Saturday, February 2, 2013
Manatees Hugh and Buffett at the Mote Marine Aquarium chose the Baltimore Ravens to win the big game on Sunday.
Everybody has a Super Bowl prediction, and if we have learned anything, it's best to leave up these important decisions to wildlife. Mote Marine's manatees Hugh and Buffett have been in the prediction business for awhile, and the duo have quite the record recently. Buffett has selected the winning team for five years straight. Hugh predicted the winning team three of the last five years. Both probably have better records than some ESPN pundits. On Friday, both Buffett and Hugh selected the Baltimore Ravens over the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII (that's 47 for the Roman numeral impaired). The manatees were presented with the helmet logos of each team and they swam to the logo of their choice. "They seem to have some 'sense' …
Thursday, January 10, 2013
A Mote Marine Laboratory study of the cleaning agent Corexit 9500 showed that the cleaning agent in BP oil spill disaster also caused great harm to coral.
A new report from Mote Marine Laboratory released Wednesday shows that cleanup efforts from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster could be causing a real threat to fragile coral reefs. The study focused on studying coral larvae and how a dispersant designed to cling to oil slicks and diffuse them, preventing them from reaching shores could actually be just as toxic as the oil. The findings are published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE. The 2010 BP disaster spilled more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and responders used these dispersants, one called Corexit 9500, to prevent the oil from reaching beaches. "Overall, these findings indicate that exposure of coral larvae to the dispersant Corexit 9500 is toxic …
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Check out the marine mammals between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Feeding time is especially busy.
Mote Marine Lab has set up a live webcam so locals can keep track of the sea lions. "Sea lions Stella, Rose and Kitty are now just a click away. Watch them live via a new Web cam featuring Sea Lions: On The Water’s Edge, a special limited-time exhibit in The Aquarium at Mote Marine Laboratory. Be sure to visit the webcam at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to watch the sea lions take part in daily narrated presentations. "After you enjoy a preview of the action, come see the sea lions up close in The Aquarium at Mote, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including all holidays, at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota. "Sea Lions: On The Water’s Edge, which runs through April 28, allows visitors to get close to Patagonian and …
Monday, October 8, 2012
Robot "Waldo" launched by Mote Marine Laboratory in Englewood monitoring red tide and its movements.
A yellow, torpedo-shaped robot named "Waldo" is on a journey to keep an eye on red tide bloom that has appeared near Englewood. Mote Marine Laboratory deployed the underwater robot, also called an autonomous underwater vehicle, was deployed Friday morning off the coast of Englewood detecting red tide algae, its shape, size and other information. Red tide algae can cause respiratory illnesses, nausea and other health issues. So far no red tide algae has been reported on Siesta, Turtle and Lido beaches. “Waldo has a critical job in the team effort to monitor and study this red tide bloom,” said Dr. Gary Kirkpatrick, manager of Mote’s Phytoplankton Ecology Program and creator of the BreveBuster, which helps collect information on the algae. “…
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Mote's Sea Turtle Program needs help in the form of donated supplies to mark, protect and document nests, after Tropical Storm Debby destroyed equipment.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Sea turtle nesting numbers broke a 31-year record in late July on beaches from Longboat Key through Venice, surpassing any annual count since 1991 — the first year of local nest monitoring by Mote Marine Laboratory. Mote is seeking donations of equipment and funding to meet the demands of this unusual year. (Click here for ways to help.) So far this year, 2,324 loggerhead sea turtle nests and three of the rarer green sea turtle nests have been documented by Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol — a group of scientists, interns and more than 300 volunteers who monitor 35 miles of local nesting beaches each day of nesting season, May 1-Oct. 31. Even though nesting season is still in progress, these counts have already exceeded the previous record of 1,…
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
"The sheer size of it was unbelievable," said Brennan Russell, one of two scuba divers who videotaped a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a 25 foot-long whale shark in the Gulf of Mexico.
What would you do if you came within feet of a 25-foot-long whale shark? Don't mess with it, but definitely shoot some video of it. It's no secret that tales of "the big fish that got away" are often met with skepticism. But two local scuba divers have the video to prove that their rare, once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a 25 foot-long whale shark was the real deal. "It was unbelievable," said Brennan Russell, a divemaster who works at Palm Harbor's Tanked Up Scuba Center. "The shark was just breathtaking. It was so big, it was hard to comprehend. The sheer size of it was unbelievable." Help Track Whale Sharks Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium are asking boaters for help in tracking rare whale sharks, with one recently spotted…
Friday, June 8, 2012
The young bottlenose dolphin is suffering from pneumonia and being treated at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.
Rescuers are working to stabilize a bottlenose dolphin that stranded on Long Boat Key Wednesday, after it was found near death on a beach. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is asking for the public's help today with donations for the expensive round-the-clock care. The dolphin is being treated for pneumonia.The public can help care for dolphin by donating now at www.mote.org/hospitalhelp Rescuers believe the mammal veered off course because of the high winds and rough seas this week. While the dolphin has survived its first 24 hours in the hospital, it remains in critical condition. The bottlenose dolphin is a female, and estimated to be about 3 years old. She appears to be underweight, at about 170 pounds and 6 feet in length. She was …
Friday, May 25, 2012
The gentle giants do not pose a threat, but scientists hope to track their movements in Gulf waters.
Marine scientists at Mote Center in Sarasota are asking area boaters for help in tracking a rare whale shark spotted along Florida’s coast on May 19. Whale sharks — the largest fish species on Earth — were reported by a boater last weekend, about 50 miles offshore of Johns Pass in Pinellas County. Scientists believe the gentle filter-feeding fish, which are occasionally in Florida waters, may have been feeding on plankton blooms or fish eggs. Mote scientists are collecting reports of whale shark sightings to look for possible patterns to their movements in our waters, accoding to a press release. Scientists are asking boaters who believe they may have seen the giant whale sharks to call Mote’s Center for Shark Research at 941-388-1827. …
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
With the vigor of a CEO, Eugene Beckstein, 78, spends much of his retirement helping non-profits raise their bottom lines.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS
- Toni Whitt
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
When Eugene Beckstein sold his small business, he figured he'd finally have time to play all the golf he wanted. The Sarasota resident had started the game as a young man and then business, travel, children and family all took him away from the game. Once he retired Beckstein realized that while he had plenty of time to golf, it just wasn't enough. So he began volunteering. And it didn't take long for him to generate demand for his services. Non-profits loved his energy, ideas, connections and his ability to raise money. So much for golf. A Career Volunteer Gene Beckstein and his wife, Annabelle, founded the eye surgical equipment company Visitec in 1978 and ran the company locally until they sold it in 1997. Beckstein stayed on as a …
Friday, January 20, 2012
Mote Marine Lab’s genetic sampling might provide some insight.
It’s often suggested the manatee was the basis for sailors’ tales of alluring mermaids. But from a human perspective, manatee mating habits are not alluring at all. One female may be followed by as many as 30 males, according to Mote Marine Laboratory Senior Biologist Sheri Barton. “It is a type of mating strategy that some animals have, a scramble of competition,” she said. “And it’s one of the mysteries that nobody really knows about manatees. Which male is the successful sire?” By taking DNA samples from manatees, it might be possible some day to determine paternity of manatee offspring. Mote researchers use a home-made tool to scrape the animal’s skin. The samples are then sent to Hood College in Maryland for analysis. The results are …