Video via: @tristanguttridge
'Lemon Shark City...Nope.... sharks just chilling in semi-captive pens while they wait for personality assays for a project by @biminisharklab PhD Felicie Dhellmmes. These pens mean test sharks are held in ambient conditions with small fishes that swim in and out of the mesh promoting natural behaviours, which are key to successful experiments... note these are temporary and all sharks are back to the wild after a few weeks of fish on a plate service.' #behaviour#shark#pen#sharkweek#sharks#lemonshark
Photo: Guy Stevens via @mantatrust
'Guy comes face to face with a rare and stunning black morph manta ray in Roca Partida, Mexico.⠀
Most manta rays are of the chevron colour morph; mostly black on top with a white belly and black spots beneath. Rarer though, is the dramatic black morph manta. These ninja rays are completely black on top and mostly black beneath too with only a few white spots on their belly. There are black morphs of both oceanic and reef mantas but the 'black' gene is thought to be recessive as they only make up around 25-30% of the manta population where the gene is present.⠀
In some populations, such as the mantas of the Maldives, this 'black' gene appears to be completely absent, with every one of the estimated 5,000 reef mantas in the population being a chevron morph. Whereas at the remote islands of Socorro and San Benedicto, west of Mexico, a higher percentage of these giant black mantas can be found than anywhere else in the world.'⠀
Photo: Clare Daly @daly.clare, manager of our D'Arros Research Centre in the Seychelles ・・・
'Peekaboo. Perched on a piece of driftwood, a hermit crab peers out from its protective shell. This crab was one of four on the driftwood. A Saturday afternoon jungle gym washed up on their home beach? Or perhaps a choice location from which to watch the sunset. We'll never know for sure...' •
Video via: Bimini SharkLab @biminisharklab
Filmed by: @felicie.dhellemmes Edited by: @chelleblaisphoto
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After having spent 2 to 4 weeks in our captive pens for Felicie's personality project, the juvenile lemon sharks captured during PIT are ready to go home.
They're fed one last time, then each shark is loaded onto a boat and has a 5 minute drive back to the safest spot in its nursery area! It is not rare for the little sharks to have a welcoming committee, as the chosen refuges are used daily by dozens of lemon sharks!
Photo: Pippa Ehrlich @the_rewilding
Update from our Shark Education Centre in False Bay, South Africa:
'Rock pools are like gardens, but instead of being decorated with flowers, they are full of colourful animals - in this case tiny striped anemones.' #macro#underwaterlife
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Photo: Chelle Blais @chelleblaisphoto via @biminisharklab
'Yesterday our volunteers picked up this newborn nurse shark and were able to take DNA samples from him to keep in our database. At 38cm total length, he’s one of the smallest nurse sharks the lab has ever seen!
Find me a cuter baby shark.. I’ll wait.. '
Photo: Grant Johnson @60poundbullet
'I had my mind blown a little bit today... This past winter, some friends of mine made headlines around the world when they caught a huge Smalltooth Sawfish during an expedition to Andros, Bahamas. It wasn't just the size (14+ ft) of the critically endangered fish that was so incredible, but she was also pregnant and gave birth while being analyzed by the researchers! This was the first recorded birth for these animals in the wild, and a crucially important puzzle piece in understanding the secret life history of this extraordinary animal.
I was ecstatic hearing about this amazing expedition, and it made me think back to some of the Sawfish encounters I had while living in Bimini. I was fortunate to have encountered several of these animals that otherwise have disappeared from so much of their historic range. So while I undoubtedly consider myself lucky, I still would have loved to had seen this big female from the headlines.
Well, it turns out I had seen her...
Today, almost unbelievably, I found out that this superstar mama Sawfish was actually an animal I had encountered fifteen years ago!?! Back in 2002, some colleagues and I accidentally caught a Sawfish while trying to catch baby Lemon Sharks for research purposes. It was the first Sawfish ever caught by the Bimini SharkLab crew, so while we were freaking out at the sight of this exceptionally rare fish, we did remember to tag her and take genetic samples. It was those genetic samples that were able to provide the proof that our 260 cm Bimini gal (seen here) was in fact now the 429 cm Andros behemoth!
This beautiful lady could potentially be one of the most important individuals in the world for the scientists who study Smalltooth Sawfish, and I couldn't be happier for having met her.' #sawfish#smalltoothsawfish#sawfishmother#sawfishbirth#bahamas#bimini#andros#biminisharklab#research#science#marinebiology#endangeredspecies#criticallyendangered#rare#sharklab
Photo: Ian McAllister @iantmcallister via @pacificwild
Beds of sea pens can be found extending off the ocean floor like an underwater forest on both the west and east coast of Canada, creating essential habitat and refuge for many little critters.
Sea pens are one of six species to be protected under the proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Laurentian Channel off the southwest coast of Newfoundland, a proposal that’s expected to be announced this month by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for public input. However, this MPA will still be open to oil and gas activity and shipping, except for a small area marked off to protect sea pens like these. Allowing destructive activity of this nature sets an incredibly poor precedent for future MPAs in Canada. “As the process moves forward (in the East), regulations/negotiations go up and protection level goes down,” said Linda Nowlan, an environmental lawyer at @wcelaw. “If you have an oil rig in Banff National Park, people are going to see it, and they are going to say, ‘Bah! This makes no sense!’” echoes geographer Rodolphe Devillers in @hakaiinstitute Magazine’s article, "Canada’s New Marine (Less) Protected (Than It Could Have Been) Area". Reduced boundaries and cutting corners to allow destructive industry like oil and gas ignores the very foundation that provides for coastal life.
Photo: Eugene Kitsios @eugenekitsios via Bimini SharkLab @biminisharklab
This week was a very successful week at the lab! We managed to capture and acoustically tag two juvenile tiger sharks as well as two blacktip sharks! We would once again like to express our gratitude to all the generous people that donated these acoustic transmitters to us. These tags will last for at least 10 years and will provide invaluable long-term movement data that will be analyzed by PhD students Maurits Van Zinnicq Bergmann and Matt Smukall!
Also a big thanks to @saveourseasfoundation, @mercurymarine and SPOT LLC for supporting our research.
Photo: Guy Stevens via Manta Trust @mantatrust
'A graceful oceanic manta ray glides overhead, it's devil horn-like cephalic fins leading the way. Maldives.⠀
Have you heard? A new study claims that manta rays are no longer a thing; That our flappy-friends are simply large mobula rays, and should not have their own genus. It's worth noting that it's not just the mantas... the whole mobula genus is in disarray too, with uncertainty about whether certain pairs of mobulas are actually the same species. Getting this stuff right is important and needs rigorous investigation. It's not just because we scientists like things to be tidy and organised, but because taxonomy can have tangible and significant consequences on the conservation of species.⠀
There is still so much to learn about these mysterious creatures!'⠀
Project leader @latopi13 is working to understand shark and ray populations and conservation statuses in the Caribbean region, as well as the intensity and types of artisanal fisheries that impact these species.
She hopes to fill the gaps in the information on elasmobranch density and diversity by conducting interview surveys with artisanal fishers, which will contribute to the proper management of species that are important to the health of Caribbean and to the economic viability of coastal fishing communities.
She is currently in Tobago conducting interviews with the local fishers and was lucky enough to meet with a fisher who had just com in with about 20 Atlantic sharpness sharks, including a few pregnant females that had fetuses as in this image. Such meeting is incredibly lucky, as most of the time the fishers are usually secretive and not willing to share the information about their catches, so this kind of information will assist Camila’s research.
We are hoping that a better recognition of the importance of both animal and human behaviour will result in more effective approaches to conservation, particularly in developing countries where artisanal fisheries are of great importance.
Video: Clare Daly @daly.clare
'Let sleeping tortoises lie. The best part of coming home to D'Arros after three weeks away is finding Thomas, my favorite island tortoise, napping outside of my house. Clearly, Thomas and all adult giant Aldabra tortoises don't worry too much about predators. Or anything. Turn the sound up and you might just hear him snoring.' #darrosresearchcentre#seychelles#aldabratortoise#sleepinggiant#homesweethome
Photo: Thomas Peschak @thomaspeschak
'Galapagos giant tortoises sleep in a mud pool in Volcan Alcedo on Isabela island. A fumarole along the crater wall pipes hot steam and gasses hundreds of meters into the starry night sky. @darwinfound biologists Dr. Stephen Blake and Freddy Cabrera are studying how a changing climate is effecting tortoise populations. Nest temperatures during egg incubation determine sex, so predicted warmer air temperatures here could mean warmer sand and more female tortoises, skewing sex ratios. Changes in rainfall patterns can alter the timing of tortoise migrations and lead to flooding of tortoise nests. Shot in collaboration with #galapagosnationalpark and @darwinfound on assignment for @natgeo magazine. Check out my June 2017 @natgeo story Galápagos: Life in the Balance.' See link in @thomaspeschak's bio.
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Photo: BC Whales @bcwhales
'One of our favourite Bigg's orca pictures from a few years back. Bigg's orca, formerly known as "transients" prey on marine mammals and because of this, they travel mostly in silence to avoid detection. However, after a successful hunt, Bigg's can be very vocal as they socialize. To learn more about orca, fin whales and humpbacks, visit our website at bcwhales.org (link is in bio!).' #biggsorca#orca#whale#bcwhales
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Photo: Thomas P. Peschak
Our founder speaks to @HuffPost about his #love for #sharks & how we are working to save this vital marine species.
'A couple of years ago this shark was caught as unintended bycatch by a commercial trawler. The fishermen reached out to me saying that they had caught a Greenland shark with white spots. Before seeing it I was convinced that they had caught a spurdog/spiny dogfish (another shark species less common in Greenland) but I was up for a surprise, as it turned out to be a Greenland shark. The specimen however had big light spots all over the body which has never previously been reported for Greenland shark. After photodocumentation and collection of multiple samples, the remains was preserved at #naturalhistorymuseum in #copenhagen. I also sampled its eyes for age analysis and recently got the results. Although the radiocarbon content can't reveal an accurate age it does confirm that the shark was younger than the marine bomb pulse (~50 yr) as we had expected based on the shark's size.' #greenlandsharkproject#marinescience#greenlandshark#greenlandinstituteofnaturalresources#greenland#marinebiology#arctic#deepocean