Category: marine

Cheilodactylus fuscus - Red morwong #marineexplorer #underwatersydney

Cheilodactylus fuscus – Red morwong #marineexplorer #underwatersydney by John Turnbull

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Trying my hand at some fish portraits at Shelly Beach Manly

Nature's art - curves off Cabbage Tree Bay, Manly #marineexplorer #underwatersydney

Nature’s art – curves off Cabbage Tree Bay, Manly #marineexplorer #underwatersydney by John Turnbull

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Half an hour later it would have been a selfie… Shelly Beach Manly

Mr Popular - Weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus #marineexplorer #underwatersydney

Mr Popular – Weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus #marineexplorer #underwatersydney by John Turnbull

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Three weedies today at Shelly Beach Manly including a male with eggs. This pic is weedy #1

Calamari before the plate #marineexplorer #underwatersydney

Calamari before the plate #marineexplorer #underwatersydney by John Turnbull

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Squid look very different before they’re cut into rings, crumbed and fried.

Splendid nudibranch Goniobranchus splendidus #marineexplorer #underwatersydney

Splendid nudibranch Goniobranchus splendidus #marineexplorer #underwatersydney by John Turnbull

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Camp Cove

Brittle star - real life omnidroid #marineexplorer #undrewatersydney

Brittle star – real life omnidroid #marineexplorer #undrewatersydney by John Turnbull

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See The Incredibles… Camp Cove

Serpulid worm #marineexplorer #underwatersydney

Serpulid worm #marineexplorer #underwatersydney by John Turnbull

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Camp Cove

Blue spotted Elysia #seaslugcensus #marineexplorer #underwatersydney

Blue spotted Elysia #seaslugcensus #marineexplorer #underwatersydney by John Turnbull

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Camp Cove. See the eye? This tiny nudi is a few mm long. You can also see the algal cells in its tissues

noaasanctuaries:

This October, researchers on the Expedition Vessel Nautilus got a spooky treat when they were exploring the deep waters of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary:

A whale fall!

When a whale dies at sea, its body sinks to the seafloor. There, it’s known as a whale fall. Whale falls serve as an important food source for animals from large sharks to small worms, and can feed communities for years to decades (!).

This whale fall is estimated to have been on the seafloor for about four months. Researchers spotted Muusoctopus octopuses, eel pouts, crabs, and other animals feeding.

They also saw many small Osedax worms (the reddish fuzzy-looking stuff on the GIFs below). These worms dissolve the bone to consume the fats within it. 

(The green dots you see in these GIFs are lasers that help researchers tell the size of objects they’re looking at. The dots are 10 centimeters apart.)

This whale fall was spotted at a depth of 10,623 feet on the flank of Davidson Seamount, an underwater mountain off the coast of California. The whale skeleton is lying on its back and is an estimated 13 to 16 feet in length. We’re not sure what species it is yet, but it’s definitely a baleen whale (some of the baleen still remains). 

Check out our video to see more of the whale fall, and to hear the scientists’ delight in finding it:

[GIFs credited to OET/NOAA. They show various views of the whale fall. The first two show the full whale skeleton in a pool of light; many octopuses and fish surround the skeleton. The second two GIFs show closer views of octopuses and fish feeding on the skeleton.]

Peeking through the net - H whitei #marineexplorer #underwatersydney

Peeking through the net – H whitei #marineexplorer #underwatersydney by John Turnbull

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It seems like all the seahorses have moved from the pylons to the nets at Clifton Gardens at the moment – I counted a dozen or so peering through – making for great pics!