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CephBase

cephbase at hotmail.com cephbase at hotmail.com
Fri May 18 06:55:58 EST 2001


Dear DeepSea List,

One of the more interesting (OK so I'm biased) deep-sea fauna are the 
cephalopods.

I would like to introduce you to the new version of CephBase: 
http://www.cephbase.utmb.edu/index.html

CephBase is a relational database powered web site about Cephalopods, the 
class of mollusks that contains octopuses, squids, cuttlefish and 
nautiluses.  These animals are some of the most active, intelligent, 
productive and amazing invertebrates in the world's oceans.  They are 
important prey for marine mammals such as whales, endangered birds like 
Albatross and many species of commercially important fish.  Cephalopods 
consume primarily fish, crustaceans and other mollusks.  Fisheries have been

increasingly targeting them world-wide.  Cephalopods are used to model 
non-vertebrate learning and information processing and are also a critical 
model organism in many biomedical studies of nerves, retinas, basic 
physiology and anti-cancer research.

CephBase is designed to be used as a tool for researchers or anyone 
interested in this amazing class of invertebrates.  CephBase contains the 
following major sub pages: Species Search, Image Database, Video Database, 
Reference Database, Researcher Directory, Predators Database, Prey Database.

  A brief summary of each of these sub pages is below:

Species Database - Following Sweeney and Roper 1998, CephBase lists all 
known species of cephalopods.  We will be updating the taxonomy as soon as 
Mike Sweeney makes his latest revision available.  The site is fully 
searchable and species can be located by scientific name, common name or 
synonym.  After locating a species of interest, distribution, predators, 
prey, images, references and many other types of information about that 
species are available at the click of a mouse.

Image Database - Cephalopods display specific body patterns through their 
unique abilities to change coloration, skin texture and body shape; this 
species-specific taxonomic and ecologically important information is lost 
upon preservation.  We are scanning our extensive collection of cephalopod 
images and currently have 300 images online.  We will place thousands of the

highest quality images from the National Resource Center for Cephalopods 
(NRCC) online.  Although the site has not been announced until now, we are 
already receiving images from collaborators.

Images can be searched by species, keyword, photographer, location or a 
combination of any of the above.  All images have a description written by a

leading cephalopod expert as well as where the image was taken and other 
relevant data.

Video Database - This sub page is scheduled for year two of our grant but we

expect to start developing it ahead of schedule.  The video database will be

very similar to the image database.  Our Smithsonian collaborators have a 
large amount of rare video footage of deep-sea cephalopods so this sub page 
will be quite a resource.

Reference Database - The reference database contains over 3,000 references 
about cephalopods.  We will continue to add to it as we receive reprints or 
copies of new papers.  The database can be searched by species, keyword, 
author or a combination of all three.

Researcher Directory - This sub page also facilitates communication and 
collaboration with the world's leading cephalopod authorities.  CephBase has

greatly expanded the International Directory of Cephalopod Workers. This 
list used to contain email address and names only.  Now, mailing address, 
phone numbers and areas of interest are listed.  The directory can be 
searched by name, country or keyword.  This tool has been very popular with 
potential graduate students who are interested in knowing who is studying in

their area of interest.

Predators and Prey Database - These two sub pages list hundreds of predators

and prey of cephalopods.  Cephalopods grow very rapidly, exponentially when 
young and they typically have short lifespans.  Thus they move rapidly 
through the trophic levels.  All cephalopods are predators but they are 
never top predators.  In turn, cephalopods are consumed by ecologically and 
economically important species of birds, fish, mollusks and marine mammals.

CephBase also contains a collaborators sub page - we are very grateful to 
those who have donated their time or images to this project.  There is also 
an "About CephBase" sub page and a links page.

I'm interested in helping other researchers apply the CephBase website model

to other marine animal groups; please let me know if you are interested.  
The CephBase team welcomes your comments and questions about the site, feel 
free to email us at cephbase at hotmail.com

CephBase is part of the Census of Marine Life, an international program to 
explain the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life.

Dr. James B. Wood
CephBase Project Manager
National Resource Center for Cephalopods


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