Monthly Archives: October 2012

Vampires, Ghosts and Zombies Lurking Below the Waves

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 Photo: Yoshihifo Fujwara / JAMSTEC 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.…
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A Sea Creature that Dresses Up for Halloween?

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.…
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Explore the Antarctic with Sylvia Earle [VIDEO]

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.…
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United States and New Zealand Propose the Largest Marine Reserve in 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.
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Leonardo DiCaprio Gets 1 Million Signatures to Protect 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.” Led by DiCaprio and, this petition is one of many initiatives that are determined to contribute to this important cause and increase public participation to secure greater protection of the Southern Ocean.…
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Making WAVES in Colorado

his past weekend, the Colorado Ocean Coalition hosted its second annual Making WAVES in Colorado – a two-day public ocean film festival
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$10 Million Dollar Donation Gives Way to Global Marine Biodiversity Project

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.…
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Explore the Ocean in Google Earth with Mission Blue

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.
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WANTED: Far-Reaching Protection of the Southern Ocean

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...
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The Last Frontier: Antarctica’s Southern Ocean

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.
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle