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Some deep water shrimps release glowing fluid when startled by potential predators! This process is believed to be a defensive mechanism wherein the glowing blue cloud of material distracts the predator while the shrimp moves in the opposite direction. Can you think of some other ways animals have developed defense mechanisms? Leave them in the comments below!
Good morning everyone. Today we are highlighting Lacey Malarky! She is another one of our DEEPEND graduate students. On board the R/V Point Sur cruise we had five graduate students. A graduate student is a college student who is working to earn a Masters or Doctoral degree. Lacey grew up in Kansas and moved to Florida to continue studying.
Ms.Malarky is a graduate student at Nova Southeastern University working on her Masters degree. She is interested in the amount of larval (or baby) flatfishes in the Gulf of Mexico. While flatfishes are usually found in coastal areas, or the transitions areas between land and sea, baby flatfish develop in offshore surface waters.
Larval (baby) Flatfish
Lacey helped the DEEPEND science team on this last cruise by keeping count and measuring all the fish that were collected. She also took charge of collecting and organizing all the data the team collected.
If you have any questions for Ms.Malarky leave them in the comments! Talk soon!
Our team wrapped up their last night on Friday, August 21st at 5pm. They celebrated by having dinner together and talked about the amazing experiences they have shared these last three weeks. After dinner they watched their last sunset on the R.V. Point Sur for the year. Once the sun completely disappeared the team took advantage of the clear night sky and watched the stars and constellations.
Here is the team!
Pictured here is Dr.Heather Judkins (right) and our Teacher at Sea, Alisha Stahl.
Although this research cruise has come to an end we have plenty of things to talk about! The scientists have learned a lot on this trip and will continue to sort through their data once they've arrived in their own labs. Make sure to come back as we continue to bring their discoveries to you. Until tomorrow!
It's not always smooth sailing out in the Gulf of Mexico. This is a waterspout; in the photos moving left to right you can see how it formed and how it ended. Although some of these can be dangerous, this one did not do any damage to our team out at sea. Whew!
The weather didn't stop our team from using the MONESS nets! Take a look at some of the catch.
Can you believe that both photos are of Bobtail Squid? Both of these are adults and this is as big as they grow!
The MOCNESS nets also brought up another type of Dragonfish (Idiacanthus fasciola). This Dragonfish is a female. Males don't get the barbel and bioluminescent bulb hanging off of their chins. Can you see the bioluminescent photophores on her sides? Those spots glow in the dark and most likely help these fish recognize the same species and the opposite sex. The bulb at the end of her barbel glows to attract her food. The barbel is attached to her chin, see?
That's all for today! Comment below if you have any questions. We hope to hear from you!
Let's take a look at these fish the MOCNESS nets brought up! This deep water fish is usually found between 1,460m and 3,500m. This is a juvenile, or not yet an adult. If you look closely it's almost like they don't have eyes. These fish actually have what remains of photoreceptive tissue, so instead of having eyes like we do, their eyes are beneath their bones. The "eyes" have no lenses but they can detect light. Can you picture it? It's like when you close your eyes on a really sunny day. You can still "see" some of the light, right? Try it next time you're outside.
Here is another fish with different eyes! This deep water fish has eyes that face towards the surface of the water and are adapted to see faint light or to key in on bioluminescence. We've talked about bioluminescence before, do you remember?
Leave a comment below If you have any questions for our scientists! Until next time!
The scientists have been pulling up some really neat animals! Here we have a Orangeback flying Squid! This species can jump out of the water and glide, just like flying fishes! How exciting!
The scientist have also collected a few different species of shrimp! In this photo we have a shrimp "in berry" which means she is keeping her eggs underneath her tail. In the top left corner you can take a closer look at her tail! On the bottom right is a photo of scientists Dante Fenolio holding this beautiful shrimp!
The photo above is a larval shrimp, or a young shrimp, that has not reached the adult life stage.