Friday Smorgasbord: Monster snails, fluorescent protein and more

By on Jun 14, 2013

Welcome to the last Friday of spring and another edition of the Friday Smorgasbord. We kick this week off with this image of monster Trochus snails from British LFS Ocean Corals. The monster snails are actually Trochus niloticus, a species native to the Indo-Pacific region that was once fished for because of its lustrous mother-of-pearl layer. These are still used to make ornaments and souveniers you find at many seashell stores.

[via Ocean Corals]

web-Glass eel FL 1

The Japanese freshwater eel (Anguilla japonica) is more than just a tasty sushi snack. Scientists recently documented its muscle fibers produce the first fluorescent protein identified in a vertebrate. Fluorescent proteins are as standard a tool for cell biologists as wrenches are for mechanics. They do not produce light themselves, but glow when illuminated. Previously these proteins all came from non-vertebrates, mainly microbes, jellyfish, and corals.

[via Nature]

Here is a crazy video of a couple fishermen in Alaska that get a shock when reeling in a halibut as a killer whale steals the fish. Alaska is famous for both halibut fishing and killer whale sightings, this may be the first time the two were combined together (or at least caught on video).

This underwater video of the elusive Oarfish (Regalecus glesne) was caught a few years ago but is just making the rounds on the interwebs. This video was captured by Mako Technologies conducting seafloor and water column biotic surveys as part of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill NRDA. On its way back to the ship, the ROV filmed this R. glesne at 62 m.

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