(Credit: Arcadio Castillo/ Smithsonian) New research has found that in the past 50 years, the amount of ocean areas with zero oxygen has gone up more than fourfold. Low-oxygen sites, as they are called, are regions where water has lost its usual oxygen levels. In coastal water bodies, low-oxygen sites have increased 10-fold [...]
As climate change continues to grip the Arctic—causing the oceans to rise, permafrost to thaw and sea ice to melt—scientists believe they've discovered an unexpected consequence of the shifting landscape. Changes along the coastline are altering the composition of the Arctic Ocean, in ways that could fundamentally transform the local food chain. (From Scientific [...]
When baby sea turtles hatch on a beach at night, their instinct is to head to the sea. The beach slopes down, which is one directional clue they follow. Another is light: The horizon over the sea is brighter than the horizon over land. (From New York Times/ By James Gorman) -- But lights from [...]
Spawning salmon that die after migrating home actually do their offspring a favor. The study, published today in Ecology Letters, found that by dying, the decaying bodies of the salmon fertilize the stream and create an environment which favors the growth of the young fish and maintains their genetic diversity. (From Phys.org) -- Spawning salmon migrate [...]
A new article by a UNSW Sydney-led team challenges the validity of current methods for forecasting the persistence of slow-growing species for conservation purposes, and provides a better approach to reducing the threat of extinction. (From Science Daily) -- Previous research on wild dolphins in Australia and wild bears in North America has revealed that [...]
(Credit: Flip Nicklin/ Minden Pictures/Getty Images) Narwhals — the unicorns of the sea — show a weird fear response after being entangled in nets. Scientists say this unusual reaction to human-induced stress might restrict blood flow to the brain and leave the whales addled. (From NPR/ by Nell Greenfieldboyce) -- The narwhals swim hard and dive [...]
Whale shark gliding off Sail Rock in the Gulf of Thailand. (Credit: iStockphoto/Dirk-Jan Mattaar) An international research project tracking whale sharks is being praised as a unique collaboration using 'citizen science' and NASA technology. (From ABC News Australia/By David Weber) -- The project relied on people sending in photos, taken over many years [...]
Scallop (Credit: Ceri Jones/Haven Diving Services) It’s hard to see what’s so special about a scallop. It looks a lot like a clam, mussel or any other bivalve. Inside its hinged shell lurks a musclebound creature that’s best enjoyed seared in butter. (From New York Times/ By Carl Zimmer) -- But there’s something [...]
(Click to enlarge) (Credit: Adam Summers, Friday Harbor Lab, University Of Washington) Scientists have formally identified a new species of snailfish, the deepest ever caught in the Mariana Trench. A related species has been filmed but never collected. (From National Geographic/ By Craig Welch) — It’s cute, almost pink, and about [...]
Sea snakes are an evolutionary success story. With about 70 species, they're the most diverse reptile group in the ocean, outnumbering sea turtle species 10-to-1. They sport a range of physical adaptations for life at sea, including a flattened oar-like tail for paddling and the abilities to smell underwater, hold their breath for hours and go for months without a drink. And although they're not powerful swimmers, they have spread throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, ranging from Japan to New Zealand and from South Africa to Central America.
Have you ever dug your feet into the warm, soft surface of a white sand beach? Felt the fine, dry grains slide pleasurably between your toes? Thank a parrotfish. Specifically, thank it for its poop. Most of the sand on just about every white beach in the world is the product of generations of the strange family of fish digging their sturdy beaks into ocean-floor coral and chewing chunks of rocky organic matter down to powder. And now, researchers know how the swimming weirdos get through their stony meals without cracking their teeth.
You’re camping in the woods, about to tuck into some salmon you’ve caught when a bear appears. It’s waiting for you to eat your fish, so it can swoop in to eat you. This is a steal for the bear. For the price of a human, it’s bagged a human-salmon combo meal.