Limacina helicina 3 by Alexander Semenov.
Limacina helicina is a species of pteropod mollusk. ‘Pteropod’ is basically a catch-all term for all kinds of free-swimming, pelagic sea snails, usually ones with modified, wing-like foot. The sea angel Clione limacina has also been referred as a ‘pteropod’. However, its usage as taxonomic term has now become obsolete.
In a small patch of the Southern Ocean, the shells of sea snails are dissolving. The finding is the first evidence that marine life is already suffering as a result of man-made ocean acidification.
"This is actually happening now," says Geraint Tarling of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. He and colleagues captured free-swimming sea snails called pteropods from the Southern Ocean in early 2008 and found under an electron microscope that the outer layers of their hard shells bore signs of unusual corrosion.
Blue waves produced by bioluminescent phytoplankton: Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives, Florida Everglades, and Lakshadweep Islands off India.
Last year when I studied in Catalina, I was able to witness the amazing bioluminescence of its water’s phytoplankton. My group had swum out to sea at night and then turned off our lights. We dipped our heads below the water and “played” with the phytoplankton, then swam back to shore with the glittering lights billowing with our movements. It was a breathtakingly beautiful experience.
Source: National Geographic
What I'm reading right now: reasons why ocean acidification is scary and why the US government should allocate more funds to studying it will affect us in the (near) future.
Click the link to download the paper (PDF) for free!
THE GRUNION ARE RUNNING!!!
How do icicles of death form beneath the Weddell Sea?
Dr. Mark Brandon explains:
Freezing sea water doesn’t make ice like the stuff you grow in your freezer. Instead of a solid dense lump, it is more like a seawater-soaked sponge with a tiny network of brine channels within it.
In winter, the air temperature above the sea ice can be below -20C, whereas the sea water is only about -1.9C. Heat flows from the warmer sea up to the very cold air, forming new ice from the bottom. The salt in this newly formed ice is concentrated and pushed into the brine channels. And because it is very cold and salty, it is denser than the water beneath.
The result is the brine sinks in a descending plume. But as this extremely cold brine leaves the sea ice, it freezes the relatively fresh seawater it comes in contact with. This forms a fragile tube of ice around the descending plume, which grows into what has been called a brinicle.Brinicles are found in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, but it has to be relatively calm for them to grow as long as the ones the Frozen Planet team observed.
…so I’m really excited about becoming a QuikSCience mentor.
I’m going to be mentoring a group of middle school kids from a school in Compton. It’s a little sad that no one else in the group wanted to mentor a group of kids who are probably absolutely awesome. I’m guessing that this is because the other mentors were scared off by the fact that the school was located in Compton (…which is ridiculous, frustrating and absurd. Come on now, people.)
I haven’t met the group yet, but I emailed their teacher and introduced myself. I’m not sure what the demographics of the children are, but I’m assuming that most of the kids will be Black and Latino. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that I’m the first Black, female, queer geosciences student that they’ve met or worked with.
To be honest, I’m a little nervous…but mostly excited.
Oh my god THIS IS SO AWESOME.
This species is noted for their striking forms and extraordinary colours. They are hermaphroditic, but do not have the ability to fertilize themselves.
The Nudibrach has evolved to mimic their surroundings to avoid predators; their strong coloring also warns predators that they are distasteful and or poisonous.
Look at those pretty rhinophores - what a cutie!
Source: Flickr / matttworkowski
My friend’s wedding cake is going to be a 3D sculpture of an anglerfish. I shit you not.
THIS IS WHY WE’RE FRIENDS