We like squids and we like Cypress Hill. Combine the two and you have this visually stunning and scientifically fascinating video. Cephalopods change their appearance through color-changes cells called chromatophores that are neurologically stimulated via electrical signals in the squid. This awesome mashup of neuroscience, music, and cephalopod anatomy comes courtesy of the folks at Backyard Brains, a company dedicated to exposing kids to exciting concepts in neuroscience with affordable, hands-on experiments like the SpikerBox, a DIY device that is a way to learn about how the brain works by letting you hear and even see the electrical impulses of neurons. Enjoy!
We all have that story about the one that got away and luckily for these people, they had a video camera handy to capture their story on film [Warning: video may contain profanity]. Watch as this young woman is reeling in a fish only to have a gnarly looking bull shark nab that fish right off the line. I know I would be freaked out myself and the reaction is pretty priceless.
We’ve written quite a bit about invasive lionfish in Florida and about the unique lionfish derby that aims to irradiate the fish through fishing. The event teams up people to hunt down these fish as well as educate the public on how to capture and even cook these fish. There were 21 teams that captured 1,043 lionfish last Saturday at the second Palm Beach County Lionfish Derby at Sailfish Marina & Resort on Singer Island. The final lionfish derby in the South Florida summer series will be held in Key Largo on Sept. 8. For more information, visit reef.org/lionfish/derbies.
We all know as hobbyists how important nutrient control is for the health of coral and how the disruption of this precarious balance can result in a loss of the zooxanthellae and lead to coral bleaching. A recent scientific study from the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, has tied the unevenness of nutrients in reef waters can increase the bleaching vulnerability of reef corals. According to Dr. Jörg Wiedenmann, Senior Lecturer of Biological Oceanography at the University of Southampton and Head of the Coral Reef Laboratory, who led the study, says: “Our findings suggest that the most severe impact on coral health might actually not arise from the over-enrichment with one group of nutrients, for example, nitrogen, but from the resulting relative depletion of other types such as phosphate that is caused by the increased demand of the growing zooxanthellae populations.” Make sure you read the entire report
Finally, a reef cleanup last month by seven volunteer dive boats in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties gathered 357 pounds of debris. Among the most common items were fishing lines, ropes, beer cans and beverage bottles. Others included diver weight belts, sunglasses, sandals, golf balls, plastic grocery bags, a door knob and a lawn chair. The worst items were the fishing lines and plastic bags, said Karen Bohnsack, who supervises the marine debris program for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It organized the cleanups along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Palm Beach CountyReef Rescue. “Anything that would entangle an organism or that something might mistake for food” is a problem, she said. “Plastic bags are an issue for sea turtles, and they can also entangle the coral and rub back and forth, and that can kill the actual coral animal.” Well done everyone!