Awesome research animals!

Good morning everyone,

This blog is a tribute to all the animals that get caught up in science. Without their help, we would know alot less about the environment and the natural resources we all love!

Lobster toupee

None of the other lobsters can tell its scientific equipment: These tags are the same as the ones I use. They send a sound pulse that can be detected by underwater equipment and are used to track movement patterns (photo courtesy of FWRI

Gopro shark (insert dup-step music here)

These are cameras attached to the sharks back that used to video and understand shark feeding habits. Courtesy of the Shark bay ecosystem research project and the Heithaus lab (

Punk rocker walleye… His girlfriend’s parents are not impressed

Lip tags are used in mark recapture studies. A fish gets a lip ring with a unique number and released back into the wild… When the fish is recaptured scientists are able to measure growth rates and collect movement data on that fish (

Sometimes fish get tattoos… 

These are elastomer tags. These tags are dye that scientists inject under fishes skin. Since this tagging method is not invasive and the tag is not bulky, using elastomer tags often is often preferred in small fish studies…. (They also glow in the dark;

Psychic seal!

A satellite tag glued to an elephant seal is used to track their movements. These tags can also record water depth and temperature. Data produced from these tags  are now being used to improve maps of the arctic seafloor!

Its kind of like Jaws with the oil drums…….. but a lot more mellow  

Manatees in the Bahamas fitted with floating satellite tags.

Are you more or less terrified if a shark swims at you with an antenna on its fin?

Shark fitted with a satellite tag used to understand shark movement patterns.

Alligator taking a hike


An American alligator with a GPS tracker.

Tagging surgeries in a more relaxed setting

A red grouper getting fitted with an acoustic tag underwater in the dry Tortugas. Florida fish and wildlife Research Institute do these surgeries underwater because of the water depth that grouper reside.  Grouper can occupy deep water where atmospheric pressure is more intense, compressing air inside the fishes body. If grouper are brought to the surface too quickly, air in their body cavities will expand before they can eject it; causing the fish major stress. (photo courtesy of FWRI

"Geeze I already gave you my lunch, can you PLEASE untie me from the picnic table"

An American Alligator prepped for gastric lavage and tagging. This process is explained in Adam's post (photo courtesy of FCE LTER;

 Easter Mice

I swear this is a real thing. Utah  Biologists dip rodents in florescent powder. Let them go, and follow them  by looking for the powder trails. Besides looking cooler than other mice, the powder is perfectly harmless! (

The rat that everybody wants to have scurrying around their house

key largo woodrat


 Find that tag!

A conch with an acoustic tag (photo courtesy of FWRI

The crayfish mullet

 Business in the front, party in the back! Slough crayfish with radio transmitters glued to their back. The wire is the antennae and the block is the battery pack (photo from Cline et al. 2012 INTECOL oral presentation and;

 Party Crab

Christmas island crab with a radio transmitter attached to its back. These transmitters send radiowaves that can be picked up by hand held antenna like Mike Bush uses in bass. The tag also functions as a strobe light in case you want to bring the crab to a party (


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