Puget sound phytoplankton counts – May 2012

Jack Rensel reports that diatoms are dominant in North/Central Puget Sound today, including Chaetoceros (Hyalochaete spp.), Thalassiosira, Nitzchia spp. Near Port Angeles Randy Hodgin reports relatively clear water with naturally low dissolved oxygen, following a Thalassiosira bloom a few days ago when dissolved oxygen was supersaturated. The MODIS satellite image provided by Brandon Sackmann (Ecology) below shows relatively low chlorophyll concentrations overall, save an increase associated with the Fraser River plume (that could be turbidity related too) that was pointing due south at the time of the image recording. Continue reading Puget sound phytoplankton counts – May 2012

Cyamida: The other other other cetacean health concern

Whale lice. Who’da thunk it? At the Whale Museum last Thursday, most of you probably noticed the display case containing various parasitic invertebrates that can sometimes cause whales a lot of grief. One of the species displayed was the parasitic whale barnacle Coronula diadema. These barnacle infections occur frequently and are endemic to many ceteacean’s lifestyle (i.e., humpback and greys for example). Even though they are important, let’s face it they’re not as interesting as freakin’ WHALE LICE!! What a crazy concept. I mean you see barnacles in the intertidal zone all the time. So for this entry I’ll focus … Continue reading Cyamida: The other other other cetacean health concern

Bubble Nets & Torodial Air-Core Vortex Rings

Cetaceans break my heart.  They are the fragile and failing embodiment of old earth intelligence and majesty. Ever floating, flying, falling within a deep blue salty matrix of emotional complexity: empathy, loyalty, compassion, delight, elation. Further reinforcing this mystique and sensitivity last week was the Whale Museum’s revelation of the cultural breadth and character of Orca matriline song clans and formal pod greeting ceremonies. It makes me sad. Truly. To think how singular and momentous they are and how close they have come to vanishing completely. So… in an effort to fend off the potential for waxing melencholic… I’m posting a blog on blowing bubbles! Humpback Whale Bubble Blowing Humpback whales are efficient and practical with their bubble … Continue reading Bubble Nets & Torodial Air-Core Vortex Rings

Migratory Bivalve?? No way man.

When people think of a bivalve organism, they should typically imagine a sessile animal with it’s shell partially or fully buried in the sand and feeding through its elongated siphon which filters out plankton in the water column. A scallop, the only migratory bivalve organism, seems to defy many stereotypical morphological features that are endemic to the class Bivalvia. Obviously since they are not sessile, they have had no need to develop a way to anchor themselves in one spot. Infaunal bivalves such as clams, have developed a foot that elongates and helps them bury themselves in soft substratum. Similarly, … Continue reading Migratory Bivalve?? No way man.