Pic ‘o the week – colors of Antarctica

Photographer Tony Beck snapped this stunning photo during a tour of the Antarctic Peninsula in January 2010 with Worldwide Quest and One Ocean Expeditions. In his words:

“These ‘iceberg alleys’ often reveal endless shapes, forms, lines and patterns of ice. Among them, we often see many shades of blue. We also find wildlife like whales, seals, penguins, and in this particular case, a South Polar Skua, perched on top of the berg.  The experience of sailing through these alleys can be exciting, inspiring, humbling and adventurous.”

Read more about ice color at SEED Science and here. Read more about Antarctic and arctic ice here. Check out marine biologist James McClintock’s new book, Antarctic Bound: Adventures in a Disappearing Land.

Pic o’ the week – elephant seal enlisted in research

He or she didn’t have a choice, but helped the cause of ocean research anyway.

As Debra Black reports in The Star, this is one of many sea creatures enlisted in the cause of researching our oceans. To find out what really is going on down there — or, in the case of this elephant seal, what the topography of the ocean is really like — some researchers have found ways to get research straight from the animal.

This seal was one of 57 that marine biologist Daniel Costa fitted with the sensors. As Black reports:

“The data of where the seals were going and how far they were diving were recorded every few seconds and sent back by satellite. While doing this, his seals also came up with a plethora of data on the depth of the waters surrounding the Antarctic. That data was able to help {scientists} put together a “much better map” detailing the depth of the ocean floor, thanks to the seals.”

And if it looks like something you wouldn’t want stuck to your head for long, you can rest easy knowing that this device fall off when the seal moults.

Photo by Daniel Costa