No, these aren’t light vomiting fish, though you would be forgiven for thinking so because that’s exactly what it looks like. What you’re seeing is the defense mechanism of a tiny crustacean called an ostracod, a shrimp-like organism about 1mm in size that some fish accidentally eat while hunting for plankton. When eaten by a translucent cardinalfish, the ostracod immediately releases a bioluminescent chemical in an attempt to illuminate the fish from the inside, making it immediately identifiable to predators. WHAT. Not wanting to be eaten, the cardinalfish immediately spits out the ostracod, resulting in little underwater fish fireworks. What an incredible game of evolutionary cat and mouse. The clip above is from a new show on BBC Two called Super Senses. If you’re in the UK you can watch it online in HD for a few more days. (via For Science Sake)
Designed by Yonder Biology (“The DNA Art Company”), the Dino Pet is a dinosaur-shaped habitat for a species of bioluminescent marine algae that photosynthesizes during the day and glows at night. “Dino” is actually a sort of a play on words, as the actual organisms contained inside the toy model are called Dinoflagellata and are known for their ability to glow when physically agitated (ie. shaken). The pet lives for 1-3 months and can potentially live indefinitely if the algae is supplied with the proper food. The Dino Pet is currently funding on Kickstarter, get your own for a pledge of $40. (via PSFK)
For the past year LA-based photographer Mark Laita has been traveling to various locations around the U.S. and Central America photographing some of the world’s most deadliest snakes, a series entitled Serpentine. Of the project he says:
The sensual attractiveness of snakes, which coexists with their threatening, unpredictable and mysterious nature is truly unique. This dichotomy, in which their beauty seems to be heightened by their danger, and vice-versa, is what I find so fascinating. Add to these contradictions the rich symbolism of serpents and you have a wonderfully compelling subject.
Laita works with collectors, breeders, zoos, and even anti-venom labs who let him photograph their snake collections. But as you can imagine snake handling can be dangerous work. Just last week on a photo shoot in Costa Rica, he tangoed with a Black Mambo (last photo), the longest venomous snake in Africa that can grow up to 14 feet long. So what kind of risk did you take at work today?
See also his beautiful if somewhat heartbreaking catalog of ornithological specimens entitled Amaranthine, and some exquisite images of sea life. All images courtesy the artist. (via feature shoot)
British architect and meteorologist Marin Sawa builds sculptures out of farmed algae and assorted chemistry equipment.
Algaerium is textile-inspired design for ‘cultivating’ and producing green energy in style. It creates a domesticated mode of algaculture for our urban lifestyles in the space of interior to exterior. This means it acts as aquariums for algae and the ‘living’ design serves as a new type of plants designed with a new characteristic to visualize photosynthesis through colour change.