Our blog series on the lesser known (but just as cool) species of the Arctic continues with brittle stars. Read our other blogs from the series: polar cod and Arctic copepods.
Brittle stars are seafloor dwelling organisms that appear to be a quirkier, more slender version of a starfish. Although they are closely related to starfish—brittle stars differ in many ways.
Brittle stars have a distinct central disc and (usually) five skinny, flexible arms. The central disk (approximately 2.5 cm in diameter in the species Ophiura sarsii) consists of a skeleton of calcium carbonate and contains all the brittle stars’ internal organs. The disk’s appending five arms (circa 9 cm long in Ophiura sarsii) twist and coil to enable movement across the seafloor. Not only do their arms enable locomotion: brittle stars can purposely release on or move arms to evade a predator! As long as its central disk remains, the brittle star will continue to function, and its limbs will regenerate.
Join us as we dive into the chilly waters of the Arctic. Our blog series explores the magnificent (and often overlooked) species living in the Arctic—which you need to know! Read our other blogs from the series: brittle stars and Arctic copepods.
When most of us think of important Arctic marine species, we generally think of walrus, narwhal, seal, beluga and others. Although those species capture our imagination and are special to the Arctic, there are a number of lesser known species that may not have the same charisma but are equally, if not more, important for helping maintain the Arctic marine ecosystem. As a person who has always loved marine fishes, I’ve long thought polar cod (Boreogadus saida) are an exceptionally fascinating Arctic fish that just does not receive the attention it should.
March 20th marks the first day of spring, but sometimes the weather can make it a little difficult to identify the true beginning of the season. Luckily there are some other signals that the warmer months are coming up. Marine animals of all kinds, from seabirds to giant whales, can be great identification tools for spring. To celebrate this change, we are telling the stories of some amazing marine animals who are known for signaling this season. If you weren’t already excited for some warmer weather, here are a few of the incredible behaviors exhibited by marine animals during this time of year to get you in the spring spirit.
Last week, some of the best and brightest women in conservation came together to discuss their experiences in the field. The Twitter chat, hosted by Ocean Conservancy in honor of International Women’s Day, emphasized the importance of encouraging young women interested in science and supporting fellow females in conservation. Dozens of participants shared stories, photos and advice about the thrills and challenges of being a woman in the industry.
Every year a crowd of fisherman and fishing community members gather in Astoria, Oregon, to share stories, recite poetry and sing music. FisherPoets, founded by a small group of Pacific Northwest fisherman in 1998, is an opportunity for the commercial small-boat community, friends and locals to gather together away from the docks. No trips to the store, no scrubbing of decks, no mending of nets. Just friends, family and plenty to drink.
Calling all 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 next Tuesday, March 8 to hear insights from women around the world (and contribute your own thoughts, too).
Tune in on Tuesday as we share questions throughout the day about what it’s like to be a women in the field, and share profiles of some of our own inspiring female scientists.
We love polar bears! And, when we saw that today was International Polar Bear Day—we jumped for joy. While you sit here reading this fascinating blog, polar bear moms are busy caring for their newborn cubs in their Arctic dens.
If you didn’t love these Arctic bears enough already, we’re giving you six more reasons to love them. Join us in celebrating polar bears today!