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Ocean Currents

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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About Erin Spencer

Erin is a Digital Outreach Coordinator at Ocean Conservancy, based in Washington, D.C. Erin’s passion is using photography, writing and social media to inspire people to participate in conservation projects, particularly those relating to the spread of invasive species. Much of her work has focused on local responses to invasive lionfish in the Florida Keys and Caribbean. Follow Erin on Twitter @etspencer and on her website, www.invasivespeciesinitiative.com.

5 Surprising Facts About Penguins

Posted On April 25, 2017 by

From the iconic emperor to the quirky macaroni, penguins are some of the most charismatic (and well-dressed) ocean animals. In honor of World Penguin Day, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite penguin facts to celebrate these captivating birds. So sit back, enjoy and be sure to share your favorite penguin trivia with your friends!

They come in all sizes.

Fitting to its name, the largest penguin in the world is the emperor penguin, which can reach up to four feet tall and weigh almost 85 pounds. Conversely, the little blue penguin (also known as the fairy penguin) reaches only 15 inches and just three pounds, making it the smallest of all the penguin species. You can find the emperor in the frigid Antarctic, while the little blue sticks to the shores of Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. Generally, smaller penguin species stick to milder climates, where larger penguin species are found in colder climates where their body mass can help them survive the harsh temperatures.

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7 Reasons to Love the Gulf

Posted On April 18, 2017 by

The Gulf of Mexico is unlike anywhere else in the world. The people and environment of the Gulf combine to form a place with a rich culture tied to the ocean.

In recognition of this week’s seven-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, we’ve compiled a list of seven reasons to love—and protect—the Gulf of Mexico. From lip-smacking foods to iconic animals, here are seven reasons to love the Gulf:

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How to Tell the Difference Between Squid and Cuttlefish

Posted On April 7, 2017 by

The octopus is one of the most well-recognized animals in the sea, but what about their lesser-known cousins? Squid and cuttlefish may not get as many Hollywood roles as their eight-armed relatives, but they’re equally as interesting. Take a minute to explore these tentacled invertebrates—and learn how to tell them apart.

Let’s start with what they have in common. Both squid and cuttlefish are part of class Cephalopoda, which is a type of mollusk that also includes octopus and nautilus. Unlike other mollusks, like clams and snails, most cephalopods have lost their hard outer shells. Cephalopods get their name from the Greek word meaning “head-feet”, because their arms encircle their heads. Both squid and cuttlefish are known as ten-armed cephalopods because they have eight short arms and two long tentacles (as opposed to eight-armed cephalopods like octopuses).

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The Blue-Ringed Octopus: Small but Deadly

Posted On March 13, 2017 by

At first glance, the blue-ringed octopus looks perfectly innocuous. Its psychedelic coloring and pint-sized packaging make it seem more adorable than alarming. But don’t let its cuddly exterior fool you: this tiny octopus can kill you. And quickly.

Native to the Pacific Ocean, the blue-ringed octopus can be found in the soft, sandy bottom of shallow tide pools and coral reefs. When not seeking food or a mate, blue-ringed octopuses often hide in crevices, shells or marine debris. If you catch them outside of their cozy hiding spots, it’s easy to see how the animal gets its name: when threatened, bright blue rings appear all over its body as a warning signal to potential predators.

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17 Inspiring Quotes from Women in Conservation

Posted On March 10, 2017 by

It’s been quite a week! In honor of International Women’s Day, we have been sharing stories of women in conservation every day. Some of our staffers shared their experiences on our blog, and women throughout Ocean Conservancy shared photos and stories from their day-to-day work on Instagram.

We also asked to hear from you! On Wednesday, we hosted a #WomeninConservation Twitter chat, and women from all over the country joined in to talk about what inspires and challenges them in their careers.

As our week-long celebration of women in conservation draws to a close, we wanted to take a moment to share some of the powerful stories from incredible women in the field. Check out some stand-out quotes from our #WomeninConservation Twitter chat.

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3 Easy Ways to Stop Invasive Species

Posted On March 2, 2017 by

Invasive species are a massive problem worldwide. Defined as nonnative species that become established outside of their native range, and whose introduction causes harm or is likely to cause harm, invasives can disrupt natural habitats, hurt local economies and threaten human health. Invasives cause billions of dollars of damage every year, and approximately 42% of species that are listed as Threatened or Endangered in the U.S. are at risk primarily due to invasives. Invasive species are found in practically every ecosystem in the world—including our ocean.

The good news? Everyone can help in the fight against invasive species. For Invasive Species Awareness Week, here are some easy ways you can help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species and protect the waters you love.

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Talking #WomeninConservation for International Women’s Day

Posted On February 28, 2017 by

Calling all Twitter-savvy ocean lovers: In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating some of the fantastic females in the fields of science and conservation. Join us on Wednesday, March 8 for a Twitter chat where you can hear insights from women around the world (and contribute your own thoughts, too).

Tune in on Wednesday as we share questions throughout the day about what it’s like to be a woman in the field, and share profiles of some of our own inspiring female scientists.

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