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.


Policy action urgently needed to protect Hawaii's dolphins
Tourism is increasing pressure on Hawaii's spinner dolphins. A new study shows that long-proposed federal regulations to limit daytime access to bays where the dolphins rest are greatly needed, but local, community-based conservation measures tailored to each individual bay will speed their acceptance. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work, authors say.
Publ.Date : Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:40:25 EST

Short-necked Triassic marine reptile discovered in China
A new species of short-necked marine reptile from the Triassic period has been discovered in China.
Publ.Date : Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:40:14 EST

Ancient, hydrogen-rich waters deep underground around the world: Waters could support isolated life
A team of scientists has mapped the location of hydrogen-rich waters found trapped kilometers beneath Earth's surface in rock fractures in Canada, South Africa and Scandinavia. Common in Precambrian Shield rocks -- the oldest rocks on Earth -- the ancient waters have a chemistry similar to that found near deep sea vents, suggesting these waters can support microbes living in isolation from the surface.
Publ.Date : Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:11:27 EST

Research shows Jaws didn't kill his cousin
Our jawed ancestors weren't responsible for the demise of their jawless cousins as had been assumed. Instead, researchers believe that rising sea levels are more likely to blame. "When our jawed vertebrate ancestors overtook their jawless relatives 400 million years ago, it seems that it might not have been through direct competition but instead the inability of our jawless cousins to adapt to changing environmental conditions," an experts said.
Publ.Date : Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:18:55 EST

Biologist reveals how whales may 'sing' for their supper
Humpback whales have a trick or two, when it comes to finding a quick snack at the bottom of the ocean. Even in the dark. Biologists have been studying these unique feeding behaviors. Her research emphasizes the importance of specific auditory cues that these mammoth creatures emit, as they search the deep ocean for their prey.
Publ.Date : Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:57:52 EST

Hox cluster found in Crown of Thorns starfish a surprise
New research reports an intact Hox cluster in the Crown of Thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. This surprising result contrasts with the relatively disorganized Hox cluster found in sea urchins, which are also echinoderms, classification of animals including starfish, sea lilies, and sea cucumbers. “The translocation of the Hox cluster in echinoderms has been a major red herring for understanding their evolution. It’s really good to have some hard data showing that some echinoderms exhibit some oddities that are not representative of all echinoderms,” says one expert.
Publ.Date : Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:44:15 EST

Study of threatened coral reefs underway
A new study in Florida has successfully mapped 40 acres of staghorn coral, including some previously undiscovered reef patches. The report states staghorn corals covered nearly 100 percent of the seafloor in some areas. This is particularly astounding, as reef building, or stony, coral usually only account for 3-5 percent of the community on southeast Florida reefs.
Publ.Date : Fri, 12 Dec 2014 19:01:01 EST

Oil-dwelling bacteria are social creatures in Earth's deep biosphere
Oil reservoirs are scattered deep inside the Earth like far-flung islands in the ocean, so their inhabitants might be expected to be very different, but a new study shows these underground microbes are social creatures that have exchanged genes for eons.
Publ.Date : Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:03:15 EST

A new trout species described from the Alakır Stream in Antalya, Turkey
A new fish species, Salmo kottelati, has been described from the Alak1r Stream draining to Mediterranean Sea in Anatolia. The new species is currently only known from this specific locality. It belongs to the Salmonidae family, which includes salmons, trouts, chars, graylings and whitefishes.
Publ.Date : Fri, 12 Dec 2014 11:16:55 EST

Fish use chemical camouflage from diet to hide from predators
A species of small fish uses a homemade coral-scented cologne to hide from predators, a new study has shown, providing the first evidence of chemical camouflage from diet in fish.
Publ.Date : Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:55:24 EST

Major comeback for sea turtles: Highest reported nest counts in Nicaragua
Scientists noticed a dramatic increase in nesting of critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles including the highest nest counts since a conservation project began there in 2000.
Publ.Date : Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:53:18 EST

Story of bizarre deep-sea bone worm takes unexpected twist: Evolutionary reversal previously unseen in animal kingdom
The saga of the Osedax “bone-eating” worms began 12 years ago, with the first discovery of these deep-sea creatures that feast on the bones of dead animals. The Osedax story grew even stranger when researchers found that the large female worms contained harems of tiny dwarf males.
Publ.Date : Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:18:39 EST

Tourism poses a threat to dolphins in the Balearic Islands
The rise in tourism, fishing and sea transport between the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands is compromising the wellbeing of a small population of common bottlenose dolphins living in coastal waters off the Pityusic Islands. This is the conclusion of a study which has, for the first time, counted these mammals in summer and spring, which are crucial seasons for them.
Publ.Date : Thu, 11 Dec 2014 08:11:14 EST

Predator versus prey: California sheephead's role along Pacific Coast
California sheephead plays a vital role in the food web of kelp forests along the Pacific coast. Commonly found in the waters from Baja California to Point Conception -- although they can sometimes be found as far north as Monterey Bay -- sheephead feed on sea urchins, whose grazing habits can wreak havoc on community composition in kelp forests.
Publ.Date : Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:13:46 EST

Climate change projected to drive species northward
Anticipated changes in climate will push West Coast marine species from sharks to salmon northward an average of 30 kilometers per decade, shaking up fish communities and shifting fishing grounds, according to a new study.
Publ.Date : Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:14:01 EST

Ancient creature discovered in the depths of the Arctic Ocean
An extraordinary animal has been discovered more than 1.5 miles (2.5 km) below the ocean surface off the coast of northern Alaska, USA. The new species is a type of bivalve mollusk (clams, mussels, oysters etc.). Age estimates place the new clam as living more than 1.8 million years ago to the near present, but scientists can't discount that it might still be alive today.
Publ.Date : Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:43:12 EST

Caribbean gorgonian corals are resistant to ocean acidification
A new study on tropical shallow-water soft corals, known as gorgonians, found that the species were able to calcify and grow under elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. These results suggest that Caribbean gorgonian corals may be more resilient to the ocean acidification levels projected by the end of the 21st century than previously thought.
Publ.Date : Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:57:51 EST

Bioluminescence as method of assessing fish stocks
A promising new method of forecasting bioluminescence, which may improve the monitoring of movements in the ocean, such as fish shoals and internal waves, has been outlined by experts. As fish move through the sea they churn the water around them. This movement disturbs  the bioluminescent organisms, triggering a chemical reaction that emits a flash of light. The combined flashes of hundreds of thousands of organisms give the impression of a constant glow of blue light, which Aristotle termed ‘flaming seas’ around 410 BC. This new research has examined how bioluminescence could be predicted by modelling the bioluminescent organisms themselves.
Publ.Date : Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:51:38 EST

Electric eels deliver taser-like shocks
The electric eel -- the scaleless Amazonian fish that can deliver an electrical jolt strong enough to knock down a full-grown horse -- possesses an electroshock system uncannily similar to a Taser. That is the conclusion of a nine-month study of the way in which the electric eel uses high-voltage electrical discharges to locate and incapacitate its prey.
Publ.Date : Thu, 04 Dec 2014 14:06:10 EST

Arabian sea humpback whales isolated for 70,000 years
Scientists have made a fascinating discovery in the northern Indian Ocean: humpback whales inhabiting the Arabian Sea are the most genetically distinct humpback whales in the world and may be the most isolated whale population on earth. The results suggest they have remained separate from other humpback whale populations for perhaps 70,000 years, extremely unusual in a species famed for long distance migrations.
Publ.Date : Wed, 03 Dec 2014 15:18:08 EST