2019 Jun vol 13

13.2

For our marine issue this year, we wanted a set of articles about many, lesser known marine criters. Tanvi Vaidyanathan writes about the trade in seahorses, a fsh which has ‘a head like a horse, tail like a monkey, a kangaroo-like pouch, and eyes that move independently like a chameleon’. Seahorses are also remarkable because the male carries the eggs around in his pouch till the young ones hatch, a rare instance in nature where males give birth. Mahima Jaini tells us about her journey from studying lobsters in Maine to larvae under microscopes in the Andaman Islands.

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For our marine issue this year, we wanted a set of articles about many, lesser known marine criters. Tanvi Vaidyanathan writes about the trade in seahorses, a fsh which has ‘a head like a horse, tail like a monkey, a kangaroo-like pouch, and eyes that move independently like a chameleon’. Seahorses are also remarkable because the male carries the eggs around in his pouch till the young ones hatch, a rare instance in nature where males give birth. Mahima Jaini tells us about her journey from studying lobsters in Maine to larvae under microscopes in the Andaman Islands. She uncovers ‘bizarre looking’ and ‘alien like’ creatures from her plankton nets. And Kristin Hultgren gives us a glimpse into the lives of snapping shrimp, which produce some of the loudest sounds in the ocean with their oversized claw. These are also the only marine animals that show advanced social behaviour like ants, bees, and wasps. If these weren’t enough, Vikas Nairi’s black water photographs offer a window into just how weird and wonderful marine organisms are. Bookending the stories about fantastic beasts are two articles that delve in different ways into our relationship with nature. At one end, Rohan Arthur recounts his long running love affair with the reefs in the Lakshadweep, and refects on the role of symbiosis in our lives. At the other, Caitlin Kight’s essay provides insights into our physiological and psychological responses to nature and reveals the many benefts it has for our health and wellbeing. —Kartik Shanker
13.2