Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 19 Issue 02

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Volume 19, No. 2
Pages 10 - 13


RIPPLE MARKS • Disappearance of the Magical Golden Frog | Lethal Marine Snow | Bluer Than Blue | Smile, You're on VENUS Camera

By Cheryl Lyn Dybas  
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Disappearance of the Magical Golden Frog: The Disappearance of the Magical Golden Frog Bodes Ill for Panama's Stream Ecosystems

The woods are dark and deep here in the mountains of Panama. As night falls, tribal elders speak in hushed tones of a beautiful, miraculous frog that dwells in the green forest. According to legend, the golden frog is a secretive creature. The only chance of finding it is by determined searches along clear mountain streams and fog-shrouded slopes. But the reward for success is, as tropical biologist Jay Savage of San Diego State University has written, sublime: any man or woman, it's said, lucky enough to discover a golden frog will find true happiness.

Lethal Marine Snow: Pathogen Hitches Ride to Quahogs on Marine Snow

Could marine snow be a conduit for transporting pathogens from the sea's surface to bottom-dwelling shellfish like northern quahogs (also called hard clams)? If scientists Evan Ward and Maille Lyons of the University of Connecticut at Groton are right, marine aggregate or snow is serving as a reservoir for the pathogen QPX (Quahog Parasite Unknown). Ward and Lyons, along with Roxanna Smolowitz and Kevin Uhlinger of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Rebecca Gast of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, published results of their research in the November 2005 issue of the journal Limnology & Oceanography.

Bluer Than Blue: Blue Lakes Atop Greenland Ice Sheet Indicate Rapid Melting

Beautiful they are, but their beauty is only skin deep. Saucer-shaped lakes that have formed like blue pockmarks on snow-white glaciers in Greenland betray an accelerating melting of the ice cap there, according to climatologist Jason Box of Ohio State University. Greenland's ice cap is the largest in the Northern Hemisphere and second largest in the world after the Antarctic ice sheet. Box has found that meltwater accumulating in Greenland's "super-blue lakes," as he calls them, drains through the ice sheet to the bedrock below, forming a layer of liquid water that makes the ice melt faster.

Smile, You're on VENUS Camera

"Smile, you're on VENUS camera!" said Verena Tunnicliffe of the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Tunnicliffe is project director of VENUS, the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea. She's celebrating the February 25, 2006, birth of the network: on that date, she said, "all the final pieces were brought into place, and we started receiving data from ten instruments deployed in Canada's Saanich Inlet." Measurements, images, and sound are being delivered to scientists, managers, and the public via seafloor fiber-optic cables laid along two Canadian seafloor sites: Saanich Inlet and the Strait of Georgia.


Dybas, C.L. 2006. Ripple marks—The story behind the story. Oceanography 19(2):10–13, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2006.80.

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