Science Spotlight

Science Spotlight: Schooling & Flocking

A beautiful display of schooling behavior in sardines.  Klaus Steifel photo CC BY-SA 2.0

Schooling fish, such as the tight bunches of anchovies and sardines found in Monterey Bay, uniformly dart away from predators, make hairpin turns, and accelerate or stop without colliding.

Science Spotlight: Domoic Acid

Colored image of a diatom seen through an electron microscope. Photo by ZEISS Microscopy.

A potent neurotoxin, domoic acid comes from Pseudo-nitzschia, a genus of diatoms found along the Pacific coast.

Science Spotlight: Offshore Faults

A map of offshore fault lines across Monterey Bay reveals where future earthquakes might happen. Courtesy Gary Greene/Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

The waters of Monterey Bay may obscure potential dangers. Far below the surface are seismically active faults that could be the site of offshore earthquakes in the bay.

Science Spotlight: Why Do Humpbacks Breach?

Scientists are unsure what drives humpback whales' exuberant displays.  NOAA photo.

More than 40 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons, adult humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are formidable giants. But their immensity doesn’t hinder their athleticism.

Science Spotlight: Banana Slug Slime

A banana slug shows off its slime in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Photo by Sarah McQuate.

Spiky proteins called mucins allow banana slugs to crawl over all kinds of ground cover.