TGIF: Sometimes You Just Gotta Dance

Hat tip to Christina Kellogg.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.


7 Replies to “TGIF: Sometimes You Just Gotta Dance”

  1. ok, so first of all this is an incredibly funny video… (i’m saying that just so it’s clear i DO have a sense of humor)…

    now i’m putting my conservation hat on:
    the video depicts potentially unsustainable diver behavior… a lot of my conservation work involves engaging the marine tourism sector and trying to reduce it’s ecological footprint… divers (even seasoned divers) need to be reminded the importance of proper buoyancy… especially around sensitive ecosystems…

    but this is a sand patch, right? so no worries there? not necessarily… sand beds are often habitat to vital seagrass or coralline algae (halimeda sp.) beds… these are not only juvenile fish and invertebrate nurseries, but current research has identified halimeda beds playing a significant role in producing sand and providing habitat… then there is all the infauna and interstitial life not visible from above the sand surface…

    i worry that a video of sand stomping (entertaining though it may be) can seem like an invitation to less aware divers emulating this in other areas…

    ok, i’m off my soapbox now…

  2. Rick,
    Great comment and insight. I don’t really feel your got “on a soapbox” but rather the comments highlighted something I had not simply thought of. I think all divers should remember to keep their impacts minimal even when bottom appears void of life.

  3. I believe dancing on the bottom can only benefit the sand patch.

    The dancers took precautions. They removed their fins in advance of the duet, thereby limiting the impacts of the underwater swing dancing event. According to the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, dances on the bottom should increase species diversity because it opens new habitat to pioneer species.

    Occaissional dancing on the bottom should actually accelerate accretion of sand from Halimeda, so I’m in favor.

  4. i’m a big proponent of the disturbance model as well, peter…

    in deep water or typically undisturbed areas, disturbance certainly can bolster diversity…i recall studying all the “k” and “r” life strategies of species within and without gray whale feeding scars on ocean bottoms… it’s absolutely amazing…

    only problem there is factoring in the frequency of the disturbance… in some popular, near shore dive destinations, we are talking up to 300+ visitors every day… that’s a lot of traffic… i seriously doubt the recovery or pioneering capacity of anything much more macro than bacteria if bottom disturbance was encouraged…

  5. As with all studies examining IDH, quantifying the frequency and intensity of disturbance is actually quite problematic. Unfortunately, I don’t think that most studies would support the smooth bell curve between diversity and disturbance originally envisioned by Connell. Likely, the relationship while unimodal is likely more leptokurtic.

  6. It seems that this topic requires further study. Perhaps a comparison between the effects of swing dance, tango, Viennese waltz, and Scottish country dance on seafloor diversity.

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