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Jellies in the Jungle

I often try to imagine the open ocean world of the jellies, a place where the physical barriers are completely different than on land. Like floating in space, life in the ocean is a three-dimensional and any direction can be navigated with ease. Being free from the constraints of a surface means you aren’t required …

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And the Award Goes To…

No jellyfish took home any accolades from the Academy of Motion Pictures last week (though a movie feature of Spineless would no doubt rock the box offices.) Nonetheless, recently a couple species of jellies have been officially bestowed some sweet superlatives. Last month, Craig McLean, a scientist at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, North Carolina ended …

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Philosophy and Jellyfish

Jellyfish have a subtle way of pushing your mind to the philosophical. Maybe it’s because they are hard to understand and lack of understanding easily morphs into abstraction. One night this month, Keith was out at an evening meeting, so I threw food on the dinner table, mac and cheese, olives (my kids love olives), grapes–stuff …

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Who’s Been Naughty?

Last week, the mauve stinger, Pelagia noctiluca, which has terrorized beaches in the Mediterranean for years, swarmed into a salmon farm, Loch Duart, off the Scottish coast. The berry-sized jellies slipped through the nets that hold the salmon and lodged themselves in the gills of the fish. Loch Duart is located on one of the oldest aquaculture …

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Suez Backstory

A story that forewarns of ecosystem demise begins, for me, with two deaths. On October 17, the effervescent Heather Kahout lost her three-year battle with cancer. Heather and her husband Martin took a chance on me when I was really just a textbook writer and offered me a writing residency at Madroño …

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Playing Lotto in the Sea

When I was in grad school, my advisor took a sabbatical and then a few leaves of absence to work at the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, or FAO, in Rome. I visited often and I fell in love with the country, it’s food, and energy, and left a small piece of my …

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It’s All About That Base

No, not the bass that Meghan Trainor’s been singing about so infectiously all summer. It’s all about the base of the animal tree of life. This month’s science news is full of stories from the deep past, which means we know a bit more about the murky ancient world of jellies. A group of researchers from …

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Jellyfish Spawn

Years ago I visited the Aeolian Islands, the tiny chain that looks like dirt flinging off the the Italian boot after it’s just kicked Sicily.  I remember blue seas, incredible calimari, stony beaches, and being simultaneously terrified and thrilled to see ash tossed from an active volcano on the island of Stromboli. This week footage from the seas …

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