Science Diary: Healthy Ocean- Squirting Squid

Ambience: Ocean

Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Marine conservationist Carl Safina is aboard a research vessel off the coast of Central America. Scientists are surveying the species found in this area in order to get a sense of the health of this ecosystem. Tonight Carl is dip netting with his fellow researcher Bob Pitman.

Carl Safina: “Every night between 8:00 and 9:00 we stop the ship and Bob Pitman and several other people stand at the rail with big dip nets and shine lights in the water and catch squid and flying fish and other things that come into the lights as part of a longer term study to try to see what’s here and how it may be changing over time. Although pretty much every night there are flying fish and squid, there are different flying fish and different squid depending on how far from the coast we are and how green or how blue the water is. And the squid are also annual animals. They live one year and die. Oh, and what’s that?”

Bob Pitman: “It’s a little squid. They propel themselves by pumping water, and when you take them out of the water, they pump air, and so, they make these little squirting sounds, and it always sounds like their sneezing when we catch them in the net.”

Carl Safina: “And that squid is changing colors rapidly. It’s blushing red and then turning almost clear and then turning almost black, although part of that black may be from the ink it just let out in your hand.”

Bob Pitman: “Yeah. They do a lot of signaling with their color, and we see them quite often in the water. They’ll go up and grab something, and then, they’ll flash almost like a strobe. They’ll go from white to this red and just kind of rapidly flash, so there’s a lot of signaling going on with these guys.”

You can check out Carl Safina’s blog on pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.
music

Science Diary: Healthy Ocean- Squirting Squid

Researchers doing some late night dip-netting find a harvest of flashing squid.
Air Date:04/20/2007
Scientist:
Transcript:

Ambience: Ocean

Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Marine conservationist Carl Safina is aboard a research vessel off the coast of Central America. Scientists are surveying the species found in this area in order to get a sense of the health of this ecosystem. Tonight Carl is dip netting with his fellow researcher Bob Pitman.

Carl Safina: "Every night between 8:00 and 9:00 we stop the ship and Bob Pitman and several other people stand at the rail with big dip nets and shine lights in the water and catch squid and flying fish and other things that come into the lights as part of a longer term study to try to see what's here and how it may be changing over time. Although pretty much every night there are flying fish and squid, there are different flying fish and different squid depending on how far from the coast we are and how green or how blue the water is. And the squid are also annual animals. They live one year and die. Oh, and what's that?"

Bob Pitman: "It's a little squid. They propel themselves by pumping water, and when you take them out of the water, they pump air, and so, they make these little squirting sounds, and it always sounds like their sneezing when we catch them in the net."

Carl Safina: "And that squid is changing colors rapidly. It's blushing red and then turning almost clear and then turning almost black, although part of that black may be from the ink it just let out in your hand."

Bob Pitman: "Yeah. They do a lot of signaling with their color, and we see them quite often in the water. They'll go up and grab something, and then, they'll flash almost like a strobe. They'll go from white to this red and just kind of rapidly flash, so there's a lot of signaling going on with these guys."

You can check out Carl Safina's blog on pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.
music