Monday, October 20, 2014

National Seafood Month

Many of you know I LOVE October. I continually sing, "It's the most wonderful tiiiiime of the yeeeeear!" and I'm not talkin' about Christmas, y'all! Among all the reasons I love October (fall colors, Halloween, crab season openers), I just learned it's also National Seafood Month! Yes, not only should you be celebrating everything pumpkin, but also everything locally harvested from Alaskan waters! And to learn more about local seafood, you can read this Seafood 101 pamphlet. The link will bring you to the layout and you can zoom in to read the different articles. Who knows, it may even inspire your next Halloween costume:

"Bering Sea or bust!"

Happy National Seafood Month!

Friday, October 10, 2014

I'm getting published!

Hey there! I've been working on this for a little bit the last 6 years (grad school + coming to terms with publishing my Master's thesis while starting a 'real' job...) but it's finally almost here:

Relationship of molting, gonadosomatic index, and methyl farnesoate
in male snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) from the eastern Bering Sea

It's been accepted for publication in the Journal of Crustacean Biology and you can read the abstract from the advanced article here. To say I'm pretty pumped would be an understatement! I've had cod and pollock and humpback whales swimming through my brain so much lately that it's nice to get crabby once more! Not like this:

But more like this:

from here via here

Thanks, crabs, I couldn't have done it without you!

Friday, July 18, 2014

a little extra crab with this king

My friend was out on a crab survey this summer and spotted this guy:

Paralithodes camtschaticus

Nothing out of the ordinary, right? EXCEPT FOR THESE:


We've seen extra appendages before (here and here). They most often are a result of some trauma to that leg that the crab's physiology tries to heal through regeneration (remember, crabs can rebuild entire legs!) that goes awry. When my friend posted these photos, someone asked if they were mobile or able to move independently. While I wasn't there, allow me to speculate: these bonus crab bits are just that. Bonus. The crab can't control their movement (you can see that they don't have actual joints, just the impression) and if the leg gets dropped for whatever reason and is regenerated, it likely won't have those mutations the second time around. BUT it would be cool if they could move, because imagine how much more scary that would make this guy:

"I pinch, twice!" - mutant crab

Katie, please feel free to let me know if I'm wrong! (Fingers crossed!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

You're stressing us out, man!

Remember when we learned that crustaceans actually feel pain here? In short, scientists offered crabs two shelters: one normal and one that delivered a shock. After being exposed to the electric shelter, the crabs had a learned response to avoid that sensation (presumably pain) and only choose the normal shelter.

it's electric!

Well, stemming from that research, scientists are now learning that crustaceans may feel anxiety too! I mean, it's not too shocking (I know...) that electrocuting  an animal would stress it out, in our human understanding of the phrase, but scientists are observing behaviors that can be attributed to a stressed response. To test for anxiety in crustaceans, scientists exposed some crayfish to an electric field then put them in the test environment. The environment itself had no secret shocks, but rather had different light treatments: light places and dark places. All animals that weren't shocked before placement wandered around in both the light and dark environments, as if they hadn't a care in the world! All animals who were electrocuted prior to placement chose to stay in the dark places - in the wild this would be like them finding cover and hiding. They had experienced something that stressed them, so they were staying away from a threatening, exposed place!

"man, you cray!" - 'stressed' crayfish

This, along with some physiological work the researchers did as well, means that instead of calling them "stressed", I can take away the air quotes that indicate I'm just anthropomorphizing their behavior and call them stressed!

Not anymore, Dr. Evil. Not anymore.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Come with Crabster if you want to live!

A lot of times when I see advances in robotic technology I usually go into a panic about the impending robot apocalypse that's sure to follow. HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING!?!?!?!

"I want to dance on your bones!" - every robot, I assume

BUT, when I saw the Crabster CR200, my heart instantly melted!

The Crabster is a creation from the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology designed to, you guessed it, walk on the ocean floor! This little fellow can go where propeller-driven ROVs can't and doesn't kick up as much debris, so the video footage captured by its ELEVEN cameras can be clearer with our little crab-like friend. This link had two videos of the Crabster in action, so check it out!

It's like the large, potentially harmful, but still adorable version of these guys I bought my California nieces, so if Aunt Molly approves, so should you!

Monday, March 24, 2014

What am I doing here?

I mentioned last year that I was going to keep track of the keyword searches that bring people to Snow Crab Love,  because some of them were frankly strange. Here are the top 5 non-crab-related searches that brought people here and, I'm guessing, left them asking, "What am I doing here!?!?"

1. Tina Turner

2. Veggies and Dip in Bread

This one also makes sense: the internet LOVES carbs and I made a carb-tastic appetizer for a NOAA potluck that could easily be morphed into a crab-themed treat:

3. Flamingos

flamingos get their pink hue from eating brine shrimp!

4. Kivalina, Alaska

Remember when there was the secret of the (orange) ooze? It ended up not being of the crustacean persuasion, but the mystery was fun while it lasted (and who doesn't love a TMNT reference?)!

the "orange tide" ended up being spores

5. Dead Iguana Pictures

I seriously have no idea (a) why anyone would search that and (b) why that search word would bring people to my blog MULTIPLE times!

Other fun searches were "Captain Picard", "Baby Beagle Costumes", "If I only had a brain", and "Kelsey Grammar" (what?).

this dog! it gets me every time!

What brought you here?