Recent Articles

  • The Sequential Life of the California Sheephead

    The Sequential Life of the California Sheephead

    Many marine animals are hermaphrodites. Nudibranchs, for instance. It is thought that being able to mate with any same species creature encountered on the reef gives hermaphrodites a better chance of reproducing.  Many fish, gastropods and plants are sequential hermaphrodites. Instead of having both sexes mature in their bodies at the same time, they start life as one sex and …Read More »

  • Homecoming to California Diving

    Homecoming to California Diving

    I have just returned home from Orlando, Florida‚äîwhere I did not go to Disney World. However, I did attend the annual Diving Equipment Marketing Association (DEMA) trade show. This “wasn’t my first rodeo,” as a DEMA show attendee. I’ve been to this event thirty-some-odd times and it’s easy to fall into the “same show, different year” mindset.  But not this …Read More »

  • Tunicates: The Surprisingly Complex Sea Squirts

    Tunicates: The Surprisingly Complex Sea Squirts

    Of all the marine animals in the world, tunicates are vetebrates’ closest relatives and that includes the class Mammalia (us). Both tunicates and mammals are members of the phylum Chordata. Both have a notochord (a cartilaginous skeletal rod) when they are embryos. The notochord is lost as most tunicates grow older but it segments and turns into a backbone in …Read More »

  • A Committed Commuter: The California Gray Whale

    A Committed Commuter: The California Gray Whale

    It is early fall in the northern hemisphere as I write this. By now a significant number of California gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) have reached the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest on their southward journey from their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas to a series of coastal lagoons off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja peninsula …Read More »

  • Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition Deadline November 14

    Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition Deadline November 14

    This is your last chance to send in submissions to the 2013 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition sponsored by Underwater Photography Guide. The competition is open to underwater photographers of all experience levels. There are 12 categories in this contest: Cold/Temperate Water Compact Camera (three categories) Divers/Fashion Macro Marine Life Behavior  Marine Life Portraits Novice DSLR Nudibranchs  Super Macro Wide-angle Prizes valued …Read More »

  • California’s Undersea Flower Animals: The Stony Corals

    California’s Undersea Flower Animals: The Stony Corals

    It’s a fact stranger than fiction: there are underwater creatures commonly found in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast that are biologically classified as “flower animals.” The class is Anthozoa, formed from two Greek words, anthos, meaning “flower” and zoa, meaning “animals,” and it contains the stony corals. Anthozoa is a class within the photogenic phylum Cnidaria (the “C” …Read More »

  • Go Diving. Now.

    Go Diving. Now.

    Experienced California divers know that our diving changes with the seasons. In the winter we can experience squid “runs” and visits from California gray whales. In the spring numerous species including our iconic garibaldi strut their stuff in captivating courtship displays in an effort to win hearts and procreate. In summer the days grow longer and nutrient-rich waters fuel explosions …Read More »

  • Call for Entries in 2013 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition

    Underwater Photography Guide, a popular online resource for underwater photographers, is accepting entries for the 2013 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition. The competition is open to underwater photographers of all experiences levels and includes 12 categories: Cold/Temperate Water Compact Camera (three categories) Divers/Fashion Macro Marine Life Behavior  Marine Life Portraits Novice DSLR Nudibranchs  Super Macro Wide-angle Entries must be submitted …Read More »

  • Lobster Season to Open With New Regulations

    Lobster Season to Open With New Regulations

    California spiny lobster season begins September 28, 2013 and runs through March 19, 2014. New regulations set forth by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) change the duration of the spiny lobster report card to match that of lobster season and enact a non-return fee for report cards that are not returned by the deadline. The new seasonal …Read More »

  • On Moray Hunting

    I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute this guest editorial, especially since I’m writing to take issue with an article that appears in the August 2013 issue of California Diving News. I am writing to express my opposition to the Scuba Chef column “Grilled Eel with Spicy Thai Sauce.” I was stunned by the suggestion that divers should hunt …Read More »

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