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Posts Tagged "invertebrates"

The Artful Amoeba

Open Ocean Mama Squid Clings to Bundle of Squirming Bubble Wrap

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Bottom-dwelling squid and octopus usually attach their eggs to a hard surface, but open ocean squid have no such luxury. For many years, scientists thought such squid simply released their eggs to the whims of the currents. Recently, however, Stephanie Bush at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute discovered that the situation for some open ocean [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Wonderful Things: The Universe Between the Sand Grains

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This is the fourth post in the Wonderful Things series. As we saw last time, the thin strip of sand found on beaches is home to many organisms that can dwell no where else. But the strip swept by waves — the intertidal — may be the richest part of all. Living between the wet [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

What Lives at the Bottom of the Mariana Trench? More Than You Might Think

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The deepest, darkest, scariest place on the maps I loved pondering as a child was a crescent-shaped canyon in the western Pacific Ocean. It was called the Mariana Trench, and at the very, very bottom was the lowest point on Earth’s surface, the Challenger Deep. Its floor was seven terrifying miles down. What was down [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Take This Shell and Shove It: The Mollusk That Became a Worm

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When you think of a mollusk, you probably have something shelled, slimy, and possibly stalk-eyed in mind. But mollusks include creatures that are none of these things. In fact, there are mollusks that are wormy, be-spined, and eyeless. They are called aplacophorans, and scientists have long puzzled over their place in the mollusk family tree. [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Snails that Fly, or, the Potato Chips of the Ocean

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On land, snails and slugs — the Gastropods — are confined to terrestrial prison, but in the ocean, they are free to shed their shells and fly. These are the sea angels, the sea butterflies, and the sea elephants — and probably quite a few more I’m not aware of. For instance, this slinky and [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

A New Weapon in the War on Frog Chytrids: Water Fleas

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It’s no secret that frogs and toads in the Americas, Australia, and Europe have suffered extinctions and massive declines at the hands of a chytrid fungus on a global genocidal rampage. What is much more of a mystery is exactly what a chytrid fungus is. Or, for that matter, what to do about it. I [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Bombardier Beetles, Bee Purple, and the Sirens of the Night

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Author’s note: This essay was originally posted on April 19, 2011, at Artful Amoeba 1.0 honoring the work of the late Thomas Eisner, a world-renowned chemical ecologist. I’m reposting it in honor of Chemistry Day. Enjoy! If I read my notes correctly, Thomas Eisner once had a pet thrush named Sybil who rejected only five [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Circus of the Spineless #63.5

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UPDATE: Broken links fixed! Welcome to the July edition of Circus of the Spineless — the Blog Carnival for Invertebrates and Only Invertebrates. Since the Circus was on hiatus for June, is this #63 or 64? I will leave it up to the next host to decide and will claim for this edition #63.5. Ants [...]

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The Ocelloid

A polyp’s pet rotifers

As penance for irregular posting, have a pair of seemingly-symbiotic rotifers in a cnidarian (jellyfish) polyp. There were several of them on several polyps, and they seemed not to mind the tentacles (loaded with stinging cells containing a harpoon-like weapon with paralytic abilities). Unlike the dividing ciliate in the corner — standing still as it [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Baby Octopuses: Pickier Eaters Than Baby Humans

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Baby octopuses are notoriously difficult to keep alive in captivity—as in, almost impossible. Like their adult parents, they’re sensitive to water pH and temperature and all of that jazz. But unlike grown octopuses in captivity, the babies almost always die of starvation. Often just within a few days of hatching. We humans have tried feeding [...]

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Running Ponies

Trilobite Beetles are Happy Being on Land, Alive in the Present Day

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I know they look like they belong in the ocean 250 million years ago, but trilobite beetles are actually pretty happy existing in the present day. On land. They hate water, what are you doing? Don’t put them in there. You’ll kill them if you do that. Found in lowland forests across Southeast Asia and [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

The Best Animal Stories of 2012

Allen's swamp monkeys. San Diego Zoo.

By Jason G. Goldman and Matt Soniak Humans have a complicated relationship with our non-human cousins. Some animals we invite into our homes, and treat as members of our families. Indeed, in November of this year singer Fiona Apple made headlines when she announced that she would cancel the South American segment of her tour [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Feeling Snappy? Measuring Personality in Hermit Crabs

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The idea behind quantifying personality is deceptively simple: personality refers to predictable differences in behavior between people. Those differences should be reasonably reliable. That is, they ought to hold constant across different types of situations. Those differences should also be reasonably stable, which means they should be consistent over time. For example, you might score [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Cricket Fight Club: Winning Increases Aggression

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It’s better than an ant farm. It’s more exciting than a flea circus. Welcome to Cricket Fight Club. The first rule of Cricket Fight Club is: you do not talk about Cricket Fight Club. The second rule of Cricket Fight Club is: you do not talk about Cricket Fight Club. In aggressive conflicts between individuals [...]

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