The BBC and Discovery have done it again. They’ve created another insanely beautiful animal documentary, Life, following Planet Earth and Blue Planet. The 11-part series debuted in the US last month and purchases start shipping June 1st. This latest series focuses on the extreme behavior and specialized strategies which have evolved in certain animals.
If you’re looking for a teaser, check out the trailer below or these clips off of the Discovery site. I just watched the cuttlefish clip where a couple of males battle over a lady. Not only are their color shows amazing but its a little humorous watching what appears to be a couple of submerged rugs throwing down.
You can pre-purchase a copy here. Although, I bought my copy off of Amazon so that I could have the UK version with narration by David Attenborough instead of Oprah Winfrey. I do love Mr. Attenborough so… and sorry Oprah but I can’t respect anyone who vouches for The Secret no matter how philanthropic you are.
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Sunday the Census of Marine Life released some amazing images of the oceans’ tiniest creatures.. everything from amoebas to larval cephalopods. Among the minute animals, scientist photographed this pink sea cucumber which may be a newly discovered species and is blowing my mind.
Pink Sea Cucumber
Larval Tube Anemone
Tube Anemone Larvae
Fish Egg - Near Hatch
Spider Crab Larvae
Turritopsis Nutricula is anything but a quitter. This little jellyfish is the only animal we know to be immortal. It spends its infant stage as a polyp then becomes a sexually mature medusa. But unlike other jellies, after it reproduces it refuses to die and instead returns back to the polyp stage through a process called transdifferentiation. This cycle can continue indefinitely; however, the animal can still succumb to disease or being eaten. I like its scientific name too.. it makes me think of a vampire triceratops (which may be my new favorite hybrid animal).
One of my little bunnies, Squirrel, is in the animal hospital tonight and I miss her dearly. If she makes it out I must remember to teach her this transdifferentiation thingamajig.
Posted in Nature, Science, Animals, Earth
Tagged animal, Immortal, Jelly, Jellyfish, Nature, ocean, Science, Turritopsis Nutricula
Cuttlefish are hands down my favorite animal. These strange little creatures have three hearts, blue-green blood, can alter their skin to match an enormous range of colors and textures even though they can only see in shades of green and are intelligent enough to change their defensive strategies based on the type of predator they are facing.
Below is fascinating hour-long Nova special which does a great job explaining how their skin functions as well as exploring their intelligence and odd mating behaviors.
I love these little hijackers, especially when they’re running away on their tentacles. Apparently this video is the first documentation of octopodes using tools. I can’t wait until they unite with orangutans and crows to take over the world.
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Okay, so I totally have mixed feelings about aquariums and zoos. On one hand, they pull animals out of their natural surroundings and cage them in small, sometimes miserable quarters. On the other hand, they serve to educate and hopefully inspire people to take an active role in protecting animals from becoming endangered. Further, they provide a place to preserve species who have become extinct in the wild and many, like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, are leading the way with their conservation programs.
For better or worse, there are few places that make me as happy. Here are 3 aquariums located in the U.S. that I’ve read about which seem pretty amazing and I’d like to see. Any other recommendations?
The Georgia Aquarium claims to be the world’s largest aquarium with over 100,000 animals housed in 8.1 million gallons of fresh and saltwater. It is the only aquarium outside of Asia to exhibit whales sharks (of which it has two males). Other notable specimens include great hammerhead sharks, beluga whales and manta rays. The aquarium also has a 100ft underwater tunnel as well as the world’s second largest viewing window.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium contains a 33 foot high, 350,000 gallon tank which holds the world’s first man-grown kelp garden as well as housing California coastal marine life such as leopard sharks and wolf-eels. The aquarium also boasts a 1.2 million gallon tank which is large enough to allow tuna to reach speeds of 18 miles per hour. Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly nerdy, I like to check out the otters on their webcam.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a hop, skip and a jump from my brother and his cute little family, so now I have two excuses to make the trip! The main attraction here is the acrylic tunnel which allows you to be surrounded by sharks, bat rays and rockfish without ever getting wet.
Posted in Nature, Science, Animals, Earth, Travel, Hobbies, Events
Tagged Aquariums, Atlanta, bat rays, beluga whale, California, Georgia, Georgia Aquarium, great hammerhead, leopard shark, Manta Ray, Monterey, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Newport, ocean, Oregon, Oregon Coast Aquarium, rockfish, shark, Whale Shark, wolf-eels
You thought I just strung a bunch of unrelated words together to get your attention, didn’t you? The Bloodybelly Comb Jelly is a sea creature from the deep. What a strange and fabulous little creature.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN WEEKEND!!