite for more? You can see these incredible animals in person starting April 12 when we open Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes.
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.