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Ocean Watch

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Plover study and tracking in Alaska a pure delight

When I told kolea researcher Wally Johnson that I wished I could spend my summer solstice birthday in Alaska, he invited me to join his plover study team. Read More

Flatworms and sea sapphires add sparkle to coral reefs

As much as I loved swimming with millions of lovely, pulsing salps last week, their gelatinous bodies obscured the hard and soft corals below. Read More

Swimming with salps a pleasant experience

This week I swam with several million of the weirdest and most captivating animals off Orpheus Island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Read More

Hands-on exploration is best way to learn

I’ve just flown to Townsville, Australia, where we now keep our sailboat, Honu. Read More

Brittle stars can regrow missing limbs if attacked

Finding several brittle stars while snorkeling this week reminded me of an invertebrate zoology class I took long ago at University of Hawaii at Manoa. Read More
 

Volunteers bring aloha to students in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the last places you would expect to hear hundreds of schoolchildren shouting, “Aloha!” but it’s happening in a town called Di­najpur. Read More

UH study offers clue about groups of honu

Last year several readers who live along Kaneohe Bay wrote that large green sea turtles were hanging out at the shoreline of their waterfront homes. Read More
 

Kolea ready for spring migration to Alaska

Plover admirers, this is the week to wish your neighborhood kolea safe travels. Read More

World’s second-largest snail can be found in Hawaii

Trumpet snails are one of the crown-of-thorns starfish’s few predators. Read More

Samoan crab resembling sea monster is protected

Samoan crabs are so popular here that the state protects the population by law. Read More

Moray eel gives chase to fleeing Ambon toby

It’s a fish-eat-fish world out on the reef, so seeing one species chase another isn’t usually a sight that has my heart pounding as I fumble for my camera. But this time the predator was scary and the prey poisonous. Read More

Urchins can use seaweed hat to feed themselves

Opal seaweed is native to the warm Indian, Pacific and western Atlantic oceans, growing from tide pools to waters 150 feet deep. It’s also native to Hawaii, meaning it got here without a lift from human hands or hulls, drifting hundreds or even thousands of miles to our islands. Read More

Nudibranchs are among the prettiest ocean critters

Nudibranchs are snails without shells. The common name of these animals is sea slugs. Read More

Stone money and gobies in Palau and Yap

With about 2,000 species, gobies form the largest fish family in the world. Read More

Yap’s unique stone money acts as hard currency

Besides meeting some of the friendliest people on the planet here, it’s the only place where money is as big as manta rays. Read More
 

Soft Coral Arch revives childhood memories

Rather than a hard skeleton, these soft coral types have inside their liquid stalks tiny calcium carbonate sticks and stones that help them stand up. Read More

Coral reefs in Palau are national treasures

Palau’s corals are getting attention for their ability to thrive in warm, acidic water, factors that are killing corals in other parts of the world. Read More

Breathing gets bubbly while crabs are on land

Crabs that spend part of their lives in the water, and part out, can blow bubbles. This foaming-at-the-mouth might look like the crab is in distress, and sometimes it is, but in healthy crabs, mouth bubbling comes from the crab breathing air instead of water. Read More

Clinger crabs are members of wind drift community

Clinger crabs are about the size of a quarter and come in shades of blue or brown, depending on which object they’ve chosen to call home. Read More

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