Nature Blog Network

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, Insect Style

Happy Holidays everyone! Its been great having you all as readers and participators in this blog for the 2nd year! Enjoy this short stop-motion video of an Insect Christmas by Vladislav Starevich. As the NC State Insect Museum notes, beware of the dubious taxonomy and just be amused by somersaulting insects.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Set your Inner Squid Free

A new invertebrate interactive game, I guess it's a game, sorta like Tamagotchi are a game, or are they?


Anyway, better than any tamawhatever, now you can design your own squid and set them free into the waters around New Zealand to hunt toothfish and grow. Check back in on them every once in a while and see how they grow. Its a wonderful addition to Te Papa Colossal Squid pages.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Cephalopodmas

To all our friends, and friends of inverts everywhere, we'd like to wish you a Merry Cephalopodmass and Happy Holothuridays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Te Papa now serving...

Colossal squid –



(Hat tip to DSN)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vert vs. Rubber Invert - Hey, get out!


Hey, get out!, originally uploaded by eclectic echoes.

This was taken at the Mystic Aquarium around Halloween during the SeaScare festivities. The African Penguins were creating paintings for a raffle and in between sessions they occasionally interacted with the giant tarantula in their playroom.

I am posting this as a bit of a present to Kevin, who has an odd, some might even allow it is an un-natural, love for penguins. It also serves as a bridge to mention that our favorite Aquarium blogger Jeff Ives brings us a new blog: The Rockhopper Penguin Expedition Blog. Kevin is going to be in penguin heaven what with all the photos and cool video from the South American colonies of rockhoppers.

As a side note, I really do get into the expedition blogging, especially when they connect to the everyday activities as well as the major science activities. It really helps connect me to the sense of discovery and adventure. Does that make sense?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Araneae Anon

Quick survey of the twangs on my web, some invert, some not so much...

Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice & Sunsets is back with a wonderful video of spider chemical substance reactions.

Karen James has a great discussion of science heroes and humanity vs deification, some great recipes, Newton's fingernails, and Galileo's finger over at The Beagle Project.

Miriam has posted a most psychedelic image of one of the most awesome structures in the world... the radula!

Emmet Duffy at the Natural Patriot has a review of the recent open access PNAS paper tracing the source of that last fast food meal giving great support to the notion to eat local. Can't wait to give a pdf of that paper (and the review) to my Econ prof, who claims to eat $1 menu fast food twice a day, every day extolling it's excellent value. (Of course I may take the...ahem....spineless route and give them to him after grades post instead of before the final tomorrow night.)

The final twang comes from the Wild Shores of Singapore where RIA posted a good intro to the ScienceNow piece on deep sea squid sex, complete with sperm packets everywhere... even lodged in a human throat!

Time to cram for Calc now....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Invert Credit

Kevin just sent me an email about a blogger both of us have followed for some time - dalantech of the No Cropping Zone - a very talented macro photographer. (I love his deconstructions!)

December Drone by *dalantech


In his latest post he has offered that he often will license his insect images for credit only, especially for a science or education professional. As he says it works for him to get the publicity and for the professional to get some wonderfully high quality images.

If you need good insect macro photography for your next pub or presentation give him a once over. Some excellent material in his galleries.

Now to get some CC licensed mollusc photos...f course I'd rather take them myself, but no time... (and few animals)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Carnival of the Blue #19

Check out the latest Carnival of the Blue up at the fabulous WaterNotes! Lots of great writing from our ocean blogging colleagues.

Invert vs. Vert - Nom,Nom,Nom edition

Chain Dogfish eggs! Nom, Nom, Nom!
Go get your own egg!, originally uploaded by eclectic echoes.

Nothing like a bit of chain dogfish egg / embryo for breakfast!

Actually the cut away section of outer casing was protected by a securely wrapped piece of parafilm, so I guess no Nom,Nom,Nom'ing going on...

But I wonder, there was that recent research about eating preference in cuttlefish appetites being shaped by what they saw through their egg membrane...
Will this chain dogfish ignore squid and only go after crustaceans?

Or is this the equivalent of the nightmare about your food eating you, you know the one where you run into a 2 meter tall steak knife wielding walking talking squid as you turn the corner and all he keeps repeating is ... what you never had that dream?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Coral Bones

In case you missed the big news, Peter from Deep Sea News has the discoverer's take on the publishing of the paper on "his coral." It is a beautiful specimen to say the least!

My Acuroscope

The Southern Fried Scientist has created the Acuroscope based on "the much more chaotic and unpredictable movements of terrestrial bodies, careening through life and influencing those around them." It is proven to be "at least as accurate, and probably more so, as conventional horoscopes." Here is mine:


Benign Tumors (March 19 – April 11) – Beards are one of the best things in the world. You more than likely have one. The great beard-way has powerful influence over everyone in the world, especially yours. It is both the number of quality of beards in my immediate area that control your fate. However, unlike beards, which always get checked out, benign tumors rarely do, so in social situations you need to make the first move. Of course, no one is ever happy to see you but always happy to find out you’re harmless.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Random Invert Picture - Nembrotha aurea

The photographer id's it as Nembrotha purpureolineata but the orange dorsal patch looks to me more like it is Nembrotha aurea as described in

Marta Pola, J. Lucas Cervera, Terrence M. Gosliner (2008). Revision of the Indo-Pacific genus Nembrotha (Nudibranchia: Dorididae: Polyceridae), with a description of two new species Scientia Marina, 72 (1) DOI: 10.3989/scimar.2008.72n1145

Monday, December 1, 2008

5 Things Redux

First that "scallywag" Brian from Laelaps tagged Kevin with a meme, and then what does he do? He nails me with it! And me without my meme vaccinations up to date! If Kevin will forgive me, I'm going to use his entry as a template:

5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago

  • As of Dec 15th this year marks 10 years ago I was getting laid off from Micron Electronics in Nampa, Idaho, where I was a Support Engineer (the people who try and figure out what's going on when there are issues and develop a reliable fix for it) and Web Designer.
  • Enrolling at Boise State University (one of the best things I've ever done!)
  • Doing video production/animation for the local market and teaching 3D animation
  • Moving from a house with a big garage to a 2 bedroom apartment and a big storage unit!
  • Smoking about 1 pack of cigarettes a day
5 Things On My To-Do List Today
  • Finish one of three paper rewrites due by the end of the week
  • Clean up office (train self to pick up "toys"... futile I know...)
  • Email one professor for grad school position
  • Write personal statement for one grad school
  • Help Johann create one more batch of scientist trading cards
5 Snacks I Love
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Almonds
  • dried blueberries
  • Orange or Grapefruit
  • Grandma's white chocolate covered pretzels (which Tammy now makes so well!)
5 Things I Would Do If I Were A Millionaire
  • Pay off all our debts
  • Buy a house and some undeveloped land...to leave undeveloped.
  • Buy a rebreather and HD underwater video rig
  • Let Tammy go to graduate school and put away enough that Johann can go to college and if he wants grad school without having to worry about funding
  • Conrtibute to Kevin's scholarship
5 Places I've lived
  • Bitburg, Germany
  • Lompoc, CA
  • Mesa, Pheonix and Sierra Vista, AZ
  • Boise, ID
  • Austin, TX
5 Jobs I've Had
  • Marine Science Department Technology Support
  • Animator & Multimedia Production Artist
  • IT Technician
  • Computer Support Engineer and Multimedia Web Developer
  • Satellite and Microwave Radio Communications specialist


Ok, so now I get to infect...er...tag 5 other people?

  • Kevin already tagged Karen, but let's see where Peter was 10 years before he live blogged boat shows with friends of millionaires, I think we know what he would do with a a cool Million. What IS his favorite snack?
  • Was Miriam at the Oysters Garter already wearing such trend setting and cool invert clothing as a squid hat??? With the million she could afford them all easily. I hope Oysters are on her favorite snack list!
  • Was Mark at Blogfish stalking sustainable fishing 10 years ago? Would the million dollars prevent him from diving under his mistresses covers every chance he gets?
  • Did the Beach Chair Scientist feel the pull of the ocean 10 years ago? Would we see an upgraded chair with the million dollars, maybe something with solar powered icebox, GPS and real time satellite feed of marine forecasting and visual data sets? What is the best beach chair snack?
  • Was the Brine Queen watching super cute sea horses 10 years ago? Does she have a new marine bio geek acquisition to pickup today?