Episode 173 – Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse: The King of Cleaners

“…and today we’re talking about a fish that enjoys working at the carwash. More on that later.”

When you run a lucrative maritime cleaning service, you gotta protect your turf. The dominant bluestreak cleaner wrasse defends its territory, its business, and its family on a daily basis. But when the don disappears, it’s up to one of his leading ladies to fill his shoes. But being willing to fill any role is part of surviving here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 167 – Giant Oarfish: Seismic Sensitivity?

“…and today we’re talking about the longest boy in the ocean. But more on that later.”

Earthquakes are some of the most destructive events on this planet, snuffing out lives by the thousands and destroying entire cities. The worst part is, we can’t really predict them in advance-or can we? The elusive oarfish is often considered an incredibly long harbinger of earthquakes, and some people see sightings of them as a sign of impending disaster. Let’s find out just how much truth there is to this here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 157 – Blobfish: Blobby Fisher

“…and today we’re talking about a waterlogged football with eyes and a taste for shrimp. But more on that later.”

The blobfish might be the subject of cruel internet memes for many a year, but that digital ridicule may be unduly bestowed upon our deep-sea friend. He may look goofy, but that’s just because he’s far outside his natural habitat. Living at the bottom of the ocean, the blobfish actually has a pretty remarkable way of keeping it all together here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 143 – Barreleye: The Spookiest Fish

“…and today we’re talking about a mysterious organic, deep-diving submarine. But more on that later.”

Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, there sits an alien monster fish that stares up straight through its own skull to spy prey: the barreleye. How does it do this? By being one of the weirdest creatures alive, even for deep-sea animals—and that’s saying something! But looking strange is just a fortunate side effect of being an empty-headed harbinger of jellyfish death from below here in LDT.

Episode 139 – Giant Manta Ray: A Focused Fish

“…and today we’re talking about a buccal pumping pup sucking histotroph in huge chunks. That sentence will only get grosser when you know what those words mean. But more on that later…”

Sometimes the biggest giants are the gentlest giants. But this gentle giant is also a genius giant. While the oceanic manta ray might not be smarter than a fifth-grader, it does use its brain in ways that would make other fish extremely sad and jealous if they had any feelings. In fact, it’s those feelings that make the manta ray a prime candidate for smartest swimming blanket. But when you’re the biggest fish in the pond, you can afford a little self-awareness here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.