Archive for Marine biology

Sperm Whale explodes in the Faroe Islands while a man is trying to open his stomach

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

But what blew cetaceans? In a video circulating on the Internet since Wednesday, we see a heroic knacker getting ready to cut the carcass of a sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus ) stranded in the Faroe Islands, then back in a hurry when a sudden explosion projected several meters abundant amount of intestines and other organs, and their contents. Sensitive souls attention is a little dirty.Sperm Whales are not killed in the Faroe Islands, this one died from natural causes..

What is happening exactly? First, at the risk of stating the obvious,  sperm whales are meant to live in sea water for the mass of the body, based on Archimedes’ principle, is supported in proportion to their volume. Once ashore, no such thing. Beached whales usually die suffocating because their lungs, crushed under the weight of their own body can no longer function normally. In addition to that you have dehydration which strikes outdoors.

Once the whale passed from life to death, decomposition thus engages in a compressed space with several tons of flesh and fat. The presence in the digestive system of sperm fish that made up his last meal accentuates the phenomenon, and pockets of pressurized gas are easily formed. 

But the BIG question is WHY such a big mammal died? No one knows apparently

Scripps Institution of Oceanography Marine Technician, Eddie Kisfaludy, introduces us to the weird world of Hagfish

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

Hagfish are amazing ocean fishes! They are found nearly worldwide mostly in deeper ocean environments, and are some of the most primitive fishes in existence today. They feed primarily on dead or dying fish and mammals on the ocean bottom by burrowing inside and eating from the inside out.

Hagfish are blind, although they possess eyespots on either side of their heads. They have a unique defense mechanism of sliming. If moved, disturbed, or bitten by a predator, Hagfish can very rapidly produce copious amounts of slime from glands along the sides of their long, eel-like bodies. This slime allows them to escape potential predators, and consists of a filamentous protein that is highly hydrophilic.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography Marine Technician, Eddie Kisfaludy, introduces us to the weird world of Hagfish, in particular that of Eptatretus stouti, or the Pacific Hagfish, found off the coast of La Jolla, California. With the help of marine biology intern Lily Bolig, we get a first-hand account of Hagfish slime.

Rescued Seals to Go Home | North Woods Law

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , on October 13, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

Though the game wardens don’t typically work with marine animals, Warden Rick LaFlamme is lending a hand to help release some rescued seals into the wild. | For more North Woods Law, visit…


Kings of Camouflage: Cuttlefish

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

Cuttlefish are marine animals of the order Sepiida. They belong to the class Cephalopoda, which also includes squid, octopuses, and nautiluses. ‘Cuttle’ is a reference to their unique internal shell, the cuttlebone; and despite their name, cuttlefish are true mollusks.

Cuttlefish have large, W-shaped pupils, eight arms, and two tentacles furnished with denticulated suckers, with which they secure their prey. They generally range in size from 15 to 25 cm (5.9 to 9.8 in), with the largest species, Sepia apama, reaching 50 cm (20 in) in mantle length and over 10.5 kg (23 lb) in weight.[1]

Giant Cuttlefish at Shelly Beach, NSW

Giant Cuttlefish at Shelly Beach, NSW (Photo credit: Wikipedia)











Camouflage is the use of any combination of materials, coloration or illumination for concealment, either by making animals or objects hard to see (crypsis), or by disguising them as something else (mimesis). Examples include the leopard’s spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier, and the leaf-mimic katydid’s wings.[1] A third approach, motion dazzle, confuses the observer with a conspicuous pattern, making the object visible but momentarily harder to locate. The majority of camouflage methods aim for crypsis, often through a general resemblance to the background, high contrast disruptive coloration, eliminating shadow, and countershading. In the open ocean, where there is no background, the principal methods of camouflage are transparency, silvering, and countershading, while the ability to produce light is among other things used for counter-illumination on the undersides of cephalopods such as squid. Some animals, such as chameleons and octopuses, are capable of actively changing their skin pattern and colours; they often use this ability both for camouflage and for signalling.


Military camouflage was spurred by the increasing range and accuracy of firearms in the 19th century. In particular the replacement of the inaccurate musket with the rifle made personal concealment in battle a survival skill. In the 20th century, military camouflage developed rapidly, especially during the First World War. On land, artists such as André Mare designed camouflage schemes and observation posts disguised as trees. At sea, warships and troop carriers were painted in dazzle patterns that were highly visible, but designed to confuse enemy gunners as to the target’s speed, range, and heading. During and after the Second World War, a variety of camouflage schemes were used for aircraft and for ground vehicles in different theatres of war. The use of radar in the Cold War period has largely made camouflage for fixed-wing military aircraft obsolete.

Non-military use of camouflage includes making cell telephone towers less obtrusive and helping hunters to approach wary game animals. Patterns derived from military camouflage are frequently used in fashion clothing, exploiting their strong designs and sometimes their symbolism. Camouflage themes recur in modern art, and both figuratively and literally in science fiction and works of literature.


Camouflage (Photo credit: A.Davey)

Beluga whale paints pictures in Japan aquarium

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , on September 19, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

In Japan a beluga whale drawing with a brush adapted to his mouth in an aquarium in Yokohama, presenting the attraction to visitors in late September

English: Photo by Angela Grider. Beluga whale ...

English: Photo by Angela Grider. Beluga whale at the Georgia Aquarium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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