Environmental disturbances such as El Niño shake up the marine food web off Southern California, new research shows, countering conventional thinking that the hierarchy of who-eats-who in the ocean remains largely constant over time.
It’s not just humans who will be affected by the Great American Eclipse coming on Aug. 21 — expect animals to act strangely too. Anecdotal evidence and a few scientific studies suggest that as the moon moves briefly between the sun and the Earth, causing a deep twilight to fall across the land, large swaths of the animal kingdom will alter their behavior.
The seventh season of Game of Thrones may have just premiered, but for catfish of the Gulf of Mexico, every day brings with it the grim possibility of ending up like Ned Stark: unexpectedly beheaded. In a first, marine biologists have discovered that some of the Gulf’s common bottlenose dolphins have a knack for decapitating native marine catfish. Though dolphins usually eat their prey whole, they sometimes get fancy in their meal preparation. Rough-toothed dolphins in the eastern Pacific “filet” mahi-mahi. Dolphins employ division of labor to corral and eat mullet. One 2009 study shows that Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins follow “recipes” for preparing cuttlefish meals.
A newly born two-headed porpoise has been documented by a group of Dutch fishermen and studied by a team of researchers from several institutions in the Netherlands. In their paper published in Deinsea—Online Journal of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, the researchers report how the fishermen caught the porpoise, photographed it and then threw it back into the ocean. Reports of conjoined twins in cetaceans (a family that includes whales, porpoises and dolphins) are rare, quite naturally because they occur in the open sea—it is also likely that most would die shortly after birth, like the specimen found by the fishermen. In this case, it appears the porpoise was born without the ability to swim.
For humans, there are hundreds of antibodies available on the market to evaluate immune status in health and diseases. However, for the more than 42 known species of dolphins around the world, commercially available marine-specific antibodies do not exist. With the drastic increase in the number of unusual dolphin strandings and deaths along the southeastern coast of the United States and elsewhere, finding specific antibodies to test, monitor and document their immune health is critical.
U.S. Navy-trained dolphins and their handlers will participate in a last-ditch effort to catch, enclose and protect the last few dozen of Mexico's critically endangered vaquita porpoises to save them from extinction. International experts confirmed the participation of the Navy Marine Mammal Program in the effort, which is expected to start sometime this spring.
Marine scientists have discovered that two species of dolphin in the waters off Bangladesh are genetically distinct from those in other regions of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans, a finding that supports a growing body of evidence that the Bay of Bengal harbors conditions that drive the evolution of new life forms, according to a new study by the American Museum of Natural History(AMNH), WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), and the cE3c -- Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (Universidade de Lisboa).
Pods of playful Hawaiian spinner dolphins are popular with tourists along the western shore of Hawaii’s Big Island. But noise from sightseeing boats and other coastal users wakes these vulnerable animals from their essential daytime slumber, a new study shows. A pending federal rule would protect the species, but advocates on both sides are unhappy with it.
Two captive harbour porpoises called Freja and Sif have helped to reveal that porpoises —and probably all cetaceans — consciously adjust their heart rate to suit the length of a planned dive.
Why reinvent the wheel when nature has the answer? That's what researcher Michael Janech, Ph.D. of the Medical University of South Carolina, has found to be true, drawing from the field of biomimicry where researchers look to nature for creative solutions to human problems.
Scientists have identified a new species of dolphin that lived 25 million years ago. The extinct animal has been described through re-examination of a specimen that's been in a museum collection since 1951.
After years of research into dolphin behavior and countless protests from activists about their life in captivity, the dolphins at the National Aquarium in Baltimore will be moved to an oceanside sanctuary.