Archive for February, 2012

 

Left Handed Rule

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Upon walking through the tide pools of Diamond Head, multiple mollusks can be seen slowly creeping across algae covered rocks. Every now and then however one of these little snail shells seems to pick itself off and scuttle away at much too rapid a pace. Upon closer inspection of these speedy shells, a small crustacean […]

Invasive Algae Clean-Up at Kaimana Beach

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This past President’s Day, February 20th, I joined the invasive algae clean-up at Kaimana beach. I first participated in the invasive algae clean-up when I took BOT 480 in 2011 and felt it was a great way to get students, faculty, and the community involved in helping preserve Hawai`i’s reefs.   The clean-ups began in […]

Flamboyant Cuttlefish

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Metasepia pfefferi, also known as flamboyant cuttlefish are one of the smartest and most beautiful invertebrates on this planet. Flamboyant cuttlefish are found in shallow water in some parts of Australia, Malaysia and Papa New Guinea. These cephalopods are truly unique with their remarkable color patterns and their ability to change their color in seconds. […]

Mutualism and the Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides Dimidiatus)

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Since youth we have learned that the ocean covers approximately 70% of the earth’s surface.  Being home to more than 120,000 known ocean species, the ocean is witness to all types of relationships and interactions (Collins, 2010).  Among the most popular are parasitism and commensalism.  Parasitism is a symbiotic interaction where one organism (the parasite) […]

Mimic Octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus)

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Thaumoctopus mimicus, also commonly known as the Mimic Octopus has an extraordinary ability to mimic other marine organisms. It grows up to approximately 2 feet at maturity and is brown with white stripes when in normal form. The Mimic octopus is only found in the tropical seas near Indonesia and was only recently discovered in […]

Sea hares

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The sea hare belongs to the family Aplysiidae of marine sea slugs that appear very similar to nudibranchs, but do have small softened shell that is mostly covered by the epidermis. The only part of the shell that is sometimes exposed is the mantle cavity which covers the gills and female reproductive organs. Like most […]

Co-evolution

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Just as some plants have developed toxic chemicals to defend predators, corals have also evolved to produce chemical toxins as well. Gorgonian coral, as they are commonly known, produces a toxin that when eaten, expels it inside the predator. Although this can prevent most predators of the reef, some have co-evolved with the coral, and […]

Ahi Tuna, Built for Speed

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Earlier in the semester we visited the Honolulu Fish Auction down by the Pier.  We a handful of species there in the hundreds, laid out in endless rows.  It was interesting to see individual fish, a couple hundred pounds, so still and out of their environment.  One of the things that stuck out the most […]

Underwater Lakes

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Weird, huh? A body of water within another body of water. Yes, these mini ecosystems do exist. Also known as “brine pools”, they are super-saline lakes at the bottom of the ocean, more specifically, in the Gulf of Mexico. It is caused by salt tectonics where the high salinity of the water in the pool […]

Plastic Island the Size of Texas?!

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Word has gotten around over the passed decade or so of the giant plastic island floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or the North Pacific Gyre, to be exact.  Rumor has it that this gyre spins in a clockwise fashion, capturing any debris, mainly plastic, which comes in close proximity of it.  It […]