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.


Intense, widespread algal blooms reported in Chesapeake Bay
Water sampling and aerial photography show that the algal blooms currently coloring lower Chesapeake Bay are among the most intense and widespread of recent years.
Publ.Date : Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:43:53 EDT

Oxygen oasis in Antarctic lake reflects Earth in distant past
At the bottom of a frigid Antarctic lake, a thin layer of green slime is generating a little oasis of oxygen, a team of researchers has found. It's the first modern replica discovered of conditions on Earth two and a half billion years ago, before oxygen became common in the atmosphere.
Publ.Date : Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:07:59 EDT

Climate change will irreversibly force key ocean bacteria into overdrive
The levels of ocean acidification predicted for the year 2100 have been shown to cause an irreversible evolutionary change to a bacteria foundational to the ocean's food web.
Publ.Date : Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:02:04 EDT

Marine animal colony is a multi-jet swimming machine, scientists report
A colonial jellyfish-like species, Nanomia bijuga, employs a sophisticated, multi-jet propulsion system for swimming that is based on an elegant division of labor among young and old members of the colony, researchers report.
Publ.Date : Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:51:07 EDT

Saving oysters by digging up their past
Restoring oyster reefs is not an easy task, but by digging deep and examining centuries-old reefs, marine restoration professionals may stand a better chance at bringing oysters back, suggests a new study.
Publ.Date : Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:10:07 EDT

Meet pentecopterus, a giant sea scorpion; Predator from prehistoric seas
You don't name a sea creature after an ancient Greek warship unless it's built like a predator. That's certainly true of Pentecopterus, a giant sea scorpion with the features of a penteconter, one of the first Greek galley ships. Researchers say Pentecopterus lived 467 million years ago and could grow to nearly six feet. It is the oldest described eurypterid -- a group of aquatic arthropods that are ancestors of modern spiders and ticks.
Publ.Date : Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:05:45 EDT

Fossil specimen reveals a new species of ancient river dolphin
The careful examination of fossil fragments from Panama has led Smithsonian scientists and colleagues to the discovery of a new genus and species of river dolphin that has been long extinct. The team named it Isthminia panamensis. The specimen not only revealed a new species to science, but also shed new light onto the evolution of today's freshwater river dolphin species.
Publ.Date : Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:55:11 EDT

Plastic in 99 percent of seabirds by 2050
Researchers from CSIRO and Imperial College London have assessed how widespread the threat of plastic is for the world's seabirds, including albatrosses, shearwaters and penguins, and found the majority of seabird species have plastic in their gut.
Publ.Date : Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:37:39 EDT

Sea temperature changes linked to mystery North Pacific ecosystem shifts
Researchers have long been puzzled by two rapid and widespread changes in the abundance and distribution of North Pacific plankton and fish species that impacted the region's economically important salmon fisheries. Now, researchers suggest that longer, less frequent climate fluctuations may be contributing to abrupt and unexplained ecosystem shifts in the North Pacific.
Publ.Date : Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:37:23 EDT

Species lines blur between two sparrows in New England's tidal marshes
Among birds, the line between species is often blurry. Some closely related species interbreed where their ranges overlap, producing hybrid offspring. In the coastal marshes of New England, this has been happening between the Saltmarsh Sparrow and Nelson's Sparrow. Research finds that appearance alone is not enough to identify these hybrid zone birds.
Publ.Date : Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:02:06 EDT

Scientists describe new clam species from depths off Canada's Atlantic coast
A new species of giant file clam from Atlantic Canadian waters has been described by Canadian scientists. The 'cryptic' clam, which lives in deepwater canyons, was first found off the coast of Newfoundland 30 years ago, but was thought to be the known European species. More recent collections off the coast of Nova Scotia, and subsequent DNA analysis coupled with detailed morphological studies established its identity as a distinct species -- Acesta cryptadelphe.
Publ.Date : Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:15:17 EDT

Fishermen discards could increase prevalence of turtle disease in Turks and Caicos
The team surveyed cases of green turtle fibropapillomatosis disease, which creates unsightly pink tumors on the turtles' flesh. Although benign, they can impede turtles' vision and movement, as well as feeding, swimming and organ function. The virus is not thought to be dangerous to humans. Over two years, around 13 percent of green turtles found in waters had the disease. In contrast, fishermen did not land any diseased turtles during this period, even though they were fishing in areas where diseased animals were prevalent.
Publ.Date : Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:56:19 EDT

To track winter flounder, researchers look to ear bones
Researchers are turning to an unusual source -- otoliths, the inner ear bones of fish -- to identify the nursery grounds of winter flounder, the protected estuaries where the potato chip-sized juveniles grow to adolescence. The research could aid the effort to restore plummeting winter flounder populations along the East Coast of the US.
Publ.Date : Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:19:09 EDT

Data backs limits on deep-sea fishing by depth
Researchers have evidence in support of a clearly defined depth limit for deep-sea fishing in Europe. The findings come just as the European Union considers controversial new legislation to manage deep-sea fisheries, including a ban on trawling below 600 meters.
Publ.Date : Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:01:32 EDT

Intensity of desert storms may affect ocean phytoplankton
Scientists have determined that once iron is deposited in the ocean, it has a very short residence time, spending only six months in surface waters before sinking into the deep ocean. This high turnover of iron signals that large seasonal changes in desert dust may have dramatic effects on surface phytoplankton that depend on iron.
Publ.Date : Thu, 27 Aug 2015 12:19:26 EDT

DNA sequencing used to identify thousands of fish eggs
Using DNA sequencing, researchers have accurately painted a clear picture of fish spawning activities in a marine protected area and have created a baseline for continuing studies on the effects of climate variability on fish populations. Researchers collected 260 samples off the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier over a two-year period and used DNA barcoding to accurately identify over 13,000 fish eggs.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:41:12 EDT

Sir Elton John is the inspiration behind the name of a new coral reef crustacean species
An American coral reef scientist found a small shrimp-like crustacean with a greatly enlarged appendage reminiscent of the Elton John character in the movie 'Tommy.' Discovered while working in the remote coral reefs of Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Dr. Thomas said about the species: 'When I first saw this amazing amphipod I immediately thought of Elton John as the Pinball Wizard in the movie.'
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:38:09 EDT

Foes can become friends on the coral reef: How seaweed becomes coral's 'friend' when sea stars invade
On the coral reef, knowing who's your friend and who's your enemy can sometimes be a little complicated. Take seaweed, for instance. Normally it's the enemy of coral, secreting toxic chemicals, blocking the sunlight, and damaging coral with its rough surfaces. But when hordes of hungry crown-of-thorns sea stars invade the reef, everything changes, reports a new study.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:58:50 EDT

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades
In early August, a biologist returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The professor had seen what he considers one of the world's rarest animals, a remote encounter that may become even more infrequent if illegal fishing practices continue.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:28:04 EDT

415-million-year-old malformed fossil plankton reveal that heavy metal pollution might have contributed to some of the world's largest extinction events
Several Palaeozoic mass extinction events during the Ordovician and Silurian periods (ca. 485 to 420 to million years ago) shaped the evolution of life on our planet. Although some of these short-lived, periodic events were responsible for eradication of up to 85 percent of marine species, the exact kill-mechanism responsible for these crises remains poorly understood.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Aug 2015 11:50:31 EDT