Sunday, November 14, 2010

Underwater Robot Pulls Up Giant Isopod

Recently, when a deep-sea surveying company hoisted up their underwater robot-cam, they were surprised to see this enormous and rare specimen of Bathynomus giganteus had attached itself to it.

Bathynomus giganteus is a Isopod, one of the most diverse orders of crustaceans on the planet. Though this example is unusually large - two and a half feet long - some have been found even larger, and on the other end of the scale, some isopods are so tiny they're microscopic. They are direct cousins of the common Woodlouse which is, for many of us as children, our first experience with crustaceans. Isopods virtually identical to the ones we have today first appear in the fossil record about 300 million years ago.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A New Indonesian Island Arises


"The increase in volcanic activity all over the world is frightening.

East of the Indonesian island Java, in the sea between Java and Bali, a new island has risen from nothing within a few days. It is probably of volcanic origin. The location is not so very far from Tambora.

West of Java the Anak Krakatoa is active, in the middle of Java the Merapi is very active and east of Java a new island has appeared in the sea, which wasn't there a few days ago. The fear of a coming mega-eruption is real."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smell/Sight Test Doesn't Reveal Toxicity in Seafood

From Non-Profit Times:

The organization [Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN)] has been increasingly concerned about the toxic combination of crude oil and dispersant, and Orr said LEAN has been sampling in the Mississippi River Delta, Oyster Bay in Louisiana, and the Lower Atchafalaya Bay Area.

Blue crab samples in the Atchafalaya Bay contained a dangerously high 8.815 mg/kg of hydrocarbons, for example, according to LEAN's reports.

"When we took samples, there was no visible smell or sight of oil," Orr said. "We were astonished there were levels like that. You can't eat a crab like that, with those levels of hydrocarbons."

The organization has been discussing seafood safety with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAHH), and continuing to sample biota including mussels, crab, shrimp and fish. LEAN is in the process of creating a sampling plan for up to the next five years focusing on Louisiana, Orr said.
"I am really disturbed and I think the country is divided in its thought process," she said. "If you live away from the Gulf, you think everything is alright. If you live here, you know it's not alright."