A hammerhead shark's baleful stare. A longnose batfish's fierce armor and delicate fins. These masterpieces of expression and scientific detail fill the pages of the world's first ichthyology book, De Historia Piscium, published in 1686 by the Royal Society.
This week, after decades of legal delays and foot dragging by the coal and power industry, the EPA unveiled a new rule protecting public health from mercury and other toxins.
Nothing excites whale researchers and whale fanatics more than seeing a new calf born into the pod. However, researchers have learned that calf survival rates are incredibly low, especially for the orca’s first born. The mother’s young calf often dies because of something the mother passes on to her offspring—PCBs.
It’s back to school—for students, and for Pacific sardines. Pacific sardines, Sardinops sagax, were once wildly abundant along the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington. From the 1920s to through the 1940s, they supported the largest fishery in the United States—millions were caught in and around Monterey Bay. (In fact, the Monterey Bay Aquarium was once a sardine canning factory.) Though the Pacific sardine population crashed in the mid-1940s, it’s on the rise again.
Post on Sep 13, 2010 by Jennifer Skene
The volume of oil recently spilled in the Gulf of Mexico is several thousand times what was spilled in San Francisco Bay in 2007, but the ecological studies conducted in the wake of the SF spill give us an idea of what we can expect in the Gulf.
Post on Aug 02, 2010 by Jennifer Skene
Argentine ants have had amazing success as an invasive species in the US. Their West Coast super colony numbers in the billions and spans from Mexico to Oregon. But aside from invading homes, they've had a dramatic effect on native ants and local ecosystems.
Post on Jul 09, 2010 by Lauren Sommer
Wetlands — they are possibly the most diverse ecosystems on the plant, according to environmental scientists.
Post on Apr 18, 2010 by Roberto Daza
Scientists used evolutionary theory to figure out where to find the bones of this fishibian. Lately I have been reading Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. And so far it is a fascinating read. What is so great about this book for a scientist is that it gives the big picture on evolution. This sort [...]
Post on Mar 02, 2009 by Dr. Barry Starr
November is the month when thousands of migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway make their stop in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's also the month when herring arrive in the Bay in gigantic schools – tons and tons of the tiny fish. And November's the month last year when the Cosco Busan crashed, leaking 53,000 gallons of black goo into San Francisco Bay.
Post on Oct 31, 2008 by David Gorn
Fish live in the below-freezing waters off Antarctica. How these beasts have adapted to their incredibly harsh environment? More specifically, what changes have happened in their DNA that allow them to live where no other animal could?
Post on Oct 27, 2008 by Dr. Barry Starr
Modeled after the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s popular Seafood Watch Pocket Guide, the new sustainable sushi guide helps consumers make informed choices by categorizing seafood into three areas: Green (or best choice), Yellow (or good alternative) and Red (what to avoid). Just what kind of sushi you should avoid may surprise you.
Post on Oct 24, 2008 by Andrea Kissack
Through the eyes of these scientists, we witness the undersea life in bloom. They clearly have one of the best offices to go to work to each day.
Post on Oct 21, 2008 by Chris Bauer
Talk about a wild ride. Every year, millions of fish make a strange and harrowing detour through the Skinner Fish Facility, part of the State Water Project's facilities in the Delta. In my last post, I wrote about my visit to the Banks Pumping Plant, whose giant pumps slurp water from the Delta to help [...]
Post on Jul 07, 2008 by Ann Dickinson
Last week on QUEST, we took a look at the history of the San Francisco Bay's most dangerous toxin: mercury. This week, now that the mercury is here in the bay, how is it affecting us? The obvious place to go was the Berkeley Marina, one of the bay's most popular fishing spots. On the [...]
Post on Apr 25, 2008 by Amy Standen