You Vs. Ocean Creatures

Science, Thoughts

The ocean is a vast, mysterious, and beautiful place. Underwater creatures get the opportunity to grow to extreme weights and lengths compared to us terrestrial animals. Could you imagine walking down the street and seeing 12 foot long crab pass by you by?!

See how Scuba Steve compares to some of the GIANTS OF THE DEEP 😀

AWESOME Recent Science Stories!

Science, Thoughts
(c) mccort.org

(c) mccort.org

Sometimes – you just get a week of amazing science discoveries! Let’s chit chat about some of those amazing instances, shall we??

SQUID EATS A BOMB

1) A squid was caught off the coast of China with a BOMB found inside of it. Yes, a bomb. The 18-inch live bomb was found inside a 3-foot squid being sliced open at a Chinese fish market in Jiaoling county. Perhaps the bomb resembled a small fish or prawn, but who knows how long the squid swam around for with live ammo in its tummy!? Local police suspect that the bomb was dropped by a fighter jet…it was rusty so it’s hard to tell exactly how long it has been floating (in the ocean/in the stomach of the squid) for. This is not the first instance of a bomb being found inside a marine animal – in 2007, the remains of a 19th century timer bomb was found inside a bowhead whale.

ACTIVE MICROBIAL COMMUNITY FOUND IN THE DEEPEST PART OF THE OCEAN

2) Imagine living in a place with 1,000 times the pressure placed upon your entire body at normal sea level..no thank you! But, researchers have discovered that microbes, found at the Mariana’s Trench, thrive on the falling detritus (dead animal remains) that fall to the depths of the ocean floor even under the intense pressure! The microbes are an important component of the carbon cycle in the ocean – keeping the process going by digesting organic matter and thus releasing CO2.

GIANT SQUID FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE ARE A SINGLE SPECIES

3) Giant squid bodies have been found spanning the globe, and it’s been confirmed that the DNA from 43 squid found around the world, in all actuality vary surprising little. The lack of genetic diversity is quite astounding knowing that Giant Squid span across all oceans with a relatively large population size. Some researchers think that this could because squid mitochondria may have evolved unusually slowly, or they could have recently expanded from a small to large population size.

FISH BRAIN ACTIVITY CAPTURED ON FILM

4) Researchers have visualized and recorded the activity of almost every individual neuron in the larval zebrafish brain in REAL TIME! This is an amazing feat! “It allows a much better view of the dynamics through the brain during different behaviors and during learning paradigms,” states Joseph Fetch, a neurobiologist  from Cornell University. The researchers were able to capture more than 80% of the 100,000 neurons in the brain of the larval zebrafish, snapping high-res pics every 30 milliseconds.

LIVE Giant Squid Caught on VIDEO!

Science, Thoughts

BIG NEWS! BIG NEWS!

credit: discovery channel

credit: discovery channel

TEASER FOOTAGE JUST RELEASED!

A couple of years ago, Japanese scientists snapped photos of a giant squid for the first time, and even brought up one of its tentacles that got attached to the bait hook. That was a big accomplishment in itself. Ever attempt to capture this wild beast on video, has failed. UNTIL NOW!

This year, a giant squid has been video recorded for the first time ever ALIVE AND IN THE WILD! Teaser footage has just been released hours after I posted this- so check it out above! The full footage it will be shown on the Discovery Channel’s Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real TV Show special in January 27, 2013 at 10/9c. Mark your calendars!

“When Discovery does natural history it sets the bar high, and this ground breaking project features the very first-ever footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat. Our crew came face-to-face with the giant squid, and it’s the ideal season finale for our Curiosity series that stirs the imagination of our audience, bravely asking questions and fearlessly seeking answers. This latest production, four years in the making, is a world-first achievement for television, and I’m excited to share it,” said Eileen O’Neill, Group President of Discovery and TLC Networks.

Once again for all those out there who don’t know this yet, I am a big cephalopod lover. Squid, octopus, cuttlefish, nautilus are all animals that have stolen my heart and fascinated my mind. This still-image from the Discovery Channel video footage portrays a glistening beautiful creature that I can only dream about seeing in person one day.

“It was shining and so beautiful. I was so thrilled when I saw it first hand, but I was confident we would, because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data.” -Researcher Tsunemi Kubodera on the squid.

credit: discovery channel

credit: discovery channel

credit: discovery channel

credit: discovery channel

The HD video footage was captured around 2,000ft below the surface in the Pacific Ocean by a team of 3 Japanese scientists. The researchers were crammed inside of a submersible (seen in the 1st photo above) for a total of 400 hours and recorded 100 missions – talk about close quarters?! The team spotted the 8-legged east of Chichi Island, a small archipelago about 150 miles north of Iwo Jima. It must have been a moment those scientists will NEVER forget.

As you can see in the size comparison chart above, a giant squid is HUGE. This massive beast is about 16x times larger than average human in length.

I’M SO EXCITED TO SEE THE FOOTAGE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS!? Who else is going to watch it with me?

Since I don’t have the full footage to show you, I find this octopus video the other day and had to pass it along. It’s quite funny… if this song doesn’t make you giggle I don’t know what will 🙂

Squid Ink is Prehistorically Perfect.

Photography, Science, Thoughts

Credit: National Geographic

HOORAY- A story on SQUID! One of my favorite marine creatures. (Please no chit chat about how delicious you think calamari is…)

A recent study concluded that squid ink samples from a 160-million-year-old giant squid is EXACTLY the same as the ink found in squid today. WOW. With no evolution to be concluded from this evidence for the components of squid ink… I guess that means their ink has been doing the trick the right way for millions of years. Good job cephalopods!

The ink sacs of 2 giant squid fossils found in England 2 years ago was compared to today’s squid ink components. Melanin, a substance that gives hair, skin, and certain other things color, is the primary ingredient of squid ink- explaining why their ink is so dark in color.

John Simon, a chemistry teacher and executive vice president and provost at the University of Virginia stated,

“Though the other organic components of the squid we studied are long gone, we’ve discovered through a variety of research methods that the melanin has remained in a condition that could be studied in exquisite detail.”

It’s pretty amazing that those ink sacs remained intact for millions of years. Phenomenal actually! This is such a fantastic scientific discovery. It’s very rare that animals don’t evolve in one way or another over millions and millions of years- guess their escape ink system was right on the dot when they were created. From the Jurassic age until now…high five to squids for doing something right!

I’ve got my EYE on you.

Thoughts

I am fascinated by squid, octopus, cuttlefish, and nautilus. For those more marine biologically inclined: Cephalopods!

I was reading my Twitter feed (follow me: ChanBam55)- which mainly consists of all marine or science related groups/people- and I came across this awesome photo. This is a Giant Squid Eye ball!

To be honest, I can totally see my office one day with jars of formaldehyde with little squid and octopus in them. They are just amazing creatures!! I aspire to one day have my very own octopus in a tank at my house. I know their lifespan is only around 2-3 years- but I’d make those years count! I’ll feed it the best shrimp and fish an 8-legged cephalopod could ask for 🙂

Giant squids have the largest eye out of all the invertebrates-scratch that-the largest eye on earth! It ranges around 10inches in diameter- about the same size as your very own dinner plate that you’ll eat off of tonight!

Still- little is known about these fantastic creatures. We have still to observe their behaviors and patterns in the wild. They are still a big mystery- that hopefully will become uncovered in my lifetime (or even by myself!). Who knows what else is in the great depths of the deep sea..we might discover some very unusual creatures soon enough!