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Fresh this week

 

"Get 'em out, get 'em muddy and get 'em wet."

Read about this cool school where students learn marine biology and boat builing. Click here.


 

Great white shark sets trans-oceanic swimming record

The great white shark's mastery of the open ocean has been revealed by scientists who have followed one of the fearsome fish from South Africa to Australia, and back again. Read more here


robotic fish

The world's first autonomous robotic fish are the latest attraction at the London Aquarium.

Biologically inspired by the common carp, the new designs can avoid objects and swim around a specially designed tank entirely of their own accord.

Read more here.


 

Potentially dangerous dolphins may have escaped during Hurricane Katrina


Penguins: Waddling is not wasteful

The real problem for penguins is having short legs
Penguins may look funny when they walk, but there is a good reason for all that waddling. Read more here


The first photographs of a live giant squid

The first photographs of a live giant squid -- one of the most mysterious creatures in the deep ocean -- suggest it is a more active creature than previously thought, a Japanese scientist said on Wednesday.

Until now the only information about the behaviour of the creatures which measure up to 18 metres (59 feet) in length has been based on dead or dying squid washed up on shore or captured in commercial fishing nets.

But Tsunemi Kubodera, of the National Science Museum, and Kyoichi Mori of the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association, both in Tokyo have captured the first images of Architeuthis attacking bait 900 metres (yards) below the surface in the cold, dark waters of the North Pacific.

"Up to now, giant squids were thought to be relatively sluggish squids that stay in deep waters without moving much ... But we found out that they move around pretty actively," Kubodera told Reuters in an interview.

Kubodera and Mori published their unprecedented finding in the journal Proceedings B of the Royal Society on Wednesday.

Kubodera said he was particularly struck by the way the giant squid -- which was captured on film in a sequence of photographs taken every 30 seconds -- tangled its prey in its elongated feeding tentacles.

"It's probably almost exactly the same as the way giant snakes wrap up their prey ... with their bodies," said Kubodera as he stood before a mounted specimen of a separate giant squid displayed at the National Science Museum in the Japanese capital.

"That surprised me a little bit," he said.

The Japanese scientists found the squid by following sperm whales, the most effective hunters of giant squid, as they gathered to feed between September and December in the deep waters off the coast of the Ogasawara Islands in the North Pacific.

They used a remote long-line camera and depth logging system to capture the giant squid in the ocean depths.

The photos showed the giant squid thrashing its tentacles about after one of its tentacles got caught on a hook that the bait had been attached to.


Listen to BBC Radio 4's great radio series 'Science at sea' - 23/09/05

This is a series all about scientists, sailors, and the days of exploration at sea..its great! This week its all about Sir Joseph Banks


Penguins Find Peace in Falklands War Minefields

September 28, 2005 — By Mary Milliken, Reuters

 

KIDNEY COVE, Falkland Islands — There's a mating ritual going on in
the minefield.

Fortunately the would-be lovers are penguins, too light to detonate
the deadly mines laid more than two decades ago during a war on the
far-flung Falkland Islands.

Thousands of penguins and other feathered and amphibious friends
choose to nest and rest in no-go zones. The British estimate that
some 25,000 land mines, mostly sown by Argentine forces in the 1982
war with Britain, remain.

On a recent day, the squawking penguins were busily finding
partners, preparing nests and waddling about the mating grounds.

Wildlife numbers in the mined areas appear to be on the rise and
conservationists cannot hide their enthusiasm about this unorthodox
form of protecting lands previously trampled by people or overgrazed
by sheep.

It is the bright spot in a long-term land mine problem -- one that
is not likely to go away because de-mining is difficult, if not
impossible, in the peaty soils and shifting sands of this South
Atlantic archipelago.

Grant Munro, director of Falklands Conservation, says the boost to
wildlife is a bit anecdotal since "it has really not been looked
into, for obvious reasons."

"But you see an assemblage of plants in the minefields, all fenced
and inspected, with no livestock inside. Vegetation has had a chance
to recover," he added.

Most of the 150 minefields were laid around the capital Stanley when
Argentine forces landed there in April 1982 to claim the islands
taken by the British in 1833. The British armed forces defeated the
Argentines 10 weeks later in a brutal war that killed 650 Argentines
and 250 British.

Some mines were cleared right after the conflict in a joint British-
Argentine effort. Today there are 117 minefields left, 87 of them in
the Stanley area where two-thirds of the islands' 2,900 people live.

Stanley is also the landing point for nearly 40,000 tourists who
come on cruise ships every summer to ogle the wildlife, much like
the greatest of all naturalists, Charles Darwin, did in 1833-34.

WILDLIFE MAKES AMPHIBIOUS LANDING

One of the mined areas is at Kidney Cove, a stunningly idyllic
stretch of beach across from Stanley where four species of penguins -
- gentoo, king, rockhopper and Magellanic -- show up every year.

At the end of winter, the first 500 of 1,500 gentoo pairs begin
their mating ritual at Kidney Cove after feeding in the cold waters.
They waddle up from the mined beach to nesting areas among the
tussock and diddle dee vegetation.

One of their favorite spots is on the mined side of fences
with "Danger Mines" and skull and crossbones signs. Tourists are
kept on the safe side of the fence, allowing the nervous, partner-
seeking penguins to forget about encroaching humans.

"The gentoos come up on Kidney Cove and can rest there because it is
in a minefield," said Adrian Lowe, who runs penguin safaris on his
family farm. "It is their natural habitat. Only the minefield fences
are man-made."

Just a few miles outside Stanley sits Yorke Bay, a sweeping crescent
beach with calm waters where locals used to swim and barbecue. As an
ideal place for an amphibious landing, it was heavily mined in the
war.

Next door is Gypsy Cove, where experts believe mines might have
washed over from Yorke Bay, forcing authorities to also fence off
that area.

Gypsy Cove visitors can still see Magellanic penguins, rock
cormorants, black-crowned night herons and dolphins from the walkway
at the top of the cliff. The nutritious tussock grass, which sheep
reduced to 20 percent of its original cover, is making a comeback at
Gypsy Cove.

DON'T FIDDLE WITH FIELDS

Incredibly, no civilian has died or been injured by the land mines
and just one officer lost a foot in 1984 on the perimeter of a
minefield. The fences were extended after that.

The government and the British forces still spend a lot of time
educating the population and won't hesitate to hand down hefty
penalties -- 1,500 pounds ($2,670) and a year in jail -- for anyone
stupid enough to jump the fences. Some tourists were caught posing
for pictures on the wrong side of the fence.

But Sgt. Maj. Mick Owen, who heads up the local Explosive Ordinance
Disposal, calls the Falklands "the most controlled mined area in the
world."

Argentina, which puts the number of remaining mines closer to
15,000, is offering to help clear more fields to adhere to an
international treaty on land mines.

Falkland Islanders, however, are not pressing on the issue, and most
believe it is better not to fiddle with the fields.

"There is a risk that only 95 percent would be removed," said
Falkland Islands Gov. Howard Pearce. "You would bring a sense of
complacency to the community and increase rather than reduce the
chance of injury."

Besides, he noted, "The environmentalists like them."

Source: Reuters


Past news

 

Crafty haddock learn to swim through fishing nets

Will Atlantic cod stocks recover?

 


We also have a fantastic range of TEAM ZISSOU clothing from the the film The Life Aquatic, read about the film here (sorry, no speedos as yet)...

Visit it the shop to see the whole range Click to order from Europe or North America


 

"People protect what they love."

- Jacques-Yves Cousteau

This site would not be complete without a mention of the red capped Captain him self.. Jacques-Yves Cousteau..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Have you got a great idea for a t'shirt? If we agree, you will get two free t shirts of your own design.. email your ideas to


 

Why?
One thing that ties all marine biologists together is our love the sea, its life and its systems. Even the hardiest of statistics or industry worn marine biologist couldn't deny this somewhere down the line.

A second reason is that the job does come with a certain ore and wonder; We all at some time enjoy being able to say I am a marine biologist

With this in mind its about time we had some decent t'shirts and ways of celbrating this. Sorry, there are no airbrushed dolphins on this site.

How do I become a marine biologist?
We get lots of requests from people wanting to be marine biologists, adventurers or film makers.. click here to find some advice!

 

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