Sting Ray City & Sand Bar, Cayman Islands The southern stingray, Dasyatis americana, is a stingray of the family Dasyatidae (the Whiptail Stingrays) found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Western Atlantic Ocean from New Jersey to Brazil. It has a flat, diamond-shaped disc, with a mud brown/olive/grey dorsal surface and white underbelly (ventral surface) . The barb on its tail is serrated and covered in a venomous mucous; it is used for self defense. SStringray.jpg Female stingrays can grow to a disc width of 150cm, contrary to the smaller male stingrays that reach maximum size at 67cm. The females are ovoviviparous, three to five pups are usually born per litter after a 5 month pregnancy (may last up to 9 months). It is an opportunistic forager, feeding on small crustaceans, such as alphaeid, penaeid and callianasid shrimp and brachyuran crabs; mollusks, bony fish, and lancelets. In many parts of the Caribbean such as Grand Cayman Island and Antigua, the southern stingray swims with divers and snorkelers, and are hand fed on a locations such as Stingray City and the Sandbar. On Turks & Caicos, you can hand feed the southern stingray at a location called Gibbs Cay. Some have become tame enough to cradle in your arms and feed with pieces of cut up fish. The suction power of their mouth is similar to a very powerful vacuum cleaner.
Nancy Knowlton (Smithsonian) Part 2: Biodiversity and Why It Matters Dr. Knowlton begins her talk by explaining what coral are and how they build reefs. Using many spectacular photographs, Knowlton illustrates the decline of most of the world's coral reefs over the past 30-40 years. She describes the effects of direct destruction such as dynamite fishing, as well as the more indirect, but equally catastrophic, effects of invasive species, excessive nutrients due to terrestrial run off, and ocean warming. She ends on a more hopeful note, showing how stringent conservation efforts in some places have resulted in healthier, more resilient reefs. In Part 2, Knowlton talks about the phenomenal biodiversity found in coral communities and why this diversity is important to reef health. She explains how difficult it is to classify corals and the many organisms with which they co-exist, and how modern genetic methods are proving much of the traditional taxonomy to be wrong. The Census of Marine Life project, of which Knowlton is a partner, is striving to find standardized and easily automated methods to take a global census of the biodiversity of coral reefs and results so far suggest the diversity is truly enormous.
Fishing the CW Crab Lure How to fish the hottest new crankbait in sal***er -- the CW Crab lure. The perfect baby blue crab imitation swims like a real crab and catches game fish around the world.
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: Galápagos Rift, New Hydrothermal Vent Discovered 7/23/2011 Nine ROV dives into the Galapágos Rift 2011 Expedition, the science team finally discovered the type of hydrothermal vent community they had been searching for. Clusters of tube worms, limpets, mussels, and anemones were seen to inhabit cracks in the lava bed where mineral-rich, geothermally-heated water 'vents' out. Two species of tube worms were found in abundance: the giant Riftia pachyptila and also the much smaller, never before observed in the Galápagos, Tevnia jerichonana. Brachyuran crabs, vent shrimp, and scale worms clung not only to the surrounding rock but also to the tube worms themselves in some cases. Extensive fields of dead and living clams surrounded the individual pockets of venting. Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Galapágos Rift Expedition 2011. Please visit source: oceanexplorer.noaa.gov