Because they spend so much time in remote waters, and don’t survive in captivity, great white sharks are deeply mysterious creatures. But over the last ten years, biologists have been able to track them using electronic tags which record their position and depth, and the ocean temperature.
On the face of it, that information can’t tell you what the sharks are actually doing. But Salvador Jorgensen of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California, and colleagues have developed a new statistical analysis that picks out patterns of behaviour from the tagging data.
It seems to confirm earlier suggestions that the sharks have a breeding ground in the east Pacific. What’s more, it suggests that the males go there to show off side-by-side in front of the choosy females – cattle-market style.
If you want to be an ecologist, then you need a degree, but if you really feel that you aren’t going to make it, there are plenty of other ways to have a career that makes a difference. Conservation is extremely wide-ranging and it’s not longer a field dominated by scientists. You need other skills as well:
- people skills
- management skills
… too many to list, but my advice is look for some volunteer programmes near you, and be a sponge and soak everything in. It will help you define where and how you can get to where you want to be. Experience is far FAR more valuable than a degree. Unfortunately it’s the standard way to start a career, but by no means is it the only way… Good luck!!
The gift that keeps on giving: Whale Fall
Whale falls were “discovered” in the 1980’s, and have since been recognized as extremely important events for deep sea communities. The carcass creates a localized ecosystem that can last for decades, supporting hundreds of species.
I left my last job for a myriad of reasons, and it was the right thing to do. However, watching this awesome new company video made by sexy.action.planet makes me nostalgic beyond words!
At the end of the day, it really was an awesome job!
You can see me taking pictures of a Chameleon Anglehead with my iPhone (forgot my camera) and kicking ass with an Orang Asli blow pipe!
Antarctic king crabs (Neolithodes yaldwyni) warming up to invade continental shelf, threatening unique marine community
Stephen Tung (special to Mongabay)
Dangerous and disruptive king crabs lurk in a deep pocket of the Antarctic continental shelf, clamoring to escape their cold-water prison to reach and permanently change the shallower, prehistoric paradise above.
The marine communities on the underwater shelf above Palmer Deep are unique, Aronson said. “It’s much more reminiscent of the Paleozoic era before all those shell-crushing crabs and bony fish and bottom-feeding sharks and rays evolved,” he said. “The bottom communities in Antarctica are anachronisms. They’re a window to the past. They’re going to get modernized when these crabs show up.”
Parrotfish are named for their dentition, which also is distinct from that of other labrids. Their numerous teeth are arranged in a tightly-packed mosaic on the external surface of the jaw bones, forming a parrot-like beak with which they rasp algae from coral and other rocky substrates (which contributes to the process of bioerosion).
Although they are considered to be herbivores, parrotfish eat a wide variety of reef organisms, and they are not necessarily vegetarian. Species such as the green humphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) include coral (polyps) in their diet.
Their feeding activity is important for the production and distribution of coral sands in the reef biome, and can prevent algae from choking coral. The teeth grow continuously, replacing material worn away by feeding.
One parrotfish can produce 90 kg of sand each year!!!
Jellyfishes rely on drifting to eat. They take their luck with currents, and create tiny eddies to guide food toward their tendrils. Yet in waters from the Sea of Japan to the Black Sea, jellies today are thriving as many of their marine vertebrate and invertebrate competitors are eliminated by overfishing, dead zones and other human impacts. How have these drifters of the sea reversed millions of years of fish dominance, seemingly overnight?