Marine Biology News
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.
|Quality of biodiversity, not just quantity, is key: Right mix of species is needed for conservation|
A new study of biodiversity loss in a salt marsh finds that it's not just the total number of species preserved that matters; it's the number of key species. If humans want to reap the benefits of the full range of functions that salt marshes and other coastal ecosystems provide, we need to preserve the right mix of species.
Publ.Date : Sun, 08 Dec 2013 09:06:06 EST
New genetic research finds shark, human proteins stunningly similar
Despite widespread fascination with sharks, the world’s oldest ocean predators have long been a genetic mystery. The first deep dive into a great white shark’s genetic code has fished up big surprises behind a design so effective it has barely changed since before dinosaurs roamed.
Publ.Date : Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:58:58 EST
Sharks prefer to sneak up from behind: Caribbean reef sharks can tell if a human is facing toward them
"Never turn your back on a shark" is the message from a new article. Biologists contend that sharks can comprehend body orientation and therefore know whether humans are facing them or not. This ability helps sharks to approach and possibly attack their prey from the blind side -- a technique they prefer.
Publ.Date : Thu, 05 Dec 2013 14:16:16 EST
An ecosystem-based approach to protect the deep sea from mining
A new paper describes the expert-driven systematic conservation planning process applied to inform science-based recommendations to the International Seabed Authority for a system of deep-sea marine protected areas to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem function in an abyssal Pacific region targeted for nodule mining (e.g. the Clarion–Clipperton fracture zone, CCZ).
Publ.Date : Thu, 05 Dec 2013 10:23:23 EST
Rising ocean acidification leads to anxiety in fish
A new research study combining marine physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and behavioral psychology has revealed a surprising outcome from increases of carbon dioxide uptake in the oceans: anxious fish. Scientists have shown for the first time that rising acidity levels increase anxiety in juvenile rockfish, an important commercial species in California.
Publ.Date : Wed, 04 Dec 2013 18:22:22 EST
Humans threaten wetlands' ability to keep pace with sea-level rise
Left to themselves, coastal wetlands can withstand rapid levels of sea-level rise. But humans could be sabotaging some of their best defenses, according to a new review.
Publ.Date : Wed, 04 Dec 2013 13:20:20 EST
Five distinct humpback whale populations identified in North Pacific
The first comprehensive genetic study of humpback whale populations in the North Pacific Ocean has identified five distinct populations -- at the same time a proposal to designate North Pacific humpbacks as a single "distinct population segment" is being considered under the Endangered Species Act.
Publ.Date : Wed, 04 Dec 2013 09:16:16 EST
First global snapshot of key coral reef fishes: Fishing has reduced vital seaweed eaters by more than 50 percent
Biologists have reported on the impact of fishing on a group of fish known to protect the health of coral reefs. The report offers key data for setting management and conservation targets to protect and preserve fragile coral reefs.
Publ.Date : Wed, 04 Dec 2013 09:16:16 EST
Antarctic fjords are climate-sensitive hotspots of diversity in a rapidly warming region
In the first significant study of seafloor communities in the glacier-dominated fjords along the west Antarctic Peninsula, scientists expected to find an impoverished seafloor highly disturbed by glacial sedimentation, similar to what has been documented in well-studied Arctic regions. Instead, they found high levels of diversity and abundance in megafauna. The difference can be explained by the fact that the subpolar Antarctic is in an earlier stage of climate warming than the Arctic.
Publ.Date : Tue, 03 Dec 2013 19:11:11 EST
Silent stalkers of dark ocean waters: Killer whales hunt marine mammals at night in near total darkness
The mating roar of a male harbor seal is supposed to attract a partner, not a predator. Unfortunately for the seals, scientists have found evidence that marine-mammal-eating killer whales eavesdrop on their prey. Previous research had shown mammal-eating killer whales are nearly silent before making a kill, neither vocalizing nor using their echolocation. The likely reason, researchers say, is the excellent hearing of the seals, porpoises, and other animals the whales stalk.
Publ.Date : Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:17:17 EST
Ocean currents shape Jupiter-moon Europa's icy shell in ways critical for potential habitats
In a finding of relevance to the search for life in our solar system, researchers have shown the subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa may have deep currents and circulation patterns with heat and energy transfers capable of sustaining biological life. The findings are based on numerical models accounting for the formation of the chaos terrains, one of Europa's most prominent surface features.
Publ.Date : Tue, 03 Dec 2013 13:38:38 EST
Biotemplated design of piezoelectric energy harvesting device developed
Scientists have developed a biotemplated design for a flexible piezoelectric energy harvesting device, called a "nanogenerator."
Publ.Date : Tue, 03 Dec 2013 11:03:03 EST
Tracking marine food sources
Scientists have developed a method to determine where animals obtain essential amino acids. They discovered that all life forms leave traces or ‘fingerprints’ in amino acids during biosynthesis. With these fingerprints, which are based on naturally occurring isotope variations, it is possible for the first time to distinguish between algal, bacterial, fungal and plant origins of amino acids through tissue samples. This discovery makes it possible to find out what animals have been feeding on without observing them directly or examining their stomach content.
Publ.Date : Tue, 03 Dec 2013 09:14:14 EST
Plastic found to account for the majority of marine microlitter accumulating in the food chain
Researchers have demonstrated that microplastics are transferred in the marine food web. The study also provided additional support to suspicions that many plankton organisms are unable to separate plastic particles from their natural food and that they therefore also ingest plastic.
Publ.Date : Tue, 03 Dec 2013 09:14:14 EST
New insight into physiology of salmon's intestines
A PhD research project has provided essential knowledge about the mechanisms leading to feed-induced enteritis in salmon and also insight into the salmon's intestinal immune defense system. This research provides a good foundation for developing new types of salmon feed, which must be based on new ingredients.
Publ.Date : Tue, 03 Dec 2013 09:07:07 EST
Biologist develops method for monitoring shipping noise in dolphin habitat
A biologist has developed a system of techniques for tracking ships and monitoring underwater noise levels in a protected marine mammal habitat. The research focused on the bottlenose dolphin population in Scotland's Moray Firth.
Publ.Date : Mon, 02 Dec 2013 17:20:20 EST
Arctic study shows key marine food web species at risk from increasing carbon dioxide
A research expedition to the Arctic, as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey, has revealed that tiny crustaceans, known as copepods, that live just beneath the ocean surface are likely to battle for survival if ocean acidity continues to rise. The study found that copepods that move large distances, migrating vertically across a wide range of pH conditions, have a better chance of surviving.
Publ.Date : Mon, 02 Dec 2013 16:21:21 EST
Microplastics make marine worms sick
Tiny bits of plastic trash could spell big trouble for marine life, starting with the worms. Marine worms play a key ecological role as an important source of food for other animals.
Publ.Date : Mon, 02 Dec 2013 12:14:14 EST
How legless, leaping fish living on land avoids predators
One of the world's strangest animals -- a legless, leaping fish that lives on land -- uses camouflage to avoid attacks by predators such as birds, lizards and crabs, new research shows. Researchers studied the unique fish -- Pacific leaping blennies -- in their natural habitat on the tropical island of Guam. These terrestrial fish spend all of their adult lives living on the rocks in the splash zone.
Publ.Date : Mon, 02 Dec 2013 10:53:53 EST
Corals surviving ocean's pollution
Unlike other marine species, the corals are still capable of adapting under current circumstances of sea acidification. “The first models indicated that the coral reefs would disappear midcentury, but our study reveals that corals are adapting to the ocean’s acidification that has increased since the industrial revolution”, the head researcher notes.
Publ.Date : Mon, 02 Dec 2013 08:24:24 EST