Common Fangtooth’ winning smile, Postcard from the DEEPEND

What does everyone want for the holidays? Postcards from the DEEPEND, of course! Throughout December we’ll post a new Postcard from one of our amazing, talented, and simply fun scientists from the DEEPEND Consortium.

Merry Deep Sea or Happy Anglerfish or is it…

Jon Moore and the winning smile of a common fangtooth

Jon Moore’s Postcard from the DEEPEND PDF version


Spiny deep-sea crustaceans, Postcard from the DEEPEND

What does everyone want for the holidays? Postcards from the DEEPEND, of course! Throughout December we’ll post a new Postcard from one of our amazing, talented, and simply fun scientists from the DEEPEND Consortium.

Merry Deep Sea or Happy Anglerfish or is it…

Tamara Frank and deep-sea crustaceans

PDF Version: Postcard from the DEEPEND T FRANK WhaleTimes Inc PDF version

Postcard from the DEEPEND- the perfect gift for everyone

What does everyone want for the holidays? Postcards from the DEEPEND, of course! Throughout December we’ll post a new Postcard from one of our amazing, talented, and simply fun scientists from the DEEPEND Consortium.

Merry Deep Sea or Happy Anglerfish or is it…




Dolphins and Porpoises

Hi Kids,
Can you tell the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise? Both are whales, but have some distinct differences.

Porpoises: Family Phocoenidae

There are 7  species or kinds of porpoise. Porpoises (like this vaquita) are short and stout. The have a blunt shape to their head. Porpoises have small pointed flippers and a small triangle shaped dorsal fin. Porpoises also have spade-shaped teeth. They tend to be shyer, quieter, and less social than dolphins. Porpoises are generally found alone or with one or two other porpoises.

Dolphins Family Delphinidae

There are 37 species of dolphins. In general, dolphins have longer snouts, called rostrums. Their dorsal fin (the fin on the back) curves back toward the tail. Dolphins have longer thinner bodies than a porpoise. Dolphins teeth are conically shaped teeth–shaped like upside down ice cream cones. Dolphins also tend to be more social and more vocal then porpoises.

Dolphins and porpoises are similar in many ways. They are extremely intelligent whales with large complex brains. Both whales use echolocation to navigate and find food.

Both are amazing and both are beautiful creatures.
See you later,

Deep See in the Deep Sea

Recently,  deep-sea expert Tamara Frank  and WhaleTimes Director Ruth A. Musgrave spent a week sharing  Dr. Frank’s research  and deep-sea animal vision,  bioluminescence, and communication with amazing kids from 23 k-6th grade classes in Broward County Florida.  A special thanks to science teacher Michele Parsons for all your help.

(Program funded by NSF Award 1556279)

It’s Slime Time!

Merry…uh…Happy, no…hmmm, oh, Hooray,  it’s HAGFISH DAY!!! Celebrate the anniversary of the 9th Hagfish Day Celebration with us October 18, 2017!!! Nine years of exotic, unusual, some might say ugly (we prefer beauty-challenged) ocean animals.

The beautiful hagfish.

The beautiful hagfish.

WhaleTimes created Hagfish Day (in 2009) to celebrate the beauty of ugly. Hagfish are the perfect example. These deep-sea scavengers ooze buckets of slime. They also play an important role in their ecosystem. WhaleTimes believes repugnant and slightly revolting animals like hagfish make great role models for highlighting conservation concerns for all marine animals.
“Sometimes it seems as if ecological causes are popularity contests that exclude the less attractive and less well-known, though equally vulnerable, creatures,” said WhaleTimes Director Ruth Musgrave. “There are species in peril that kids never hear about.”

How do you celebrate Hagfish Day? Classrooms, individuals and families can participate by making Hagfish Slime, writing , make or send a Hagfish Bouquet to a friend. It’s sure to be a good slime! Below are some Hagfish Day activities if you just can’t wait to celebrate the beauty of ugly.

What makes for a great Hagfish Day star? Animals that are a combination of unusual, endangered, and beauty challenged.

 2017 Hagfish Stars Unveiled


2017 Hagfish Day Experts: Our extraordinary ocean experts include

Andrew Clark & Hagfish Knots

Want to show your friends you care, but don’t have time to make a  Hagfish Bouquet? Send a Happy Hagfish Day card to a friend. (Click on thumbnail photo, save, and send.)


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Vaquita Porpoise

Hi Kids,
As you know, 2017 is the Year of the Vaquita. WhaleTimes has been celebrating all year. If you don’t know about this  beautiful creature, it is a porpoise that is only found in the Sea of Cortez in the Gulf of California. This shy porpoise has unusual and pretty facial markings and sleek bodies.  (Read more about Vaquita)

It is amazing and heartbreaking to think that scientists didn’t even know vaquitas existed until the 1950s.  Yet today, they are the most endangered whale in the world. Less than 30 exist.

Today, scientists fear that the vaquita porpoise will become the SECOND whale species in the last decade to become extinct due to human pressures. The fear is that they will disappear forever by the year 2018. Can you even image that in two years a living creature will disappear from the face of the earth forever? Continue reading

Six-gill Shark

Hi Everyone,

Meet a gorgeous shark, the six-gill shark. This is a deep-water shark and as you can guess from the name, it has six gill slits. Those are the openings the water goes out after it passes over the gills.   Most other sharks have 5 gill slits. A couple have 7.

The six-gill shark’s relatives date back over 200 million years. It has a heavy and powerful body with a round blunt snout. A six-gill shark’s color ranges from tan, brown, gray and even to black. Six-gills grow up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) long.  That’s longer than a utility vehicle. Female six-gill sharks are larger then the males.

Another way six-gill sharks differ from other sharks is that its dorsal fin. It only has one (which isn’t unusual) but the one dorsal fin is located further back near the tail. Other dorsal fin of other sharks is usually near the center of their body (on their backs, of course).

Like the prickly shark, the six-gill might appear slow and sluggish when caught on film by an ROV or the very cool “Eye-in-the-Sea” camera. But hey, how would we look sitting on the couch texting friends or binge watching your favorite show? In between meals, a six-gill doesn’t waste energy zooming around the sea. When hunting, though, six-gills  burst into action. They ambush prey from a close range. Six-gills eat small fishes, snails, crabs, shrimp, and squid.

Because of its deep-sea lifestyle, little is know about its reproductive behavior or other behaviors.

Six-gill sharks are threatened due to being overfished and caught in nets set for other species.

See you next time,

Thank you to all our summer camps and Science Teams!

Wow, it has been the fastest summer yet! Kindergarten to 8th grade kids from across the country participated in two WhaleTimes’ virtual research missions. They danced to DNA, made vaquita wind socks, and created elephant seal tags. The kids also dazzled the Science Team members with their knowledge and challenged them with thought-provoking questions during the 30+ Skype™ sessions.

Our Creep into the DEEPEND Summer Camp program took kids to the deep sea in the Gulf of Mexico with the DEEPEND Science Team. They met cool animals and even cooler research and researchers while discovering  DEEPEND Consortium’s important deep-sea research.

Kids joined Patrick W. Robinson,  Dave Weller, Barbara Taylor,  Daniel Costa and their Science Teams from the UC-Santa Cruz, Costa Lab, UC Año Nuevo Island Reserve and Southwest Fisheries Science Center/NOAA (vaquita and gray whale research) as part of our Celebration of Conservation: Gray Whales, Elephant Seals, and Vaquita. Summer camp kids learned about the beautiful gray whale, the amazing elephant seal, and the shy vaquita. The kids heard the successful conservation stories of the elephant seal and gray whale. Conservation efforts that saved both species from extinction. Summer campers also learned that the vaquita’s conservation story is still being written. With less than 30 vaquita left, we don’t know if it’ll have a happy ending or not.

Through both WhaleTimes’ programs our summer camp kids learned two important lessons. 1) Everybody makes a difference when it comes to conservation; 2) Everyone can help save ocean animals by only buying and/or eating sustainably caught seafood (when you are hankering for seafood).

Thank you to our Science Team Members, volunteers, and the museums and science centers for making it another amazing summer!

  • DEEPEND Research and Creep into the DEEPEND program funded by funded by Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI) award number GOMRI2014-IV-914
  • The Celebration of Conservation Elephant Seal Team’s research funded in part by: The Office of Naval Research, Joint Industry Program, Año Nuevo Reserve; gray whale and vaquita research supported by Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries. The education program portion funded by WhaleTimes and supported by volunteer time and effort from the Science Teams themselves and WhaleTimes’ volunteers.

Thank you to our museum and science centers for letting us make a splash at your summer camps!

If you missed your chance to join us at a summer camp near you, the program will be back next year.