From CalAcademy.org and AdvnacedAquarist.com
When I tell people that we’re in the field collecting saltwater animals for display and research at the aquarium, most of them imagine that the actual catching is the hard part. In reality, the hard work starts after we collect the animal.
Keeping animals healthy in the field—and then healthy while en route back to Manila for a 14-hour flight to their new home in Golden Gate Park—entails an entire slew of life-support equipment (LSS). We have that stuff at the Academy, obviously, but right now we’re out in the field. Where it’s too hot. Where there isn’t a store to buy what we need. Where we have to constantly battle a continually moving colony of fire ants that appeared right where we set up our equipment.
Fortunately, all the pre-planning we did to prepare for this is paying off. Want the laundry-list of what came with us on the plane? Two 200-gallon More »
From CalAcademy.org and AdvancedAquarist.com
There are two Academy groups currently in the Philippines for the 2014 Biodiversity Expedition: one from Research, and the other from the Aquarium. Though we’re staying at different locations, we collaborate when we can, like tonight.
It all started with a 90-minute night dive at Anilao Pier to try to collect a Bobbitt worm—a creature that lives in the sand, has jaws like a bear trap, and might be several meters long. It shoots up with lightning speed to catch fish and other animals, yanking them down into the muck like something out of a nightmare. In the 1990s, Academy Senior Curator Terry Gosliner named the Bobbitt worm after Lorena Bobbitt (and her legendary attack on her husband), and Academy crews have been trying to collect this animal both for display and for our preserved collection ever since. One look at the photo shows you why catching this animal isn’t easy, but take a look at this video for an even better demonstration.
Tonight’s effort was unsuccessful, though I did get my hand on one of the worms—yes, my hand. My wife is less than thrilled More »