Researchers this week issued a sort of almanac of the ocean off Southern California in wide-ranging report on the the region’s marine protected areas established in 2012. San Diego’s coast includes 11 of those marine protected areas, from Batiquitos Lagoon in North County to the Tijuana River Mouth.
An evolutionary war that raged beneath the sea more than 100 million years ago created the octopus and squid, new research has shown. Cephalopods – the tentacled creatures that include octopuses, squid and cuttlefish – possess some extraordinary traits such as instantaneous colour changing, ink squirting, jet propulsion and polarised vision.
The six ocean hot spots that teem with the biggest mix of species are also getting hit hardest by global warming and industrial fishing, a new study finds. An international team looked at more than 2,100 species of fish, seabirds, marine mammals and even tiny plankton to calculate Earth’s hot spots of marine biodiversity.
A new analysis of population trends among coastal sharks of the southeast U.S. shows that all but one of the seven species studied are increasing in abundance. The gains follow enactment of fishing regulations in the early 1990s after decades of declining shark numbers.
Being a baleen feeder isn’t easy. When baleen whales — like the enormous blue whale — gulp up a mouthful of water to filter for food, a pouch of skin under their chins stretches to accommodate the load. This stretch should hurt, but new research finds that whale nerves are specially adapted to prevent these giant beasts from feeling pain.
Yes, this cephalopod is looking at you funny. It’s a kind of cockeyed squid—an animal that looks like some jokester misassembled a Mr. Potato Head. One of the cockeyed squid’s eyes is big, bulging and yellow. The other is flat and beady. After studying more than 25 years’ worth of undersea video footage, scientists think they know why.
Chemicals banned in the 1970s have been found in the deepest reaches of the Pacific Ocean, a new study shows. Scientists were surprised by the relatively high concentrations of pollutants like PCBs and PBDEs in deep sea ecosystems. Used widely during much of the 20th Century, these chemicals were later found to be toxic and to build up in the environment.
An extraordinary fossil unearthed in southwestern China shows a pregnant long-necked marine reptile that lived millions of years before the dinosaurs with its developing embryo, indicating this creature gave birth to live babies rather than laying eggs. Scientists on Tuesday said the fossil of the unusual fish-eating reptile called Dinocephalosaurus, which lived about 245 million years ago during the Triassic Period, changes the understanding of the evolution of vertebrate reproductive systems.
Deep-sea dragonfishes, also known barbeled dragonfishes, open their mouths wider than any other fish, researchers now believe after studying the animal’s very unique head joint. The fish can open their mouths at least 120 degrees (a straight line measures 180 degrees) allowing them to eat extremely large prey relative to the size of these predators. Dragonfishes, described in the journal PLOS ONE, grow up to about one feet, six inches long.
Researchers have identified the first known example of one animal, a boxer crab, stimulating another animal, a sea anemone, to reproduce asexually. From the outside, it’s a bit of an abusive situation. The crabs and anemones have a symbiotic relationship.
Squid and their cephalopod brethren have been the inspiration for many a science fiction creature. Their slippery appendages, huge proportions, and inking abilities can be downright shudder-inducing. (See: Arrival.) But you should probably be more concerned by the cephalopod’s huge brain—which not only helps it solve tricky puzzles, but also lets it converse in its own sign language.
Scientists have described a new kind of sea creature in what’s now central China. It lived 540 million years ago, and the tiny, baggy organism could occupy a peripheral spot on our own evolutionary tree. When scientists like Simon Conway Morris discover a new animal, they get to name it. He and his colleagues in China don’t seem to give compliments where they aren’t deserved.