By Richard RossI can hardly contain myself as we park by the dock in front of the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in Moss Landing California. As we unpack our gear for the cruise it is dark and cold, the sun is still asleep, and I am literally jumping up and down with excitement. I try to get myself under control as colleagues from the Monterey Bay Aquarium start arriving until I notice that they are also overflowing with excitement. The science staff arrives, and they are equally excited. We are all giddy with anticipation as we board the 135 foot research vessel, Rachel Carson, the support ship for the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Ventana. Why are we all so excited? Today is the last cruise of the year for the ROV collection of deep water cephalopods for both public display and research; the forecast is for calm seas and our quarry is the Flapjack octopus (Opisthotheusis sp).
The adorable Flapjack octopus just prior to being transferred to a transport bag. Photo by Rich Ross.
I don’t get seasick. Ever. Even in terrible conditions. When I was 14 going out trawling with the local college marine bio classes in LA, we used to pack food that would make other people on the boat a little grumpy – my favorite was peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, which are delicious, but not to queasy people. More »
This video of a juvenile dwarf cuttlefish eating a captive raised designer clownfish is not just fantastic to watch, but it may point us in a new direction for feeding marine predators.
This week, Chad Vossen of Vossen Aquatics and builder of the famed Vossen Larval Snagger, started feeding tiny clownfish, including Platinum clowns to his very young Dwarf Cuttlefish, Sepia bandensis. Cuttlefish hunting and feeding is always amazing to watch, but watching a cuttlefish hunt and eat a captive bred designer clownfish brings the experience to a whole ‘nother level that will thrill some while making others uncomfortable. After all that is a captive bred fish, and every captive bred fish is special, and expensive captive bred fish are even more special right More »
SO, YOU’VE GOT this pet octopus. Let me guess, she keeps trying to escape. Opening the lid to her tank, pushing the lid, creeping across the floor. You always manage to catch her before she squeezes herself down the bathtub drain. Sounds like you need a quick lesson in octopus husbandry.By the way, you are not alone. Several months ago, anoctopus named Inky escaped from the National Aquarium in New Zealand (he was eventually found at a nearby offshore reef and brought back). In that case, someone had accidentally left the tank’s lid ajar, so Inky made a break for it. But wait, if octopi—pardon, I mean octopuses—are smart enough to make like Andy Dufresne, should you be locking them up in the first place? More »