Squid Ink is Prehistorically Perfect.

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!

Filmmaker James Cameron Completes Journey to the Bottom of the OCEAN!

James Cameron Did It! He Made It To the Bottom of the Ocean. (Credit: Mark Thiessen, National Geographic)

There has been only 3 living souls that have completed the trip to the bottom alien realm of the sea: 2 Naval men in 1960, and now award-winning director James Cameron. For the first time in 50 years, Mr. Cameron completed the epic journey to the deepest part of the entire globe: The Mariana trench.  James went on the solo-expedition in a very state of the art one-manned submarine (pictures below!). If you don’t know where exactly the deepest seabed in the world is- let me show you on the map below- it even shows where the deepest part of the trench is located (Challenger Deep) where Mr. Cameron explored.

Mariana trench (credit: Wikipedia)

The trench is 6.8 miles deep (11km), and it took Cameron about 2 hours and 36  mins to completely descend to the bottom- and 70 mins to ascend. He spent hours maneuvering around the unexplored depths of the trench checking out new species of all shapes and sizes (SO JEALOUS! I want to do that too!).

Duplicate images of the different lighting configurations for the submarine. (Credit: Illustration courtesy Acheron Project Pty. Ltd.)

Cameron’s sub, the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, is a very expensive, amazing, high-tech, and one of a kind machine. It stands in the water column about 2.5 stories high and contains a sediment sampler, a “slurp-gun” to suck up unsuspecting specimens for researchers at the surface, a robotic claw for grabbing fun things, as well as temperature, salinity, and pressure gauges. Of course with James Cameron, multiple 3D high-definition cameras were a MUST HAVE on the outside of the sub. I’m getting super excited to watch the movie he will compose from the never before seen footage of the trench..I’ll be first in line with my popcorn and Raisinettes 🙂

This is a big step in the right direction in terms for research- the deep ocean is a very mysterious and unknown place. We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our own oceans. I’m super excited to see new creatures 😀 Cheers to Marine Science!

Divers help prepare the sub before it descends into the deep. Credit: Mark Thiessen, National Geographic

Cyclops Shark- Eye Love You!

So I’m sure many of you have seen the latest news articles about the 1-eyed shark anomaly. It’s quite an intriguing little creature to look at..still looks extremely fake to me. But I’d totally love to have one!

Credit: Pisces Sportfishing

Found in the stomach of her mother in the Sea of Cortez, this 22-inch-long dusty shark looks like something out of a cartoon than a real life shark. But National Geographic confirms that 2 scientists from the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences (in La Paz) have studied the shark and determined that the fetal shark does actually have 1 functional eye at the front of its head.

If only the fishermen who “legally” caught the pregnant dusty shark wasn’t catching and killing sharks, or else we might have been able to see this little cyclops in the wild! But to be quite honest the shark’s fate was pretty well determined even if it was born. Kittens and puppies born with the disorder cyclopia die within a day or so after being born. Poor little fellas.. No other cyclops sharks have been caught before- further insinuating that they die soon after birth.

The scientists who studied the shark took X-rays which will be released in their research report  coming out soon (hopefully). Comparing these X-rays to previous cases of cyclopia (which has actually been found in humans) can possibly present some interesting comparisons.

Do you think it’s really REAL or REALLY FAKE? Comment and let me know!

Well, Goodbye Summer.

Summer: Sun, Swimming, & A Good Book.

It seems as though the 2010 summer has come to an end. Although my summer was mostly filled with 3 jobs, and cold/cloudy weather- it did have some ups. Mostly time spent with friends, the boyfriend, and family were the highlights of my summer.

Tomorrow is the first day of the last semester (fingers crossed) of my time here at Cal State Monterey Bay. It has been a great learning experience over the last 4 years of my time here (well actually 3 years since I spent last year abroad in Australia).  It’s a beautiful place to be in college, but I’m so ready to explore what to do with the rest of my life after I graduate.

I’m contemplating Grad School..in Marine Science after taking a year off of course. I want to get and internship (hopefully at National Geographic) in Washington D.C. to make connections and get some great experience in the conservation world, as well as public sphere. I was born to make a difference-in terms of spreading ocean conservation and knowledge. I just now have to see where I fit in with the world…

SQUID TAGGING!

So- if you don’t know me well enough…I love cephalopods! That means- octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus.

Here is an amazing video I found from National Geographic. Brady Barr is wrestling a Humboldt Squid to put a tag on it to collect footage of the creatures in their own natural environment. This is some pretty amazing footage. I’d totally love to do this!

SQUID VS SQUID VIDEO!

(I tried to embed the video on the blog…but it didn’t work. But please do click the link!)