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This story proves how we’ve only scratched the surface of what we know about the ocean and marine life.
Some animals are classified as “intelligent” if they use tools right? What about fish? It is known that some fish use tools to crush the shells of their prey but it is not well documented in photos. Recently a diver on the Great Barrier Reef managed to photograph a tuskfish using a rock as an anvil to smash a clam shell open.
Tool use in the tuskfish Choerodon schoenleinii?
Fig. 1 a–f: Series of six photographs of a black spot tuskfish, Choerodon schoenleinii using a rock as an anvil to open a cockle shell. The photographs span 75 s and were taken while on a dive in the Keppel Islands region of the southern Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. Broken shells are seen lying on the sand near the rock.
ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2011) – Things are not always what they seem when it comes to fish — something scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and the Ocean Science Foundation are finding out. Using modern genetic analysis, combined with traditional examination of morphology, the scientists discovered that what were once thought to be three species of blenny in the genus Starksia are actually 10 distinct species. Continue reading →
Discovered by an international trio of scientists, the lobster, Dinochelus ausubeli, lives in the deep ocean water near the Phillipines.
The new lobster has movable, well-developed eyestalks and an inverted T-plate in front of its mouth.
But its most striking feature is a mighty claw with a short, bulbous palm and extremely long, spiny fingers for capturing prey.
Dinochelus is derived from the Greek words dino, meaning terrible and fearful, and chelus, meaning claw.
All told, the Census of Marine Life sponsored 540 expeditions over 10 years, carried out by 2,700 researchers from more than 80 countries. It was, Ausubel says, the biggest project in the history of marine biology.
The United States Agency for International Development is jeopardizing the future of development for east Africa by distributing destructive fishing nets to African fishermen:
Kenya Wildlife Perishes in Nets Bought with US Aid
By Katharine Houreld
DIANI, Kenya (AP) – Plastic fishing nets — some bought for poor fishermen with American aid money — are tangling up whales and turtles off one of Africa’s most popular beaches.
One recent victim was a huge dappled whaleshark that bled to death after its tail was cut off by fishermen unwilling to slash their nets to save it. In another case, divers risked their lives to free a pregnant, thrashing humpback whale entangled in a net last summer. Continue reading →
Several outbreaks of ciguatera fish poisoning have been confirmed in consumers who ate fish harvested in the northern Gulf of Mexico according to the Food and Drug Administration. Fish that pose the largest risk to consumers include grouper, snapper, amberjack, and barracuda. These species feed on smaller fish that eat toxic marine algae. The larger the predator, the higher the concentration of the toxin. Continue reading →
There’s something about the Gulf Coast on the Florida panhandle that feels like home to me. Though there’s not much to see underwater, at least not compared to coral reef habitats, I can still snorkel there for hours. I generally only see mostly sand, water, blue crabs, and an occasional stingray or juvenile jack, but there’s something about snorkeling those waters that makes me (almost) as happy as I feel when scuba diving a teeming reef. I once snorkeled out to the sandbar, roughly 50 yards offshore, and encountered a turtle. That was darn near a religious experience for me. Continue reading →