Stunning Jurassic ‘Sea Monster’ Found in India

2017-10-27T09:47:01+00:00 October 27, 2017|

Bones that recently emerged from the dirt in northwest India belonged to a “sea monster” the size of a small boat prowled the deep, dark waters more than 150 million years ago. The newfound fossil is a nearly intact skeleton of an ichthyosaur, a group of marine reptiles that terrorized the seas during the age of the dinosaurs. These animals were the dolphins or whales of their time: svelte fish-eaters with huge eyes, narrow jaws, and cone-shaped teeth.

Microfossils Illuminate Ancient Ocean Currents

2017-10-25T11:09:17+00:00 October 25, 2017|

Researchers use dissolved silicon concentrations to map out how currents may have changed millennia ago in the Pacific. Globalization, the close interaction of forces around the globe, is typically thought of as a relatively recent concept. For Earth’s oceans, however, the phenomenon is as old as the sea. Water flow around landmasses and underwater topography builds up into large currents that define our oceans. As landmasses have shifted throughout history, ocean currents have shifted along with them.

Life Goes On For Marine Ecosystems After Cataclysmic Mass Extinction

2017-10-24T16:09:55+00:00 October 24, 2017|

One of the largest global mass extinctions did not fundamentally change marine ecosystems, scientists have found. An international team of scientists, including Dr. Alex Dunhill from the University of Leeds, has found that although the mass extinction in the Late Triassic period wiped out the vast proportion of species, there appear to be no drastic changes to the way marine ecosystems functioned.

Jon White – From the President’s Office: 10-23-2017

2017-10-24T12:25:25+00:00 October 23, 2017|

You may have heard of speed dating, but how about speed mentoring? I was honored to be asked to participate in a speed mentoring event with D.C.’s Women’s Aquatic Network WAN) last Wednesday. While it was rewarding (and exhausting) to impart my perspective and advice to 14 developing ocean leaders in 70 minutes, I was also inspired [...]

Member Highlight: Melting Glaciers Could Raise Sea Levels In Sharp Bursts, Reef Fossils Show

2017-10-24T12:15:52+00:00 October 23, 2017|

If all the land ice present on Earth today were to melt, it would raise the global sea levels by about 70 meters (230 feet), according to the United States Geological Survey. Under the onslaught of global warming, sea levels have been rising steadily in the recent years, but researchers looking at historical data have found these rise could happen in sharp bursts instead.

Sticky Tech: Robots That Mimic Remoras Could Expand Ocean Exploration

2017-10-24T12:32:27+00:00 October 18, 2017|

Scientists studied how remoras hitch rides on sharks, rays, and other animals to develop a device that does the same and that potentially could be used to study marine life and further the reach of underwater autonomous vehicles. Li Wen first noticed remoras in 2012. A postdoc at Harvard University at the time, he was working on 3D printing of synthetic shark skin. “I tried to find a nice image of a real shark online, then I noticed that there is always a parasitic fish attached to the shark,” said Wen, now a professor of bio-robotics at Beihang University in Beijing.

Giant Sea Bass Worth More Alive As Undersea Wonders Than As Commercial Catch

2017-10-24T12:33:17+00:00 October 18, 2017|

Almost as large as a Smart car, giant sea bass can weigh more than 500 pounds and grow longer than 6 feet. At this size, they are the largest bony fish found along the California coast. Once commercially important, these gentle giants were overfished in the 1900s, leading to the collapse of the fishery in the 1970s. Now, they are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, making them as imperiled as the black rhino.

NOAA’s Office Of National Marine Sanctuaries And Liquid Robotics Collaborate To Protect Vulnerable Marine Sanctuaries And Ecosystems

2017-10-17T15:45:19+00:00 October 17, 2017|

Liquid Robotics and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) Pacific Islands Region (PIR) announced a multi-year agreement to develop solutions to help protect and preserve the Hawaiian and American Samoa marine sanctuaries and monuments. Liquid Robotics’ Wave Glider, an autonomous surface ocean robot, will be the core technology to conduct long-term environmental monitoring and surveillance of the Pacific’s most diverse and endangered underwater ecosystems. This partnership will help address the critical long-term monitoring and scientific data collection gaps that are not economically feasible with traditional research assets.

Avoiding Clashes Between Ocean Researchers And Indigenous Communities

2017-10-17T15:26:48+00:00 October 17, 2017|

The University of Alaska has produced a procedure for what scientists on research vessels should do to avoid disrupting Indigenous communities’ traditional hunts. The university’s Brenda Konar hopes that other vessels will adopt codes of conduct. The Arctic Ocean is rapidly changing, and researchers are rushing to understand those changes. That means more research expeditions are coming into more frequent contact with Indigenous communities and the marine animals they depend on. To avoid those conflicts, a recent paper by researchers at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks lays out a “Community and Environmental Compliance Standard Operating Procedure,” or CECSOP.

Scientists Develop Tool Which Can Predict Coastal Erosion And Recovery In Extreme Storms

2017-10-17T15:12:49+00:00 October 17, 2017|

The damage caused to beaches by extreme storms on exposed energetic coastlines and the rate at which they recover can now be accurately predicted thanks to new research led by the University of Plymouth. Working with the University of New South Wales, scientists have developed a computer model which uses past wave observations and beach assessments to forecast the erosion and/or accretion of beach sediments over the coming year.

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