The “Head Foot” Sea Monsters that Ruled Before the Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs are indisputably amazing —their gigantic size, their predatory bent, their mysterious mass extinction. But would you believe that a completely different group of voracious monsters dominated our planet two hundred million years before the first dinosaur evolved? They were cephalopods, the ancestors of today’s squid and octopus.

 

Ocean Acidification

We’ve all heard that coral reefs are under threat from climate change. We’ve seen the devastating photos of coral bleaching: rising ocean temperatures cause these catastrophic events. As if a warming ocean wasn’t enough, the corals are facing another hazard. Over the last 200 years, humans have released about two trillion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; about of a quarter of that has entered the ocean. All this carbon dioxide is slowly making the ocean more acidic – called ocean acidification.

Hidden life of larvae and why it matters

There’s a whole universe of life in the ocean we can’t see – thousands of tiny animals make up the zooplankton. Animals we commonly see in tidepools, and sometimes on our plates, begin their lives drifting in plankton. Planktonic larval stage in life gives species a way to disperse. The larvae develop while adrift at sea, often going through many stages before reaching adult body form.