The Spineless Gutless Sea Cucumber

The Spineless Gutless Sea Cucumber

 Sea cucumbers: those cute log-like animals munching their way along the sea floor. These cylindric invertebrates are part of the phylum Echinodermata which translates to “spiny skin”. Echinodermata is a completely marine based phylum that...

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Invertebrate Locomotion in the Ocean

Invertebrate Locomotion in the Ocean

 At the Catalina Island Marine Institute, we are all about being active and on the move.  The same goes for the invertebrates in our labs! But how do they move? Magic? Super powers? Thinking happy thoughts? Actually, we can explain...

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Catalina Coral & Zooxanthellae

Catalina Coral & Zooxanthellae

 Corals are not rocks, nor plants. They are animals. Invertebrates, specifically. These sessile organisms are colonial—meaning many individual organisms comprise a single coral. These individual organisms are called polyps. Each polyp is...

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World Penguin Day

World Penguin Day

 Although Wednesday, April 25th is officially World Penguin Day, it’s never a bad day to celebrate these charismatic flightless birds! Penguins’ distinct waddle, fluffy feathers, and stout body shape make them one of the most objectively...

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Sheephead Transformation

Sheephead Transformation

 Ever seen a fish cake before? This one might look a little unusual. It’s one of the most exciting fish to find on a snorkel (or as your birthday cake), called the California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher). Sheepheads can grow to be...

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The Giant Sea Bass

The Giant Sea Bass

 Let me introduce you to the King of the Kelp forest, the Giant Sea Bass. This behemoth of a fish can grow up to nearly 7 and a half feet long, can weigh a whopping 560 pounds, and can live to the ripe old age of 75. These fish were, at one...

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How Animals Came to Catalina Island

How Animals Came to Catalina Island

 Catalina and the other Channel Islands are bustling with life. Many endemic species have lived and evolved on the islands for millennia. The channel islands, like so many other islands, have never been connected to any mainland or continent, so...

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A Few Famous Marine Biologists

A Few Famous Marine Biologists

 For much of human history, the phenomenal life beneath the ocean’s surface was a distant, unattainable world. Thanks to many curious and courageous individuals, however, marine science has grown into a vast and exciting field. While the true...

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Mucus in the Animal Kingdom

Mucus in the Animal Kingdom

 Boogers. There. I said it. Now you are all thinking about thoseooey gooey slimy’s that drip from our noses when we are sick. But our bodies produce mucus every day—it helps protect our lungs by capturing dust and dirt when we inhale. Mucus...

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Full Moon and the Tide

Full Moon and the Tide

  Picture this: A crab scuttles into a damp rock crevice. Snails chug along rock faces, secretings mucus along the way. Barnacles, glued in place, retreat into their protective shells. An aggregation of anemone’s grab little pebbles with...

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Sunrise and Shine!

Sunrise and Shine!

 If you have ever seen a sunrise or sunset then you can appreciate the beauty of seeing the sun peek over the horizon at 6 am or fall under the horizon at 6 pm. The peace and serenity of these moments allow us to see the sun in a whole new light...

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