Kevin Zelnio

53 posts · 97,552 views

Marine biologist and invertebrate zoologist.

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  • August 9, 2011
  • 12:30 AM

Expletive Infixation and Marine Scien-****in-tists

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

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We would be remiss at DSN if we didn’t blog about a paper that was brought to our recent attention.  Warning the following material uses profanity with high frequen........ Read more »

  • August 6, 2011
  • 03:47 AM

Word of the Month: Myrmecomorphy

by Kevin Zelnio in EvoEcoLab

Myrmecomorphy Part of the fun in natural history is playing word detective! Naturalists speak in greek and latin and love mashing together parts of these languages to create new, yet often very descriptive, words. This month, I want to talk a little about an awesome word – MYRMECOMORPHY. This beauteous etymological wonder is derived from from the root [...]

... Read more »

  • July 29, 2011
  • 09:00 AM

Prescribing Gene Flow

by Kevin Zelnio in EvoEcoLab

When ecosystems are sick, who prescribes the cure? Its not as straight-forward as it is in medicine. A doctor diagnoses a problem and prescribes some medication or treatments to ease the pain or kill infectious agents. Sometimes we battle the insurance agents over the necessity of treatments. This is simplified of course. In applied ecology, [...]

... Read more »

Sexton JP, Strauss SY, & Rice KJ. (2011) Gene flow increases fitness at the warm edge of a species' range. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(28), 11704-9. PMID: 21709253  

  • July 15, 2011
  • 11:00 AM

The Reality and Utility of Bear Paternity Tests

by Kevin Zelnio in EvoEcoLab

It was summer of 2008 and the rhetoric was getting as hot as a globally warmed hood on a ’91 Chevy Camaro RS (my 2nd car, with t-tops of course). While you might fry an egg on the hood, you could broil a few cornish hens on the hot tin roof that encapsulated the election [...]

... Read more »

  • April 19, 2011
  • 11:07 AM

Scientist in Residence: My ‘Seascape of Fear’

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Eric Heupel is a graduate student at University of Connecticut in Oceanography. He keeps a personal blog at Eclectic Echoes and Larval Images, and used to part of The Other 95% team along with me before we closed shop. You can find Eric tweeting as @eclecticechoes. —————————————————- Hey folks, Kevin asked me to . . . → Read More: Scientist in Residence: My ‘Seascape of Fear’... Read more »

  • April 17, 2011
  • 01:39 AM

Whale Bone-Devouring Worm Into More Than Just Whales

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

We have a long history of being HUGE fans of the “bone-devouring zombie worm from hell”. Osedax species were described less than 10 years ago and much work on their reproduction, evolution and ecology has yielded incredible insights into a unique and bizarre way of life! Early on, Osedax was only found on . . . → Read More: Whale Bone-Devouring Worm Into More Than Just Whales... Read more »

Glover AG, Kemp KM, Smith CR, & Dahlgren TG. (2008) On the role of bone-eating worms in the degradation of marine vertebrate remains. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 275(1646), 1959-1961. PMID: 18505721  

Jones WJ, Johnson SB, Rouse GW, & Vrijenhoek RC. (2008) Marine worms (genus Osedax) colonize cow bones. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 275(1633), 387-391. PMID: 18077256  

Rouse GW, Goffredi SK, Johnson SB, & Vrijenhoek RC. (2011) Not whale-fall specialists, Osedax worms also consume fishbones. Biology letters. PMID: 21490008  

Vrijenhoek, R., Collins, P., & Van Dover, C. (2008) Bone-eating marine worms: habitat specialists or generalists?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1646), 1963-1964. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0350  

  • February 6, 2011
  • 09:59 AM

Deep Sea 101: Lessons from the Census of Marine Life

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

←Previous lesson: Introduction and What Is the Deep Sea?
Click image to go to Census of Marine Life!
Last week we kicked off our online class with an introduction to the deep sea environment. Before we continue on to spend a bit of time talking about the history of deep-sea exploration, I want to discuss the current state . . . → Read More: Deep Sea 101: Lessons from the Census of Marine Life... Read more »

Costa, D., Huckstadt, L., Crocker, D., McDonald, B., Goebel, M., & Fedak, M. (2010) Approaches to Studying Climatic Change and its Role on the Habitat Selection of Antarctic Pinnipeds. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 50(6), 1018-1030. DOI: 10.1093/icb/icq054  

  • January 24, 2011
  • 09:00 AM

From the Editor’s Desk: The Grand Challenge of Ocean Acidification and Fisheries

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Anthropogenic climate change has been hypothesized for centuries (discussed in Le Treut 2007) before the careful measurements of scientists in the mid-20th century. From 1833 to 1997, Stanhill (2001) calculated that the climate change science doubled every 11 years. The impact of carbon dioxide concentrations in the ocean was recognized early on with measurements and . . . → Read More: From the Editor’s Desk: The Grand Challenge of Ocean Acidification and Fisheries... Read more »

Carpenter KE, Abrar M, Aeby G, Aronson RB, Banks S, Bruckner A, Chiriboga A, Cortés J, Delbeek JC, Devantier L.... (2008) One-third of reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts. Science (New York, N.Y.), 321(5888), 560-3. PMID: 18653892  

Doney SC, Fabry VJ, Feely RA, & Kleypas JA. (2009) Ocean acidification: the other CO2 problem. Annual review of marine science, 169-92. PMID: 21141034  

Hall-Spencer J, Allain V, & Fosså JH. (2002) Trawling damage to Northeast Atlantic ancient coral reefs. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 269(1490), 507-11. PMID: 11886643  

  • January 10, 2011
  • 01:09 PM

Barnacle Evolution I: Phylogeny Served Without Plates

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Lepas anatifera from Washington state, USA. Photo credit: David Cowles 1997.
Barnacle evolution was recently rewritten by a large effort of Perez-Losada and colleagues in 2008. Using a combination of genes and morphological traits they rejected some of the ideas that were foundational to barnacle biology and taxonomy, while giving new support for other ideas.
Though . . . → Read More: Barnacle Evolution I: Phylogeny Served Without Plates... Read more »

Pérez-Losada M, Harp M, Høeg JT, Achituv Y, Jones D, Watanabe H, & Crandall KA. (2008) The tempo and mode of barnacle evolution. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 46(1), 328-46. PMID: 18032070  

  • December 17, 2010
  • 02:40 AM

Move Over Boneworm, the Bone Snail is Taking Over

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

You’ve all heard about the bone-eating zombie worm from hell. Yeah it was like OK, but whatever. It had its day like, you know, way back in the 2000s. Now though, all the rage is the BONE SNAIL! Yeah, that’s right the BoNe SnAiL!!! Its cooler than cool, just trust me. The Bone Snail is to . . . → Read More: Move Over Boneworm, the Bone Snail is Taking Over... Read more »

Johnson SB, Warén A, Lee RW, Kano Y, Kaim A, Davis A, Strong EE, & Vrijenhoek RC. (2010) Rubyspira, new genus and two new species of bone-eating deep-sea snails with ancient habits. The Biological bulletin, 219(2), 166-77. PMID: 20972261  

  • November 10, 2010
  • 06:15 PM

Confronting Climate Contrarianism II: Methane Accumulation in the Atmosphere

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Confronting Climate Contrarianism looks into the claims made climate contrarians and how they (mis)use the scientific literature.
In a textbook example of climate contrarians misusing the primary literature for an anti-scientific agenda, Robinson et al. (2007) are seemingly flippant about decades of research showing how humans have affected th........ Read more »

  • October 27, 2010
  • 02:29 PM

New Fossil Anemone Reveals Innard Secrets

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Continuing its trend as one of the top destinations for out-of-this-world fossil finds, China is yielding yet another piece to the evolutionary jigsaw puzzle. In a recent PLoS One article, Han and colleagues report the findings of a new squishy sea anemone from the Lower Cambrian. The new find lends support to genetic data that suggests . . . → Read More: New Fossil Anemone Reveals Innard Secrets... Read more »

Han, J., Kubota, S., Uchida, H., Stanley, G., Yao, X., Shu, D., Li, Y., & Yasui, K. (2010) Tiny Sea Anemone from the Lower Cambrian of China. PLoS ONE, 5(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013276  

  • October 8, 2010
  • 10:10 PM

Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Long time readers will know how perverse and socially inappropriate the unseemly sea squirt is. But there is an interesting property of sea squirt pornography and local oceanography that may have consequences in the debates surrounding marine reserve design. Castillo and colleagues examined the spawning behavior of intertidal tunicates (Pyura praeputialis, an invasive) . . . → Read More: Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex... Read more »

Castilla, J., Manriquez, P., Delgado, A., Gargallo, L., Leiva, A., & Radic, D. (2007) Bio-foam enhances larval retention in a free-spawning marine tunicate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(46), 18120-18122. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708233104  

  • October 5, 2010
  • 06:08 PM

Assassin Bugs Use Their Victims as Shields

by Kevin Zelnio in The Online Laboratory of Kevin Zelnio

When we think of ‘prey’ we generally think of nourishment, but prey has other use too. Jackson & Pollard report on a fascinating case in which the ant-snatching assassin bug (Acanthaspis petax) makes a “backpack” of its victims to avoid being seen by its own predator, the deadly jumping spider. Masking to avoid [...]... Read more »

  • October 4, 2010
  • 11:20 PM

Penguins Immediately Benefit From MPA

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

There is much buzz these days about marine protected areas (MPAs) and no-take zones. We are approaching the age of assessment. There has been enough time passed where we should see a signal of improvement to verify conservation theory. While the data has been trickling in for many MPAs and there is in general an improvement . . . → Read More: Penguins Immediately Benefit From MPA... Read more »

Pichegru, L., Gremillet, D., Crawford, R., & Ryan, P. (2010) Marine no-take zone rapidly benefits endangered penguin. Biology Letters, 6(4), 498-501. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0913  

  • September 17, 2010
  • 08:22 AM

Evolution and Costs of Firefly Lights

by Kevin Zelnio in The Online Laboratory of Kevin Zelnio

Photo from Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Light. It’s all around and is the foundation of much of planet. Plants on land or in the shallow seas use the power of light to catalyze a cascade of interactions that ultimately result in the foundation of our planet. Even in the deep sea the products of light find their way [...]... Read more »

  • September 8, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

First New Snail Larval Form Discovered Since 1878

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

What hid’st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells?
Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main!
- Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-colour’d shells,
Bright things which gleam unreck’d-of, and in vain!
- Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!
We ask not such from thee
Felicia Hemans, 1827 The Treasures of the Deep

Just when you think you have the basics down, just when you show signs . . . → Read More: First New Snail Larval Form Discovered Since 1878... Read more »

Kyle C. Reynolds, Hiromi Watanabe, Ellen E. Strong, Takenori Sasaki, Katsuyuki Uematsu, Hiroshi Miyake, Shigeaki Kojima, Yohey Suzuki, Katsunori Fujikura, Stacy Kim.... (2010) New Molluscan Larval Form: Brooding and Development in a Hydrothermal Vent Gastropod, Ifremeria nautilei (Provannidae). Biological Bulletin, 219(1), 7-11. info:/

  • August 30, 2010
  • 04:30 PM

Yicaris – Progenitor of the Crustacea

by Kevin Zelnio in Deep Sea News

Finding any new fossil is rare. Finding invertebrate fossils is made even more rare because of the squishy nature of most invertebrates. Sometimes the wandering paleontologist, toiling away with utmost care through dust and debris, can find parts of squishy invertebrates like scolodonts (polychaete jaws), coral rubble, carbonate shell cement, or maybe sea star or sponge . . . → Read More: Yicaris – Progenitor of the Crustacea... Read more »

  • August 25, 2010
  • 10:00 PM

Mahjong-Induced Seizures

by Kevin Zelnio in The Online Laboratory of Kevin Zelnio

Mahjong indoctrination starts early in China.
Anyone that knows me outside of the blogosphere, knows I won’t turn down a good game of Mahjong. Part of the  fun is figuring out which scoring system your host is going to use, because I swear to to this day it changes by the minute. “Oh, is that a [...]... Read more »

  • August 21, 2010
  • 09:42 AM


by Kevin Zelnio in The Online Laboratory of Kevin Zelnio

I absolutely adore the theory of evolution. It has a divine predictive, the results so wondrous in and of themselves. During my studies into symbiosis I have seen alot of strange and unusual adaptations, but the deeper I dig they more they keep getting stranger and stranger. The word this week is:
Top: [...]... Read more »

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