Whale Graveyard
Whale Graveyard
On a remote peninsula in Chile, over three hundred sei whales beached themselves. An expedition is setting off to recover some of the bones

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On Monday, February 6, 2017, around 1:30 a.m. CST, a sonic boom shook residents of the Midwest as a bright green fireball streaked through the night sky. The sound was that of a meteor, nearly the size of a minivan, entering our atmosphere. After its fall to Earth, radar spotted the end of its journey over Lake Michigan, approximately 10 miles off the coast of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Teen explorers from Chicago, led by scientists from the Adler Planetarium's Far Horizons program, The Shedd Aquarium, and The Field Museum, team up to take on this Underwater ROV Meteorite Hunt. Interested explorers wanted!
83posts
A global expedition to find, study, and protect the world's largest and rarest fish before they disappear forever.
12posts
We're on a mission to unveil the secret world of feather stars, from shallow to mesophotic depths, micro-world to voracious predators that feast on them. Enjoy the adventure!
29posts

Latest Expeditions

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Returning to Morogoro, Tanzania, I'll be focusing on identifying burrows, censusing residents and monitoring their entry and exits and hopefully figure out if Southern giant Pouched rats move between underground nests.
2posts
Dr. Federico Fanti, Dr. Vanessa Lovenburg, and Dr. Grace Young are looking at the coral reef fossils that make up the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll look at how reefs have thrived and died over the past 250 million years.
1post
Through a week-long field-based program, we seek to provide an incredible educational experience for volunteers who will learn how to correctly photograph whale sharks visiting Mexico and share their findings with the scientific community.
1post
Ilha do Marajó, Soure, Pará, Brazil, Jan 20 2019 to May 3 2019
The Mangrove Killifish
The main goal of this expedition is to disentangling the distribution of the mangrove amphibious killifish, amazing and tiny estuarine fish that live in magrove forest pools. Our focus now is in the mouth of the Amazon river.

Recent Observations

A little (more) background about us: We have been diving and exploring the shipwrecks in the Thumb Area Bottomland Preserve for years now. For the last two years we have been working to help educate the public and document the shipwrecks. Its amazing how many people are unaware of the historic time capsules that are right in their back yard. The first video documentary we produced was called "Dive Log 2017 - Under the Thumb" and featured the shipwrecks Emma Nielson, E.P. Dorr, Hunter Savidge, the twin car ferries James W. Curran & John A, McPhail, and the Metropole. We premiered this program at the 2018 Michigan Shipwreck Festival held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Subsequently we have done this program to public groups including "Shipwreck dinners" sponsored by the Farm Restaurant in Port Austin, MI. This past spring this program was featured on the front page of the Huron Daily Tribune. The full article can be read at: https://www.michigansthumb.com/news/article/Under-the-Thumb-13533147.php For the 2018 dive season, we completed a second documentary entitled "Flashback - A Fresh Look at some Treasures from the Past..." This program featured the shipwrecks Iron Chief, Fred Lee, and the Arcturus. This show was premiered at the 2019 Michigan Shipwreck Festival in Ann Arbor and we will be doing follow up presentations with the public throughout 2019. The team is currently working to determine which shipwrecks we will be focusing on documenting for this dive season and what new technologies we can incorporate to better document the condition of the shipwrecks. Things that we are looking into further is ROV technology to increase the amount of video footage and photographic images as many of these wrecks are in 200 ft so bottom time on scuba and rebreathers is limited, stitched topographical and panoramic imaging, and 3D photogrammetry technology to develop interactive models. We also continue to search archives and records for past information on these shipwrecks. The comparison of this past data and the images and video we gather now can help us in the future document the changes in the conditions of these shipwrecks to better understand what effects time and nature (including invasive species) have on these historic records of the deep.
Check out this wonderful write-up about our recent adventure to San Simeon, complete with citizen science! https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/community/cambrian/cambrian-opinion/article230657454.html
Finding octopus dens Octopuses are famous for their camouflage skills; however, they are also very good at hiding in shelters or dens. Apparently, each octopus has several dens to rest and feed in a certain area, within which they move in search of food. According to our experience working with octopuses, we have observed that each octopus has a couple of "main dens" in which they usually rest most of the time and eat quietly after catching various preys. In addition, they have several "auxiliary dens" within its hunting area, which they use to take refuge from predators, hide while hunting or just relax. All these dens can be found in cracks between or beneath rocks, holes in the sand, abandoned tires, cans or bottles, among others, and are easily recognizable (especially the "main dens") by the empty mollusc shells littering the doorway. The main entrance of these dens is usually surrounded by an accumulation of small stones, shells of dead bivalves and some exoskeletons of arthropods such as crabs or lobsters. When a den is recent or is inhabited, the remains of shells are completely clean and do not present algae or other epibionts. However, when the shells are visibly accumulated in one place but covered by algae, it can be said that it is an ancient or abandoned lair. It could be thought that octopuses are somewhat disorganized when leaving the remains of their food right at the entrance of their "houses", or that it is not very intelligent to leave such an obvious signal that the den is occupied by an octopus, however, these remains are actually extremely useful when a predator approaches. We have witnessed that when an octopus feels observed, discovered or threatened inside its den, it hides quickly inside of it and collapses all the shells and rocks in the entrance, creating an immediate barrier against any attacker. This is recycling the "garbage" in a very intelligent and convenient way! This behaviour is especially useful on sandy bottoms where there are not many rocks to use as protection and the shells serve as a rigid and efficient barrier against any threat. We know that the octopuses we seek in Balandra generally take refuge within bivalve shells, however, when exploring the site, we also found traces of dens under rocks and even in the sand with these characteristic traces. In this case, the shells belonged to very small bivalves (no more than 5 cm in length), so it is likely that they were consumed by the small octopuses that we are looking for. We still have a lot to document in Balandra and much to discover about these experts in hiding. We hope to find more very soon and share more findings!

Pristine Seas

Exploring and protecting the last wild places in the ocean