western atlantic


The Caribbean Reef shark looks like a Galapagos shark or a Grey Reef shark, but it’s only found in the Caribbean or the Tropical Western Atlantic. It reaches over 10 ft long and 150 pounds. It’s an imposing shark, but it’s also the most popular shark in the world for shark diving operations. In spite of this, it’s one of the least studied sharks in the Requiem shark family! Caribbean Reef sharks are well behaved in large groups, they aren’t biting each other, having a feeding frenzy, and they certainly aren’t looking at the divers as food. Divers have described these sharks as “rowdy puppies.”


“Chocolate Chip Sea Cucumber” (Isostrichopus badionotus)

Also known as the Cookie Dough Sea Cucumber, the chocolate chip sea cucumber is a species of Stichopodid sea cucumber which is commonly encountered throughout the western Atlantic Ocean, occurring from North Carolina to the Caribbean and south to Brazil, individuals also occur in western-central Africa. Chocolate chip sea cucumbers typically occur in shallow waters with a wide variety of substrates (sand, mud, rock, etc..). Like most sea cucumbers, I. badionotus is a detritivore combing the sea floor for any detritus it encounters. 


Animalia-Echinodermata-Holothuroideaia-Aspidochrotida-Stichopodidae-Isostichopus-I. badionotus

Images: Hans Hillewaert and Iaszlo-photo


Pangaea Ultima is a possible future supercontinent configuration. Consistent with the supercontinent cycle, Pangaea Ultima could occur within the next 250 million years.

Supercontinents describe the merger of all, or nearly all, of the Earth’s landmass into a single contiguous continent. In the Pangaea Ultima scenario, subduction at the western Atlantic, east of the Americas, leads to the subduction of the Atlantic mid-ocean ridge followed by subduction destroying the Atlantic and Indian basin, causing the Atlantic and Indian Oceans to close, bringing the Americas back together with Africa and Europe. As with most supercontinents, the interior of Pangaea Proxima would probably become a semi-arid desert prone to extreme temperatures. [x][x][x]

(more at @annotated-hetalia)

Mermaids are known as ningyo in Japanese, but they are very different from the mermaids of Western tradition. Ningyo more closely resemble fish than humans, with a varying level of human-like features, ranging from just an ugly, deformed fish-like face, to an entire human torso with long, bony fingers and sharp claws. They can range in size from the size of a human child to the size of a large seal. Unlike the mermaids of the Atlantic and Mediterranean legends, ningyo from the Pacific and the Sea of Japan are hideous to behold, resembling more of an otherworldly nightmare than a seductive siren.

Mermaids resembling the breeds known throughout the West – with an attractive human torso and a piscine lower body – are not unheard of in the Japanese islands. Particularly since the end of the Edo period and the opening of Japan to the West, more and more Western-style Atlantic mermaids have been seen in Japanese waters. However, the most common Japanese mermaid is more beast than beauty.

Ningyo sightings go back to the earliest written histories of Japan. The first recorded mermaid sightings in Japan are found in the Nihon Shoki, one of the oldest books of classical Japanese history, dating back to 619 CE. The flesh of a ningyo is believed to grant eternal life and youth to those who eat it, and thus it is the subject of many folk tales. However, it carries with it a danger that most people are not willing to risk. Ningyo can place a powerful curse on humans who try to wound or capture them, and some legends tell of entire towns that were swallowed by earthquakes or tidal waves after a foolish fisherman brought home a ningyo in one of his catches. While their grotesque appearance and supernatural powers make them an intriguing subject, they are best avoided at all costs.

The Racism of Mass Incarceration, Visualized
Coming soon: The Atlantic's October cover story on the effects of the disproportionate imprisonment of black men.
By Jackie Lay, Bruce Western, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, and Ta-Nehisi Coates

In this animated interview, the sociologist Bruce Western explains the current inevitability of prison for certain demographics of young black men and how it’s become a normal life event. 

“We’ve chosen the response of the deprivation of liberty for a historically aggrieved group, whose liberty in the United States was never firmly established to begin with,” Western says. 

In The Atlantic’s upcoming October cover story, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the impact of mass incarceration on the black family. You can read the full story on September 15, 2015.


Today is ‪National Oyster Day‬!
Pictured is an illustration of an akoya pearl oyster, which is widespread throughout the tropical and subtropical shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific and western Atlantic regions. An oyster combats parasites or irritants that have penetrated its mantle by coating them with mother-of-pearl, which occasionallly results in the formation of a pearl!

Learn more about oysters and pearls.

Image: Pinctada imbricata (Akoya pearl oyster); Filippo Buonanni, Ricreatione dell’occhio e della mente nell’ Osseruation’ delle Chiocciole … , 1681.


A Conservation Success Story:  The Grey Seal

Also known as the Atlantic seal and the horsehead seal, the grey seal is found in the Western North Atlantic, the British Isles, and the Baltic Sea.  In the United States, its population was nearly wiped out due to hunting for its oil, meat, and skin.  Since 1972 in the United States, and 1970 in the United Kingdom (except for Northern Ireland), seal hunting has been banned.  Since then, the population in the United States has rebounded thanks to migration of seals from the coast of Canada.

Hunting grey seals is currently practiced in eight countries: Canada, where most of the world’s seal hunting takes place, Namibia, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Finland, and Sweden.  All of these countries have quotas, except for Russia.  Canada’s quota is unfortunately very high, and highly criticized.

Images:  1 & 2,  3

  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii

The Blue Parrotfish is found in the shallow waters of the western Atlantic ocean and Caribbean sea. They are the only species of parrotfish that are this uniformly blue and only exhibit one yellow spot on their heads which fade as they age. The parrotfish exhibit a beak-like structure similar to other parrotfish. They use this to scrape off algae and other small organisms from rocks. 

“Batwing Coral Crab” (Carpilius corallinus)

…a species of Carpiliid crab which is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, ranging from the coast of Florida south to Brazil. Including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. C. corallinus is noted for being one of the larger species of crab occurring in its range and is often taken for food. Batwing coral crabs typically inhabit coral reefs and rocky areas in shallow water. They are active at night, emerging to feed on a variety of items. 


Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Brachyura-Carpiliidae-Carpilius-C. corallinus

Image: Jaro Nemcok


Successful symbiosis - Carijoa octocoral #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
Via Flickr:
The orange stem of carijoa is actually a coating of encrusting sponge which lives in a symbiotic relationship with the coral. It is thought that the toxic sponge protects the coral’s stem from predators, and in return the coral provides a home for the sponge. This is a very successful relationship - if this is C. riisei, it is endemic to the western Atlantic and has spread throughout the Atlantic and Pacific as an invasive species. Bare Island

anonymous asked:

I don't understand how teams are chosen for playoffs ;-; How does this whole process work? Thanks :)


  • 30 hockey teams total
  • 2 conferences: Western (14 teams) and Eastern (16 teams)
  • 4 divisions: Pacific & Central (Western) and Atlantic & Metropolitan (Eastern)


  • 16 teams make the playoffs by the end of the 82-game season
  • Team ranking is based off of total points accumulated from games
  • 2 points for any WIN, 1 point for OT/SO LOSS, 0 points for LOSS
  • Top 3 teams in each 4 divisions go to playoffs (3 x 4 = 12 teams)
  • 2 wildcard spots per conference for next 2 best teams (12 + 2 + 2 = 16 teams)

PLAYOFF RANKINGS PER CONFERENCE (if the playoffs started today, look at the image below for reference)

  • 1st place team in the conference plays wildcard spot #2
    • Washington (100 pts) vs. Detroit (75 pts)
  • 1st place team in the other division plays wildcard spot #1
    • Tampa Bay (82 pts) vs. Pittsburgh (76 pts)
  • 2nd & 3rd place teams in the divisions play each other
    • Florida (80 pts) vs. Boston (79 pts)
    • NYR (82 pts) vs. NYI (79 pts)
  • (and then same thing happens with the Western conference)

Longspine Star Shell (Lithopoma phoebium)

…a striking species of  star shaped “Turban Snail” (Turbinidae) that is widely distributed in the tropical Western Atlantic. Occurring throughout the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, south to Venezuela. Longspine star shells typically occur in shallow water in the intertidal zone but are known from depths up to 91 meters. 


Animalia-Mollusca-Gastropoda-Vetigastropoda-Trochoidea-Turbinidae-Lithopoma-L. phoebium

Image: Jan Delsing


Lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris)

The lemon shark is a stocky and powerful shark. A member of the family Carcharhinidae, lemon sharks can grow to 3.0 m in length. They are often found in shallow subtropical waters and are known to inhabit and return to specific nursery sites for breeding. Lemon sharks are found from New Jersey to southern Brazil in the tropical western Atlantic Ocean. They also live off the coast of west Africa in the southeastern Atlantic. Often feeding at night, these sharks use electroreceptors to find their main source of prey, fish. Lemon sharks use the many benefits of group living such as enhanced communication, courtship, predatory behavior, and protection. It is considered Near Threatened by the IUCN red list. Lemon sharks are not thought to be a large threat to humans.

photo credits: wiki, wiki, wiki

Atlantic Deep-sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus)

Sometimes known as the “giant scallop”, P. magellanicus is a species of scallop (Pectinidae) which is native to the western Atlantic, where it occurs from the Gulf of St. Lawrence south to Cape Hatteras. Like most bivalves, Placopecten magellanicus is a suspension feeder, filtering the water around it for nutrients. However, like other scallops P. magellanicus possesses the ability to freely swim for short distances by moving water through its valves quickly. 


Animalia-Mollusca-Bivalvia-Pteriomorphia-Ostreoida-Pectinina-Pectinoidea-Pectinidae-Placopecten-P. magellanicus

Image: Dann Blackwood

Rock Beauty (Holacanthus tricolor)

Also known as the Coshubba, Yellow Nanny, or, Corn Sugar, the rock beauty is a species of Marine Angelfish (Pomacanthidae) that inhabits reefs from the tropical western Atlantic Ocean to the northern Gulf of Mexico. Rock beauties can be found from depths between 3 and 92 meters. Rock beauties feed primarily on sponges, but are known to feed on tunicates, jellyfish, corals, plankton, and algae as well. 


Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Percifomres-Pomacanthidae-Holacanthus-H. tricolor

Image: Laszlo Ilyes