This neon two-faced sea slug might look like something you’d find in a sci-fi movie, but it was just found right here on Earth! 🐛
The nudibranch – a soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusk – was discovered by a diver and a team of film-makers at Kapalai, a sandbar off the coast of Sabah in eastern Malaysian Borneo.
These slugs are part of the species nembrotha kubaryana, but are commonly known as neon sea slugs due to their bright orange and green pattern – which warns predators of their toxicity.
The two-headed oddity was found by dive master Nash Baiti while making a new film series called ‘Borneo from Below.’ This amazing slug’s alien malformation was most likely caused by a gene mix up or damage from pollution.
Clay Bryce, a nudibranch expert and marine biologist at the Western Australian Museum in Perth said, ‘I have never seen another two headed marine creature like this before and I have spent 10,000 hours underwater chasing nudibranchs.’
Maybe it’s just me, but I think this one-of-a-kind neon slug is pretty cute! 😝
I can’t decide if this footage of what is believed to be the biggest great white shark ever caught on film is terrifying or eerily soothing. Her name is ‘Deep Blue’ and not only is she over 20-FEET long – she may also be pregnant.
The footage was captured by shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla off Mexico’s Guadalupe Island in 2013, but wasn’t released until now.
When Padilla first spotted ‘Deep Blue’ he wasn’t afraid, he was excited. “When I saw Deep Blue for the first time, there was just one thought on my mind: HOPE. A shark of that size is at least 50 years old and that tells me protection and conservation efforts are working. Deep Blue has been spared from long lines and the inherent dangers of living in the wild,” he wrote.
Padilla wants to raise awareness and help protect these magnificent creatures. New born baby great whites and pregnant females run the risk of getting caught in lines and nets in shallow waters and the illegal trade of shark teeth, jaws, and fins is sadly very lucrative.
This isn’t the first time the world has seen Deep Blue. Discovery featured the large great white in a Shark Week documentary last year.
The news of Deep Blue comes just days after the corpse of an 18-FOOT tiger shark was pulled onto a fishing boat off the coast of Australia. According to reports, Geoff Brooks posted two images of the huge predator to Facebook on Tuesday, claiming that the tiger shark was caught near Lennox Head, on the northern New South Wales coast. But, there is much debate as to exactly when and how the shark was killed.
KSTV WEEKLY SCIENCE WRAP UP
1) Colossal Squid Caught on Camera!
2) The ‘Dark Side’ of the Moon Photobombs Earth
3) New Peacock Spiders Discovered in Australia
4) The Winner of Nat Geo’s Latest Photo Contest
Russian fishermen were left stunned when a massive colossal squid tried to steal the latest catch off the side of their boat – and it was all caught on video! 🐙
Michael Vecchione, an adjunct scientist at NOAA’s National Systematics Lab and giant squid expert, told The Huffington Post the creature seen in the video below is in fact a colossal squid, not a giant squid. This can be a tough call to make given that the cephalopod relatives are both mythical creatures of the deep, rarely seen alive.
Colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) are slightly shorter than giant squid (Architeuthis dux), but have a larger, heavier body. Giant squid live deep underwater and manage to avoid human contact – for the most part. The largest giant squid ever recorded by scientists was almost 43 feet (13 meters) long, and may have weighed nearly a ton. YIKES.
Watch the crazy colossal squid footage below – published to YouTube on July 23!
Who knew sea slugs could be adorable? The ‘sea bunny’ slug, or Jorunna parva, is a species known for its fluffy bunny-like appearance. No wonder it just gave the internet a heart attack! 💓
This little sea slug’s bunny ears are actually rhinophores, or chemosensory organs that help them detect chemicals in the water and also sense changes in currents. And its tiny ‘fluffy’ bunny body (less than 1 inch) is actually covered in caryophyllidia – sensory tubercles, surrounded by tiny needle-like structures called spicules.
Jorunna parva belongs to a group of soft-bodied, marine mollusks called nudibranchs. They are found along the coast of Japan, but have also been spotted in the Indian Ocean and around the Philippines.
This cute underwater rabbit can vary in color from yellow, to orange, to white with black ‘spots.’ All I know is I want one! 🐰
Great white sharks are only cool when they are gnawing on someone else’s boat. This week, tourists on a South African shark-diving tour got the shock of their lives when they watched one great white take the bait next to their boat – just as a second great white leapt out of the water behind it! I knew sharks couldn’t take selfies, but apparently photo-bombing isn’t out of the question.
RemoSabatini posted the video below to YouTube on July 6, 2015.
In honor of this weeks gnarly shark footage I’d like to post a few amazing pics from Chris and Monique Fallows – who spend 200 days a year at sea.
Photographing great white sharks for 20 years gives Chris and Monique Fallows front row seats on the amazing behavior and secrets of formidable predators few people see. In this post they share ten of their favorite images of great whites.
Who needs a stress ball when they have this underwater footage? There are few creatures as unique and bizarre as the cuttlefish. This video, filmed by a diver with the Japan Marine Club, features a Pfeffer’s flamboyant cuttlefish, which uses chromatophores — color-changing cells in its skin — to alter its appearance 🐙
Cuttlefish are masters of camouflage – using their skin to communicate and evade predators – but, scientists know very little about how these animals disguise themselves so well.
Below is a video courtesy of Ze Frank, EVP of Video for Buzzfeed, explaining fun ‘true’ facts about the cuttlefish. Try to ignore the fact that it sounds like it was narrated by Ron Burgundy 👨
This adorable seven-inch, deep sea octopus is a species rarely seen by humans. In fact, very little is known about the life history of these animals. They are small, fragile, and gelatinous, with relatively large eyes. The funny thing is they don’t have a name yet!
Stephanie Bush, a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), is researching this cartoony creature and has the difficult task of finding it an appropriate name. Until they know what to formally call it, researchers are simply referring to it as the “flapjack octopus,” which belongs with its cousins in the Opisthoteuthis family.
“I was thinking about what my options are [for naming it], and I wanted it to be something indicative of the characteristic of the species. Since they’re so cute, I thought I could name it the Opistoteuthis adorabilis,” Bush told ABC News.
They have a well defined web just under their tentacles that allows them to parachute around the water. The fins above their eyes helps them steer!
In their exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, these un-described cephalopods live in a tank specially designed to imitate the cold, low-oxygen environment of their deep-sea habitat.
The image below shows the flapjack octopus (Opisthoteuthis sp.) on exhibit. Researchers use a red light to display this species because the octopus can’t see red light. This makes it think it’s safe in the darkness of the deep sea, just like its natural habitat.
Bush and her MBARI team collected about 15 specimens last year using a remotely-operated vehicle along Monterey Canyon in the eastern Pacific. Those little guys now live at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
For more information about the flapjack octopus check out this awesome ‘Science Friday’ video! 🐙
Baby otters are a lot of work. But, if its as cute as this little thing, its probably totally worth it! Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium has a new resident; an orphaned southern otter pup known as Pup 681. Watch as her handlers try to teach her to swim 🙂 SO FLUFFY!
The tiny newborn was discovered orphaned on a California beach in September. She spent the first four weeks of her life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium trying to survive. Once her health improved, she was moved to Shedd in Chigaco.
As of November, Pup 681 weighed just under 6 pounds and was 23 inches long – and raising her hasn’t been easy! Stranded sea otter pups require extensive round-the-clock care. Six to eight animal care experts work on a rotating schedule in order to provide care and attention 24 hours a day, all week long. During this crucial period, she is taught how to develop certain behaviors, such as grooming, feeding, and foraging, as well as regulating her body temperature and swimming.
“It truly takes a village to rehabilitate a young sea otter. Our animal care team is teaching the pup how to be an otter,” said Tim Binder, vice president of Animal Collections for Shedd
Hopefully this is a chance for the world to learn a little more about the otter population, which is constantly under attack. According the the Monteray Bay Aquarium, sea otters once thrived from Baja California to the Pacific Northwest of North America through Alaskan and Russian waters and into Japan before hunters nearly exterminated them in the 1700s and 1800s. Shedd Aquarium wants Pup 681 to raise awareness and melt people’s hearts.
“This rescued animal provides an opportunity for us to learn more about the biological and behavioral attributes of this threatened species and to encourage people to preserve and protect them in the wild,” said Binder.