Press Release


Researchers solve mystery of deep-sea fish with tubular eyes and transparent head

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute recently solved the half-century-old mystery of a fish with tubular eyes and a transparent head. Ever since the "barreleye" fish Macropinna microstoma was first described in 1939, marine biologists have known that it's tubular eyes are very good at collecting light.



Octopus mating games

Many animals (including humans) spend a great deal of time selecting and fighting to keep their mates. Octopuses, which tend to be loners, have never been shown to engage in such complicated reproductive strategies. However, a new research paper by MBARI postdoctoral fellow Christine Huffard shows that at least one type of octopus (and probably others) do engage in elaborate "mating games."



Humboldt squid on the move

Over the last five years, large, predatory Humboldt squid have moved north from equatorial waters and invaded the sea off Central California, where they may be decimating populations of Pacific hake, an important commercial fish.



Antarctic icebergs: hotspots of ocean life

According to a new study in this week’s journal Science these floating islands of ice—some over 20 kilometers (12 miles) across—are having a major impact on the ecology and chemistry of the ocean around them.



A worm like no other

It sounds like a junior high school riddle—"What lives 3,000 feet below the ocean surface, is about the size of a marble, and looks like the back side of a pig?" MBARI biologist Karen Osborn and her colleagues recently came up with an answer to this riddle by combining modern DNA analysis with traditional methods of scientific observation.

Press Release


Discovery of the “Yeti crab”

An international team of scientists recently announced the discovery of a new species of blind deep-sea crab whose legs are covered with long, pale yellow hairs. This crab was first observed in March 2005 by marine biologists using the research submarine Alvin to explore hydrothermal vents along the Pacific-Antarctic ridge, south of Easter Island.



First observations of an egg-brooding squid

The world's oceans harbor a wide variety of squid, from 10-centimeter-long market squid to the elusive giant squid, which may grow to over 20 meters in length. Based on decades of observations, marine biologists assumed that all of these species of squids laid their eggs in clusters on the sea floor, where the eggs developed and hatched without any help from their parents.



Deep-sea jelly uses glowing red lures to catch fish

As successful fishermen know, if you want to catch fish, you have to use the right bait or lure. This is true even in the deep sea, where scientists recently discovered a new species of jelly that attracts fish by wiggling hundreds of glowing red lures.



“Sinkers” provide missing piece in deep-sea puzzle

After analyzing hundreds of hours of deep-sea video, Bruce Robison and his colleagues found that "sinkers"—the cast-off mucus nets of small midwater animals called larvaceans—are a significant source of food for deep-sea organisms.



Whale carcass yields bone-devouring worms

Scientists studying a whale carcass in Monterey Canyon recently announced the discovery of two new species of unique worms that feed on the bones of dead whales.



New “bumpy” jelly found in deep sea

Wart-like bumps of stinging cells cover the feeding arms and bell of a newly described deep-sea jelly. The description was published by MBARI biologists in this month’s issue of the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.



Big red jelly surprises scientists

In photographs, it looks like a big red spaceship cruising the ocean depths. But it’s actually a new species of jelly that was discovered and described by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. MBARI scientists published their research on this unusual animal in a recent online version of the journal Marine Biology.



From sardines to anchovies and back in 50 years—Local fisheries part of bigger cycle affecting entire Pacific Ocean

In the late 1930s, California's sardines supported the biggest fishery in the western hemisphere, with more than half a million tons of fish caught each year. By the mid-1950s, the sardines had virtually disappeared. Although fishing pressure may have played a part in this process, new research published in the current issue of Science indicates that the sardines' demise was part of a 50-year cycle that affects not just California, but the entire Pacific Ocean.



MBARI scientist uses genetics to study hydrothermal vent animals

Robert Vrijenhoek, an evolutionary geneticist at MBARI, has spent his career studying how an organism’s genes can shape its interactions with its surroundings, the evolution of its species as a whole, and—if the animal is endangered—its conservation. Thirteen years ago, he turned his attention to the exotic organisms that populate hydrothermal vents and cold seeps.



Underwater robot tested beneath the Arctic ice sheet

After four years of work and numerous test runs in the Monterey Bay, a team of MBARI engineers took the institute's first autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV, for a trial cruise in the Arctic Ocean last fall. The group spent a month aboard the Coast Guard icebreaker USCGC Healy, testing the AUV and its components under and along the Arctic ice sheet.



The geologic setting of the Gulf of California

The Gulf of California sits at the northernmost end of an immense underwater mountain range called the East Pacific Rise, which extends across the Southeastern Pacific Ocean almost to Antarctica.