Invertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Invertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History SI Dept. Invertebrate Zoology & affiliates NOAA/NMFS National Systematics Lab. and USDA National Parasite Collection. News from and about the NMNH Dept.
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Invertebrate Zoology & its affiliates: NOAA/NMFS National Systematics Laboratory and USDA National Parasite Collection.

Operating as usual

01/25/2021
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

A lovely video of a deep-sea swimming sea cucumber from the North Pacific near the Hawaiian Islands!

Get your #Monday off to a swimming start with a little science lesson on sea cucumbers, and then prepare to impress your friends with your use of the term "facultatively benthopelagic."
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[From the 2017 Laulima O Ka Moana: Exploring Deep Monument Waters Around Johnston Atoll expedition: https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/ex1706/welcome.html]

01/25/2021

Job opportunity!
Guam EPSCoR is recruiting a postdoctoral researcher with expertise in molecular ecology to study how coral microbiomes and photosymbionts affect the resistance and resilience of corals to changing environmental conditions. The postdoc will work at the Marine Laboratory of the University of Guam and be able to leverage easy access to field sites for specimens collection and field experiments. A state-of-the-art genetics lab is on site at the Marine Laboratory and high-throughput computing resources are being implemented as part of the Guam EPSCoR efforts to facilitate data intensive analyses.

The postdoc will be part of a dynamic team, including several faculty researchers and graduate students with expertise in coral ecology, genomics, and bioinformatics. Together we work toward understanding the impacts of environmental change on coral resilience in Guam and the Micronesian region.

Minimum Qualifications:

-PhD or postdoctoral experience in marine ecology, genetics/genomics, or related field
-Experience in generating and analyzing complex genetic/genomic datasets
-Proficiency in computational approaches to data analysis (e.g., shell scripting)

Minimum Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
-Strong quantitative skills and appropriate knowledge of statistical data analysis-
-Good organizational skills
-High motivation and pro-active approach to work
-Excellent communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:
-Proficient in Python and/or R
-American Association of Underwater Scientists (AAUS) diving certification or equivalent

Initial review of applications will begin on Feb 1st 2021 but the position will remain open until filled.

For application requirements please see position announcement RC-21-25 posted on the website of the Research Corporation of the University of Guam (RCUOG).

https://www.uog.edu/rcuog/job-announcements

For questions and inquiries contact Dr. Bastian Bentlage ([email protected]).

Remarkable! A habitat with other invertebrates but without nematodes. https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12832
01/14/2021
ZSL Publications

Remarkable! A habitat with other invertebrates but without nematodes. https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12832

We analysed cryoconite samples (using classical microscopic observations and environmental DNA metabarcoding) from 42 glaciers located around the world. Three general outcomes were found: (a) tardigr...

12/18/2020
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

Learn about our cousins.. the SALPS!

These gelatinous animals are more closely related to us than jellyfish. And they are so much more than just a ball of goo!

We had so much fun working with SciShow and our colleagues at
Monterey Bay Aquarium on this video. Learn more by watching the full episode:

The sunflower star, Pycnopodia helianthoides,  a prominent and ecologically important species on the Pacific coast of No...
12/11/2020
Iconic Sunflower Star Listed Critically Endangered by IUCN

The sunflower star, Pycnopodia helianthoides, a prominent and ecologically important species on the Pacific coast of North America was nearly wiped out years ago by the seastar wasting disease event a few years ago..They estimate 5.75 MILLION individuals were killed. This species has now been added to the IUCN listing of "critically endangered" species.. https://sanctuarysimon.org/2020/12/iconic-sunflower-star-listed-critically-endangered-by-iucn/

December 10, 2020, 9 a.m. Pacific Time SAN FRANCISCO – A groundbreaking study from Oregon State University, The Nature Conservancy and over 60 partner institutions led the International Union for C…

11/25/2020
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

Enjoy this awesome video of the California flapjack octopus, genus Opisthoteuthis! Have a great Thanksgiving week!

This charming cephalopod made headlines for cuteness.

MBARI’s robotic submersibles often spot this little octopus resting on the mud, its orange body resembling a flat, fluffy pancake. When startled by a predator, a flapjack octopus perks up and swims to safety by flapping its stubby fins, pulsing its webbed arms, pushing water through its funnel for jet propulsion—or all three at once. When the coast is clear, it stretches its webbed arms and parachutes back to the seafloor.

Scientists think the flapjack octopus we see in Monterey Bay might be a new species. MBARI has teamed up with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to study and describe this “adorable” new species. MBARI scientists have collected detailed video observations of this octopus from the muddy floor of Monterey Canyon, and our colleagues at the Aquarium have kept some specimens alive in their Tentacles exhibition for closer study.

Learn more about some of our favorite weird and wonderful deep-sea creatures on our Creature feature page: https://www.mbari.org/products/creature-feature/

It takes a lot of team work to get science done. Here's a cool case in which NMNH Research Collaborator Mike Ford (with ...
11/20/2020

It takes a lot of team work to get science done. Here's a cool case in which NMNH Research Collaborator Mike Ford (with NOAA Fisheries), former NMNH IZ intern Nick Bezio (supported by the Smithsonian Women's Committee), and IZ's Affiliate Scientist Allen Collins (NOAA Fisheries National Systematics Lab) just published a paper that describes and names a new genus and species of ctenophore. The description is entirely based on exquisite video evidence taken by NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research via the R/V Okeanos Explorer and ROV Deep Discoverer. At the time, the biological lead scientist was a postdoc, Andrea Quattrini, who IZ is now lucky enough to have as a curator. The efforts of pilots, museum specialists and so many others were needed to bring this beautiful creature into the light of science. Spark's two-armed ctenophore, aka Duobrachium sparksae.
https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/noaa-scientists-virtually-discover-new-species-comb-jelly-near-puerto-rico

New sightings of the remarkable deepsea squid Magnapinna in Australian waters! https://news.mongabay.com/2020/11/the-cry...
11/12/2020
The crypto-creature from the deep: Researchers get rare video of bigfin squid

New sightings of the remarkable deepsea squid Magnapinna in Australian waters! https://news.mongabay.com/2020/11/the-crypto-creature-from-the-deep-researchers-get-rare-video-of-bigfin-squid/

A sighting of one of the deep ocean’s most mysterious beings, the bigfin squid, in Australian waters for the first time is creating waves among the scientific community’s squid squad. “It seems other-worldly, and although some people find them a bit spooky, I find their coloration delicate, an...

The discovery of a living Ram's Horn Squid (Spirula spirula) by the Falkor is documented in the New York Times featuring...
10/31/2020
‘They’re Calling You on the Squid Phone’

The discovery of a living Ram's Horn Squid (Spirula spirula) by the Falkor is documented in the New York Times featuring our very own Dr. Michael Vecchione! https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/31/science/rams-head-squid-cephalopod.html?searchResultPosition=1&fbclid=IwAR3-p4RTCIXtBAObViuZuep4NXP16O7WLgIIfzGOzyeIEY0X_CEuE0Z8_lA

Cephalopod researchers were surprised by the sighting of a ram’s horn squid, a peculiar animal never before filmed in its natural environment.

10/16/2020
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

Stunning Stygiomedusae, a deep-sea jelly from our friends at MBARI!

Taking the blues out of your Wednesday with this phenomenal jelly. ⁠

Stygiomedusa gigantea is one of the largest invertebrate predators known in the ocean, yet researchers know little about its ecology and behavior. Stygiomedusa lacks tentacles but has four extraordinarily large oral arms that are presumably used to envelope prey. The swimming bell of this spectacular medusa can reach over one meter across with arms over ten meters long.⁠

A symbiotic relationship between Stygiomedusa and the fish, Thalassobathia pelagica, was confirmed in 2003 when MBARI scientists filmed the pair swimming together in the Gulf of California. The fish has adapted to using the medusa as a hiding place in its open ocean habitat. ⁠

In over three decades of scientific ROV surveys, researchers at MBARI have been lucky enough to observe this rare animal seven times, from depths of 750 meters down to 2,187 meters (2,460 to 7,175 feet).

10/09/2020
Schmidt Ocean Institute

An astonishing Cirrate octopus for #Worldoctopusday! seen by the R/V Falkor in the Pescadero Basin!

#WorldOctopusDay! With @instagram's #IGTV feature, we thought we could show you a longer, slower-paced experience. This spectacular encounter we had was with this Cirrina Octopus in the Pescadero Basin hydrothermal vent fields during the #PescaderoVentDiving expedition in the Gulf of California. This is a cirrate octopus. One unique thing about this group of cephalopods is that they have ear-like fins that they use for propulsion instead of jet propulsion like every other octopus group. Their web of tentacles is unusual as well: they ballon-up in order to appear bigger, instead of inking like other octopus.

10/07/2020
Schmidt Ocean Institute

A recent deep-sea video of this dumbo octopus off the coast of Australia doing...?? Feeding? Mating? Commentary on its possible behavior by our resident cephalopod expert Mike Vecchione!

We had a stunning start to our most recent #EdgeGBR live ROV livestream. This #dumbo #octopus floated into view around 925m deep, and at first we thought it could be brooding behavior as it appeared to have multiple tentacles visible inside the creature. But Christopher Mah (of The Echinoblog http://echinoblog.blogspot.com/) got in touch with Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History Curator of Cephalopoda Mike Vecchione (also of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)) and he had a different idea:

"Definitely a cirrate (dumbo) octopod but not likely to be brooding. Cirrates attach their eggs to deep-sea corals. As far as we know there is no maternal care after egg laying. It appears that inside the arms are arms as well; it has the distal half of its arms tucked inside the web. However, it looks like it is holding something tentacular as well. My guess is a predation event. It could be another cephalopod or it could be something like a brittle star (yuck). There is an outside chance that it could be holding onto a mate. We don't know anything about how citrates mate."

It still a mystery ~ There is so much to learn about the #DeepSea and its inhabitants! #DeepWeek

Federal Lab Tech (molecular genetics) job available at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center https://www.usajobs...
09/29/2020
Biological Science Laboratory Technician

Federal Lab Tech (molecular genetics) job available at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/579934400

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is a research institute of the Smithsonian Institution (SI) dedicated to ecological and environmental research and education.  Research and education at SERC cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries to investigate interrelationships....

Oh the lowly sponge. . .behold. "the sponge’s diagonal reinforcement strategy achieves the highest buckling resistance f...
09/23/2020
Mechanically robust lattices inspired by deep-sea glass sponges

Oh the lowly sponge. . .behold. "the sponge’s diagonal reinforcement strategy achieves the highest buckling resistance for a given amount of material" "with implications for improved material use in modern infrastructural applications" https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-020-0798-1

Computational analysis and mechanical testing demonstrate that the skeletal system of a marine sponge has, through the course of evolution, achieved a near-optimal resistance to buckling.

09/20/2020
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Dumbo Octopus video! by our friends at NOAA Okeanos Explorer!

TGI #OctopusFriday: This dumbo octopus was observed resting on the seafloor within the Pacific's Phoenix Islands Protected Area at ~1,535 meters depth before it took off, gliding through the water as if flying, propelled by the fins behind its eyes.

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Comments

Can anyone identify this? To my untrained eye it looks like part of a worm, found it in my bathroom sink. This specimen is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch long.
This is a spawning helmet urchin. From the Seattle Aquarium.
What are the kinds of invertebrate?
The Importance of Natural History
Worth a re-posting... "While standing in line for a job interview during WWII, she overheard that men standing in the next line were going to get paid much more than those in her line. She then switched lines and became a spot welder, rather than a typist."
Former SI PhD students hit the big-time;-)
OK, these are not invertebrates but the invertebrate story is much more scary!
#ICYMI For some of us, everyday is jellyfish day. ;-)
And this is how passionate some of us are about documenting meiofauna!
Thanks Maikon Di Domenico and Ulf Jondelius for reminding of a wonderful shout-out for beach MEIOFAUNA by E.O. Wilson and Robert Krulwich. No offense to E.O. but there are not just 14 phyla in the sand; there are more than 20.