CreatureCast – Narcomedusae

posted by Casey Dunn / on September 19th, 2012 / in Jellies, lifecycles, Parasites

Riley Thompson made this animation about the fascinating lifecycle of narco babies.

We usually don’t think of babies that grow inside their mothers as parasites, but sometimes the lines get very blurry. This is especially true in Narcomedusae, a group of poorly known jellyfish found throughout the world’s oceans. Some species of Narcomedusae (affectionately called narcos by the people that study them) can grow inside their own mother, who provides nourishment and a safe environment for her. The narco babies can then leave their mother, find another jellyfish of an entirely different species, attach to its flesh, and thrive on the nourishment and safe environment it provides. The physiological interaction of baby and host is similar in both cases – the host provides, the baby takes. But in one case the host is providing for its own offspring, in the other it is providing for somebody else’s offspring.

Thanks to Rebecca Helm and Fabien Lombard for their help translating the wonderful paper on narco life cycles: Bouillon, J. (1987) Considérations sur le developpement des Narcomeduses et sur leur position phylogénétique. Indo-Malayan Zoology 4 : 189-278.

Special thanks to Marjorie Thompson, Robert Sandler, and the Brown University Science Center.

The music is by Tony Higgins, aka junior85.

CreatureCast – Doliolids

posted by Casey Dunn / on September 8th, 2012 / in imaginescience, lifecycles, Podcast

Robert Sandler tells the story of doliolid reproduction. The video was made with paper puppets and hand-drawn animations. Robert made this episode with support from the Society of Royce Fellows.

The music is adapted from “Aux puces nº4 – Noctambule” by Circus Marcus.

CreatureCast – How to hide

posted by Casey Dunn / on September 8th, 2012 / in imaginescience, Jellies, optics, Podcast

Riley Thompson, from the College of the Atlantic, tells the story of how animals become invisible.

Thanks to Robert Sandler, and the Brown University Science Center.
The music is by cloud mouth.

CreatureCast – Ocean Slime

posted by Casey Dunn / on September 8th, 2012 / in Jellies, Podcast

Robert Sandler tells the story of ocean slime, using stop motion and jellyfish puppets. Robert made this episode with support from the Society of Royce Fellows.

Thanks to Riley Thompson for helpful feedback, and to Serena Putterman for contributing to the soundtrack.