A Blue View | WYPR

A Blue View

Tuesdays 5:44 PM

A Blue View, hosted by National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli.  From the smallest plants and animals invisible to the human eye to entire ecosystems, every living thing depends on and is intricately linked by water.

ocean.nationalgeographic.com

    

The deep ocean is an extreme habitat, challenging and expensive to get to and to study. It is cold, under tremendous pressure from the weight of all the water above, and so very dark. It's mysterious, and completely foreign to us light-loving landlubbers. We know more about the surface of the moon than we do the bottom of the sea. The deep sea is not deserted, though, as was once thought.

animalpicturesociety.com

With a multiplicity of thin wafer-white triangles, each one dangerous and serrated, we know a top predator when we see one. The great white shark is the largest predatory fish alive.

WWW.CHESAPEAKEBAY.NET

Many Chesapeake Bay locals have felt the sting of a sea nettle at least once in their life; it’s sometimes an unfortunate consequence of the activities we enjoy on our waterways.

aqua.org

    

When Captain John Smith first explored the Patapsco River in 1608, it was ringed by natural wetlands that provided habitat to native wildlife and filtered the water. It may be hard to imagine, but before Baltimore became a thriving seaport, the Inner Harbor was likely vibrantly colored with a plethora of lush green vegetation resting on the water’s surface.

aqua.org

There's no better word to describe the electric eel than, well, shocking. Part of that shock, as it turns out, was the discovery that it isn't a real eel at all. While it exhibits a long, smooth, snake-like body, the electric eel is scientifically classified as a knifefish, a cousin to the carp and catfish-only with maximum voltage.

aqua.org

When most of us think of volcanoes, we think of mountains, rising and looming over flat plateaus. Cone-shaped and spewing burning ash and molten rock in flows of hot orange-red rock. Washington State's St. Helen's and Italy's Mount Vesuvius are famous volcanic explosions. 


wikipedia.com

What animals do you think exhibit the most kaleidoscopic variety of colors and patterns, in the wildest diversity of forms in the animal kingdom? Tropical birds? Rainforest frogs?

baltimorewaterfront.com

Walk along the Jones Falls near Pier 6 in Baltimore's Inner Harbor and you're bound to notice an unusual contraption floating in the water. Called the Water Wheel, it's a strange combination of old and new technology that has been collecting and disposing of the Inner Harbor's trash and debris since May 2014. 

aqua.org

Don’t be deceived by the desolate look of a mudflat. These areas of mud or sandy mud, which line thousands of miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline, are hiding a rich variety of life.

semesteratsea.org

The largest turtle on Earth is the leatherback sea turtle, with a shell that’s up to 8 feet wide and a weight of more than 2,000 pounds. Sound big? Well, it is—until someone mentions Archelon, an ancient genus of monster turtles that once lived in a shallow sea covering what’s now South Dakota. Extinct for 80 million years, Archelon turtles made the leatherback look like, well, a shrimp.  

zmescience.com

Cascading tendrils of blue-green tentacles and a translucent, neon bell give the Portuguese man-of-war its otherworldly appearance.

aqua.org

The Greenland ice sheet is melting. Global temperatures are increasing. Sea level is rising. We've known this for awhile. So what's news? It's the pace of these changes.

Did you know? One out of every three bites of food you eat comes from pollinators. Without them, we wouldn’t have foods like blueberries, apples, chocolate and almonds.

ocean.si.edu

In the vast midwaters of the open ocean, there’s an animal so adorable that the Smithsonian Institution’s website said, "If this video doesn't inspire a whole cadre of budding teuthologists, we don't know what will." Any amateur teuthologists out there want to hazard a guess as to what group of animals they’re referring? Here’s a hint: teuthology is the study of squids and octopuses.

aqua.org

Manatees made headlines this winter when a group of them, including a mother and calf, became marooned in a Florida storm drain and had to be rescued by marine biologists with backhoes and earth-moving equipment. Why such heavy machinery?

aqua.org

Each year, over 2,300 pieces of legislation are introduced into the Maryland General Assembly. This year, one bill has the potential to make an impact on reducing the amount of pollution that enters our waterways.

aqua.org

When you think of an animal that purrs, grunts, croaks or hums, I’ll bet it’s not a fish. But, I’ll let you in on a secret: More than 150 species of fish on the East Coast of the U.S. are what scientists call “somniferous.” They make noise. Lots of it.

aqua.org

Many of us have a romantic image of fishing: a weather-beaten waterman aboard a small fishing boat, hauling in a handmade rope net as a sou’wester approaches.

aqua.org

Our planet is misnamed. With 71 percent of it underwater, what we call Earth is really a water planet. For us earthlings, who can only thrive on land, that’s a problem, one compounded by our inability to live where it’s too cold, hot, dry or wet for us.

aqua.org

For most fish, the line Dory utters in the popular Disney movie “Finding Nemo” is no exaggeration. Sounds exhausting, right? But you’re unlikely to catch a fish closing its eyes for a quick catnap.

seathos.org

Imagine if the air you breathed changed your behavior. You might become reckless or disoriented, even experience loss of sight or sound. Yet, what if you had to breathe that bad air anyway, just to survive? This is a scenario that many fish and other aquatic animals could actually face in the near future, with the very seawater that they rely on to exist.

aqua.org

Zooplankton, the microscopic invertebrates consisting of small animals and the immature stages of larger animals, move up and down the water column in a type of migration called diel vertical migration.

pbs.org

Need an icebreaker for your next dinner party? Here’s one you can share while nibbling hors d'oeuvres: “Did you know your skull and head is organized like an extinct jawless fish?” Take your philtrum, for example. That’s the groovy indentation on your top lip just beneath your nose.

aqua.org

"This is the ship of pearl, which poets feign, sails the unshadowed main / and its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell /as the frail tenant of its growing shell." Oliver Wendell Holmes described this remarkable creature in his 1858 poem “The Chambered Nautilus.”

It's easy to think of science as clear, clean and linear - the progressive accumulation of information driving a steady increase in our understanding of the world.  But, in truth, it's messy.  There are fits and starts. Bafflement. Wrong turns. Dead ends.  Head-scratching questions that defy answers. There are also a lot of happy accidents, often made by people not even in science - as the workers on an oil and gas rig off the coast of Angola discovered in August of 2015.

nytimes.com

If you had to guess the most common vertebrate on the planet, you might say deer or squirrels. Maybe mice or factory-farmed chicken? Even humans? 

 

aqua.org

Earth’s ice is expansive. In fact, 10 percent of the planet’s land mass is covered in ice—like glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets—spanning more than 5 million square miles. 

Wikipedia

The sea lamprey looks like the stuff of nightmares. An eel-like fish with a suction-cup mouth, 100-plus teeth and file-like tongue, it’s easy to imagine it searching the ocean, bays and lakes for its next meal.

cbf.org

Large, silvery-brown, snout-nosed, scute-covered, prehistoric-looking Atlantic sturgeon have been swimming the seas and coming up East Coast rivers to breed since dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

climate.org

You’d have to drive from California to New York and back—TWICE—to fully appreciate the distance traveled by the gray whale every year. This species takes the credit for longest migration route of any mammal, traveling 12,000 miles from the icy waters of the Arctic to the warm lagoons of Baja, Mexico, and back again.

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