Tips for navigating SCFoW…


What’s in each post? Weekly posts always feature a bonus picture, usually include extra fun facts and/or related (and semi-related) stories, and sometimes highlight links to conservation information if they’re relevant.


How can I view the newsletter online? You can click on EITHER the blue link or the pdf icon in each post to see the actual newsletter. These will open in a new tab in your browser. 


How can I subscribe to the newsletter? You can sign up for a weekly dose of sea creature goodness by clicking “subscribe” on the homepage, or in the side-bar from most other pages. I would be thrilled to add you to the growing list of ocean-lovers who are expanding their knowledge of marine biology! You can also unsubscribe at any time via the weekly email.


What else can I do around the site? Want SCFoW to take you on a journey through the archives? Click “EXPLORE.” Am I missing your favorite species? You can request a sea creature by clicking on the “Request” icon on the homepage. If you’d like to get in touch for any other reason, you can use the form on the Contact page, or send an email to If you are interested in contributing to SCFoW, I would be grateful for your help! Running this site independently and not-for-profit requires considerable commitment, time, effort and moolah out of my pocket. If you enjoy SCFoW, please consider contributing via the Donate page, writing some guest content, or anything else your heart desires. Finally, be sure to check out the featured content – Global Ocean News, Sustainable Seafood, Notes From the Field, etc. – by clicking on one of the six images on the home page or links on the sidebar of a post. 


What are the tags below each post? As you browse the site, you will see tags beneath each post. These make it easier for you to search the newsletter archives by category. For example, if you’d like to see all of the newsletters featuring sea creatures that are bioluminescent (meaning they create their own light), you can simply click on the “bioluminescence” tag and you will be transported to a list featuring only posts with that tag. 


What’s the IUCN and why does every animal have an IUCN tag? The IUCN is the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, and is currently the global authority on conservation status information. The IUCN tags throughout this site refer to an organism’s conservation status, according to the IUCN. The conservation status of a given species can range from Extinct to Least Concern, with seven possible categories (these are explained on the IUCN website): Extinct, Extinct in the Wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Near Threatened, and Least Concern.

You’ll notice that a lot of the IUCN tags say “Not Evaluated” or “Data Deficient.” That’s because monitoring every species on the planet is an enormous undertaking, and accurate information for all of them hasn’t been collected yet. Some species have only been discovered recently (for example, the Dumbo Octopus), or live in places that are extremely difficult to access (see the Dancing Yeti Crab). Others are extremely tiny and would be almost impossible to count (like Chaetognatha). Many of these data-deficient or not-yet-evaluated species are likely un-threatened (Immortal Jellyfish, for example, which have few natural predators and are biologically immortal). Others, however, simply require more data and are likely to be of increasing concern to conservation biologists in the future because of their ecological value and vulnerability (for instance, many marine biologists have suggested that Giant Squid should be added to the IUCN Red List of endangered species).


How can I see older posts? You can use the “Archives” drop-down menu in the side-bar on most pages (except the homepage) to browse posts from a specific month in SCFoW history. Remember a particularly fascinating newsletter from July of last year, but can’t recall the name of the species? Archives will show you everything from that month. You can also use the search icon at the top of every page to find what you’re looking for.


Most of all, have fun! SCFoW is about relishing the joy of learning, reconnecting with nature, and discovering your inner marine scientist. To learn more about me and why I’m doing all this, check out the About page.

One Response

  1. Del Shortliffe
    | Reply

    This is great, Sydney. I love the site, and I love to see you doing something so creative and worthwhile — and educational!

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