On the Air: February 1, 2015
Archerfish fire a powerful jet of water to stun their prey. Credit:  Pearson Scott Foresman

The archerfish is the sharpshooter of the seas. It lurks near the shore, in estuaries and mangrove forests. When it sees a tasty bug or even a small lizard on a low-hanging leaf or branch, it fires a powerful jet of water. The impact stuns the target and knocks it into the water, where it’s easy prey.

In Print: February 1, 2015
A purple sea urchin. Credit: Claire Fackler, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

When the going gets tough, purple sea urchins appear to get tougher, or at least tough enough to possibly cope with climate change. Purple sea urchins are referred to as a “keystone” species because the ecosystem needs enough of them to feed marine mammals, fish, seabirds and other predators, but not so many that they overrun the place. Increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere may threaten that balance. As oceans absorb more carbon dioxide, the water becomes more acidic, which decreases calcium carbonate levels.