Our favored sites on algal and animal groups

Orcas Live: this site brings the sights and sounds of live orca whales living off the coast of Hanson Island, near Vancouver Island in Canada. Dr. Paul Spong established OrcaLab in 1970 and has spent more than 30 years researching the ecology of wild orcas. Since 2000 the live voices and images of orcas are broadcast via six hydrophones and five cameras (four underwater) in their natural habitat off Hanson Island.

WhaleNet: a wealth of information and links for experts and general public alike. Almost everything you could ever want to know about marine mammals.

The Monachus Guardian: all those concerned with the decline of the Monk Seal will be happy to consult on-line this excellent magazine dedicated to the latest news of the Mediterranean, Hawaian and Caribbean varieties.

Fish FAQ: a fun site, also very informative, set by the US Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole.

Coral reefs: ReefBase, a data store house is sponsored by the World Fish Center in Penang, Malaysia, teams with information on reef biodiversity and conservation. The growing site includes data on coral in more than 90 countries. You can read a brief description of each country's reefs and find out their conditions. Learn what steps countries are taking to preserve their reefs. Browse through a huge image gallery or peruse a bibliography featuring 13,000 articles and interactive map.

Jellyfish season?
Going to the beach and ready to confront the Jellyfish armada ? Some web sites will give you a good scientific start. You may start with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) world-famous for its jellyfish aquarium display. Pictures of the bay's midwater medusae. Then over to the British Marine Life Study Society's home page on Cnidaria, these radially symmetrical animals, with stinging capsules activated when chemically or mechanically stimulated. Cnidarian species appear as polyps (sea anemones) or medusa, and often a species goes through both forms in its life cycle. There is an in-depth look at Cnidaria at the Tree of Life. For practical tips, in case of close encounters, the Jellyfish Sting Newsletters may be helpful. Finally, live from the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the JellyCam will show you moon jellies in action … except during the night when the lights are turned off!

Fauna of the Mediterranean Hydrozoa is the first comprehensive and most recent online book covering all the Med Hydrozoa including: hydroids, hydromedusae and siphonophores. You can download it for free. The book offers a general introduction to Hydrozoa, keys for identification, diagnosis and illustrations for all presently known Mediterranean hydrozoan species. This new volume, mainly focused on the Mediterranean Basin, represents a useful and important tool for all marine researchers interested in biodiversity — click here.

Interested in corals? Then click on a new Internet-based library for the Millennium Coral Reef project, where you can see a collection of about 1,500 coral reef images, created in partnership with NASA, international agencies, and universities to provide natural resource managers with a comprehensive world data resource on coral reefs and adjacent land areas. The aim is to document the total area and locations of coral reefs worldwide, by using remote sensing, so as to monitor change and create global reef maps for future research. Final maps are due for release in early 2005.

About Sea-urchins: if you have a sea urchin-style gap in your general knowledge, then this is your site. The author, Dr Andrew Smith from the Natural History Museum in London, takes you through the biology of this prickly branch of the phylum Echinodermata, detailing all major aspects of their evolutionary history, anatomy, diet, reproduction and more. If you want to know about pedicellariae then head straight for the defense section, where you will see that spines are not the only way these amazing animals protect themselves. There is also an illustrated key to help you identify any echinoid specimen you may find.

Cephalopods: looking for a user-friendly database of everything you ever wanted to know about Cephalopods ? you are just one click away to CephBase - it provides taxonomic data, life history, distribution, images, videos, references and scientific contact information on all living species of cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus) in an easy-to-browse site. The data base covers 18 FAO statistical areas, 64 large marine ecosystems and the exclusive economic zones of about 200 maritime countries and territories. There are links to a large bibliography (including approx 700 papers which can be downloaded), 144 video clips, FAQ's and 1500 color images on cephalopods.

Man and Molluscs: here you will find about as much info on sea snails, slugs, squids and their kin as it is possible to pack into a web site. Follow the 'Articles link' and read about the 'age-old and fascinating relationship' between human and molluscs, which includes everything from eating them and making jewelry, to manufacturing cocaine, and feeding chickens. Molluscan biology is covered at great length, from beginners to in-depth versions. Then check out 'mollusc of the moment' page with pictures and info on particular mollusc species, or the page on edible molluscs ... to help you safely harvest the "safe" species (timing is essential) and prepare them so that they do not end up tasting like an old rubber inner tube ...

Mediterranean sea slugs: pictures, plus taxonomic info, on the beautiful nudibranchs.

Coralline algae: a closer look at the most abundant (and largely ignored) marine algae of the world.

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Invasive species rank as one of the major threats to the world oceans. You are already familiar with our own CIESM Atlases of exotic species, which you can consult on our webpages; here are some additional websites which you will find of interest: Global Ballast news and management program (GloBallast) aims to assist developing countries in reducing the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships' ballast water. For much valuable information on the IMO guidelines, access to the downloadable "Ballast Water Newsletter" and monographs ... just click here.
The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) is a part of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of IUCN, the World Conservation Union. This specialist group currently comprises 146 scientific and policy experts on invasive species from 41 countries. Its activities focus primarily on invasive species that cause biodiversity loss, with particular attention to those species that threaten oceanic islands. Take a look at their global invasive species database.
For a broader search of invasive species then try the 'new invasive species portal'. Here you will find more related links, and discussion boards and forums where you can share your experiences and ideas on the various themes. The information which you contribute will be synthesized and made available to the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Plankton Net: for an incursion into the microscopic world.

Calls of the sea: howls, screams, whistles, and chirps haunt the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioacoustics and Environmental Research (CIBRA), based at the University of Padova, Italy, where experts piece together links between animal sounds and behavior. Their web site brings together information on the hardware and software used to study bioacoustics: colorful spectrograms and visual analyses of a sound's composition are provided. CIBRA's research focus is on underwater marine animals-the center has a contract with the Italian Navy to use its instruments and ships for study purposes-so it is no surprise that its finest pages detail work in this field. The main goal of the site is to provide information on the challenges of studying bioacoustics in marine animals, which are both difficult to observe and to hear. Although many animals migration and mating patterns still puzzle scientists, their calls - be it beluga or dolphin - come to life.

Underwater world
Deep sea environments
Our favored sites on algal and animal groups
Satellite images
Catastrophic events
Marine conservation
Data and monitoring centers