Updates & Media

Palau: Jellyfish Lake

Photo by Ken Marks

Jellyfish Lake, Palau


The Faces and Functions of Algae on the…

February 27, 2015

Benthic scientist, Samantha Clements, takes an algal selfie in the reflective surface of a large Ventricaria specimen (~8 cm).

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Expedition Log: Palau – Day 19 Algae, often referred to as “seaweed,” are underwater “plants” that, unlike land plants, lack a vascular system. Algae live underwater and obtain water, nutrients, and sunlight directly from the environment. Because algae don’t need …

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Musical Coral?

February 25, 2015

The bright red coloration of a couple of “beach strawberries” that I spotted while walking the beach. The tubular form of the Tubipora skeleton with the horizontal connecting plates can be more easily seen here.

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Expedition Log: Palau – Day 18 When I was writing the blog for the Blue Coral (Heliopora coerulea) I found and learned about earlier in this mission, I came across a reference for Organ Pipe Coral (Tubipora musica). While Blue …

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Shrimps: A Gallery of Tiny Treasures

February 23, 2015

The tiny Squat Shrimp have a distinctive habit of holding their tales vertically

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Expedition Log: Palau – Day 17 On a recent dive while swimming along between coral photo transects on a patch reef in the lagoon near the tip of the Aiyasu Reef system, I spotted a Long Tentacle Mushroom Coral (Heliofungia …

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February 20, 2015

fire dartfish Nemateleotris magnificafire dartfish Nemateleotris magnifica

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Expedition Log: Palau – Day 16 For the past few weeks I have descended into Palau’s waters each day with my two vital pieces of equipment: a tape measure reel and writing slate. My job on this mission is to …

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The Chemical Reef

February 18, 2015

science diver taking water samples underwater

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Expedition Log: Palau – Day 15 Corals reefs capture our imagination with their extreme beauty and diversity, and so when we think about a reef, it usually brings to mind colorful imagery of teeming fish, strange forms of corals, and …

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Blennies and Gobies

February 13, 2015

Segmented Blenny - Salarias segmentatus

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Expedition Log: Palau – Day 14 The Indo-Pacific is home to a high diversity of small, elongate bottom dwellers— blennies and gobies. From low visibility sandy bottoms to high-energy outer reefs, blennies and gobies have made a prominent appearance in …

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Kleptoparasites on the Reef

February 11, 2015

acoel flatworms (Waminoa sp)

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Expedition Log: Palau – Day 13 On a previous mission someone had taken a photo of a coral with a strange patchy brownish “discoloration.” When I was asked if I had any idea what was being shown in the picture …

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Troubling Taxonomy

February 9, 2015

Coral Taxonomy: Favia matthaii left and Montastrea valenciennesi right

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Expedition Log – Day 12 One of the largest challenges for our coral surveys is the proper identification of the corals.  When measuring and counting corals along transects we rarely identify them to species, mainly because there are some 450 …

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Turning Back the Hands of Time

February 6, 2015

On reefs that have not been disturbed for many years, a high diversity community can become established.

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Expedition Log: Palau – Day 11 On most of the barrier reefs we’ve examined off the south and west coast of  Palau, the coral community has been thriving, with 60-90% of the bottom covered in a diverse assemblage of branching, …

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