Marine Biology News

Courtesy of Science Daily

Welcome to Sea and Sky's Marine Biology News. Here you can find links to the latest ocean news headlines in the topic of marine biology. Click on any yellow title below to view the full news article. The news article will open in a new browser window. Simply close the browser window when you are finished reading the article to return to the news article listing. You can use the "Click for More" link to go to a page with more news headlines.


'Just right' plant growth may make river deltas resilient
Geologists suggest that an intermediate amount of vegetation -- not too little and not too much -- is most effective at stabilizing freshwater river deltas. Vegetation on marsh surfaces in river deltas can slow the flow of water and cause more sediment to be deposited, helping prevent sea-level rise from drowning sensitive marshlands. But the study finds that, if the vegetation is too tall or dense, it diverts water into the river channel, resulting in less sediment being deposited on the marsh.
Publ.Date : Sun, 24 Aug 2014 15:23:57 EDT

Fossil arthropod went on the hunt for its prey
A new species of carnivorous crustacean has been identified, which roamed the seas 435 million years ago, grasping its prey with spiny limbs before devouring it.
Publ.Date : Fri, 22 Aug 2014 08:40:42 EDT

From dandruff to deep sea vents, an ecologically hyper-diverse fungus
A ubiquitous skin fungus linked to dandruff, eczema and other itchy, flaky maladies in humans has now been tracked to even further global reaches -- including Hawaiian coral reefs and the extreme environments of arctic soils and deep sea vents. The study considers the diversity, ecology, and distribution of the fungi of the genus Malassezia in light of new insights gained from screening environmental sequencing datasets from around the world.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:14:51 EDT

Fish and coral smell a bad neighborhood: Marine protected areas might not be enough to help overfished reefs recover
Pacific corals and fish can both smell a bad neighborhood, and use that ability to avoid settling in damaged reefs. Damaged coral reefs emit chemical cues that repulse young coral and fish, discouraging them from settling in the degraded habitat, according to new research. The study shows for the first time that coral larvae can smell the difference between healthy and damaged reefs when they decide where to settle.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:13:34 EDT

Viruses take down massive algal blooms, with big implications for climate
Humans are increasingly dependent on algae to suck up climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Now, by using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are driving the life-and-death dynamics of the algae's blooms, even when all else stays essentially the same, and this has important implications for our climate.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:48:25 EDT

Salmon forced to 'sprint' less likely to survive migration
When salmon encounter turbulent, fast-moving water-such as rapids or areas downstream of dams -- they must move upstream using a behavior known as "burst swimming" that is similar to sprinting for humans. New research suggests that sockeye salmon that sprint to spawning grounds through fast-moving waters may be at risk.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:39:38 EDT

Seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans
Scientists who study tuberculosis have long debated its origins. New research shows that tuberculosis likely spread from humans in Africa to seals and sea lions that brought the disease to South America and transmitted it to Native people there before Europeans landed on the continent.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:00:23 EDT

Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life
The sweet and salty aroma of sunscreen and seawater signals a relaxing trip to the shore. But scientists are now reporting that the idyllic beach vacation comes with an environmental hitch. When certain sunblock ingredients wash off skin and into the sea, they can become toxic to some of the ocean's tiniest inhabitants, which are the main course for many other marine animals.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:05:40 EDT

Seafood substitutions can expose consumers to unexpectedly high mercury
New measurements from fish purchased at retail seafood counters in 10 different states show the extent to which mislabeling can expose consumers to unexpectedly high levels of mercury, a harmful pollutant. Fishery stock 'substitutions' -- which falsely present a fish of the same species, but from a different geographic origin -- are the most dangerous mislabeling offense, according to new research.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:53:24 EDT

Neither too hot nor too cold: Evolution of marine crocodilians constrained by ocean temperatures
The ancestors of today's crocodiles colonized the seas during warm phases and became extinct during cold phases, according to a new Anglo-French study which establishes a link between marine crocodilian diversity and the evolution of sea temperature over a period of more than 140 million years.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:31:02 EDT

Sequencing at sea: Performing real-time DNA sequencing in the middle of Pacific Ocean
Scientists overcame equipment failure, space constraints and shark-infested waters to do real-time DNA sequencing in a remote field location. Despite the setbacks, the researchers successfully collected samples, sequenced DNA, and developed new research questions on the fly. In all, 26 bacterial genomes were sequenced, along with two metagenomes, which take into account all the DNA present in a given region.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Aug 2014 08:32:02 EDT

Older coral species more hardy, biologists say
An examination of disease patterns in 14 species of Caribbean corals facing stressors like climate change and pollution shows older species are faring better. The newly-published research could give clues about what coral reefs will look like in the future. "Species that have been around over longer periods of time have been exposed to more environmental and biological stressors, and they have survived, so it seems logical to expect that they would have better base immunity or be better adapted to respond to new stresses" said one author.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:25:17 EDT

Unraveling the mysteries of the Red Sea: A new reef coral species from Saudi Arabia
A new hard coral species Pachyseris inattesa is described from the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Although the Red Sea is famous as an important region of marine biodiversity it has remained deeply understudied and we are still to discover its innermost secrets.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:50:29 EDT

Scientists study 'talking' turtles in Brazilian Amazon
Turtles are well known for their longevity and protective shells, but it turns out these reptiles use sound to stick together and care for young. Scientists working in the Brazilian Amazon have found that Giant South American river turtles actually use several different kinds of vocal communication to coordinate their social behaviors, including one used by female turtles to call to their newly hatched offspring in what is the first instance of recorded parental care in turtles.
Publ.Date : Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:15:26 EDT

Giant Aldabra tortoises debut at Bronx Zoo
Two giant Aldabra tortoises (Geochelone gigantean) are now grazing outside Zoo Center at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. Both tortoises are males; one weighs approximately 400 pounds and the other tips the scales at around 600 pounds. Their exhibit is located at the iconic Zoo Center and resembles their natural habitat with a sandy substrate, lush vegetation, and a freshwater pool.
Publ.Date : Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:15:24 EDT

Lionfish characteristics make them more 'terminator' than predator
New research on the predatory nature of red lionfish, the invasive species that is decimating native fish populations in parts of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, seems to indicate that lionfish are not just a predator, but more like the 'terminator' of movie fame. In behavior that is called 'alarming,' it appears that in some cases lionfish will continue to hunt until the last fish of a local population is dead.
Publ.Date : Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:45:45 EDT

Little penguins forage together: 40% of studied penguins synchronized underwater movements while foraging
Most little penguins may search for food in groups, and even synchronize their movements during foraging trips.
Publ.Date : Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:42:25 EDT

Survey of marine scientists: Ocean productivity, ocean acidification, ocean-life stressors are serious issues
Declines in ocean productivity, increases in ocean acidification, and the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on ocean health are among the most pressing issues facing coastal and maritime countries, according to a survey of scientists. All three issues were ranked in the top five ocean research priorities by oceanographers and marine ecologists from around the globe.
Publ.Date : Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:34:59 EDT

Climate change, predators, and trickle down effects on ecosystems
Because predator species are animals that survive by preying on other organisms, they send ripples throughout the food web, regulating the effects other animals have on that ecosystem. Ecologists are just beginning to understand how the impacts of climate change are affecting predatory keystone species and their ecosystems.
Publ.Date : Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:03:26 EDT

Reconstructions show how some of the earliest animals lived -- and died
A bizarre group of uniquely shaped organisms known as rangeomorphs may have been some of the earliest animals to appear on Earth, uniquely suited to ocean conditions 575 million years ago. A new model has resolved many of the mysteries around the structure, evolution and extinction of these 'proto animals.'
Publ.Date : Mon, 11 Aug 2014 17:02:01 EDT