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.


Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones
Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) distinguish between heavier and lighter peanuts without opening the nuts. The birds do it by shaking the nuts in their beaks, which allows them to 'feel' nut heaviness and to listen to sounds produced by peanuts during handling.
Publ.Date : Fri, 22 May 2015 17:47:19 EDT

Estuaries protect Dungeness crabs from deadly parasites
Parasitic worms can pose a serious threat to the Dungeness crab, a commercially important fishery species found along the west coast of North America. The worms are thought to have caused or contributed to the crash of the crab fishery of central California during the last half century. New research shows that infected crabs can rid themselves of parasites by moving into the less salty water of estuaries. Low salinity kills the worms creating a parasite refuge for the crabs.
Publ.Date : Fri, 22 May 2015 10:53:25 EDT

New model predicts fish population response to dams, other ecological factors
Researchers have developed a model to assess how dams affect the viability of sea-run fish species that need to pass dams as they use both fresh and marine waters during their lifetimes. The aim is to test how varying passage efficiency at dams related to survival rates for these species, using a model of endangered Atlantic salmon as a case study.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 May 2015 14:40:58 EDT

Tara Oceans expedition yields treasure trove of plankton data
A multinational team of researchers who spent three and a half years sampling the ocean's sunlit upper layers aboard the schooner Tara unveil the first officially reported global analyses of the Tara Oceans consortium.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 May 2015 14:39:34 EDT

New insights into global ocean microbe-virus interactions, drivers of Earth's ecosystems
Ocean microbes are vital to the Earth's ecosystems, and their interactions with ocean viruses can have dramatic effects on processes ranging from oxygen production to food supply. Marine biologists have now uncovered new information about the way marine viruses and microbes interact on a global scale, which may allow researchers to predictively model their complex interactions.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 May 2015 14:39:30 EDT

Fossil of 425-million-year-old parasite with host discovered in England
Scientists have discovered a new species of fossil in England -- and identified it as an ancient parasitic intruder. The fossil species -- a 'tongue worm', which has a worm-like body and a head and two pairs of limbs -- is actually a parasite whose representatives today live internally in the respiratory system of a host, which it enters when it is eaten.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 May 2015 13:36:36 EDT

Rapid action necessary to protect Malaysia's sea cows and their habitat
Malaysia aims to protect 10% of its marine environment by 2020. Less than 1%, however, is currently protected. This may have dire consequences for the country's endangered dugong population, warn a team of Malaysian scientists.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 May 2015 09:16:35 EDT

Top 10 new species for 2015
A cartwheeling spider, a bird-like dinosaur and a fish that wriggles around on the sea floor to create a circular nesting site are among the species identified as the Top 10 New Species for 2015. Two animals -- a frog that gives birth to tadpoles and a wasp that uses dead ants to protect its nest -- are unusual because of their parenting practices. Also on the list are an animal that might surpass the new species distinction to be an entirely new phylum, a 9-inch walking stick and a photogenic sea slug. Rounding out the top 10 are a coral plant described as endangered almost as soon as it was discovered and a red-and-green plant used during Christmas celebrations in Mexico.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 May 2015 08:16:57 EDT

Surviving harsh environments becomes a death-trap for specialist corals
The success of corals that adapt to survive in the world's hottest sea could contribute to their demise through global warming, according to new research.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 May 2015 19:35:19 EDT

Arctic ducks combine nutrients from wintering, breeding grounds to grow healthy eggs
It takes a lot of nutrients to build an egg. One of the big questions among researchers who study the eggs of migratory birds is where those nutrients come from -- does the mother make the egg directly out of what she eats during the breeding season, or does she save up nutrients consumed on her wintering grounds? The answer appears to be both for Common Eiders, large, sea-going ducks that breed in the Arctic.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 May 2015 16:03:16 EDT

Deepwater Horizon oil spill contributed to high number of Gulf dolphin deaths
As part of an unusual mortality event investigation, a team of scientists has discovered that dead bottlenose dolphins stranded in the northern Gulf of Mexico since the start of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have lung and adrenal lesions consistent with petroleum product exposure.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 May 2015 15:16:22 EDT

First dinosaur fossil discovered in Washington state
Paleontologists have published a description of the first dinosaur fossil from Washington state. The fossil was collected along the shores of Sucia Island State Park in the San Juan Islands.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 May 2015 15:16:18 EDT

Study reveals how eastern US forests came to be
Spring visitors to Great Smoky Mountains or the Blue Ridge Parkway will see ridges and valleys covered in flowering mountain laurels, rhododendrons, tulip poplars, dogwoods, black locusts and silverbell trees. A new study of nearly all the trees and shrubs in the southern Appalachians suggests that roughly half of the species can trace their relatives to thousands of miles away in Asia. Most of the rest likely arose within North America, the researchers say.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 May 2015 13:46:35 EDT

Clever fish around the coast of Mallorca Island avoid fishing lines
To avoid overfishing and aid in sustainable exploitation, the status of the fish stocks has to be monitored regularly. In many cases stock assessment is based on fishery-dependent data generated from fish markets or creel surveys. The assumption is: the lower the catches in a certain unit of time, the smaller the stock of fish should be. Biologists have now shown that some fish species show enhanced gear-avoidance behavior in regions with high angling intensity compared to fish exposed to low levels of exploitation near marine protected areas.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 May 2015 08:31:29 EDT

Offshore wind turbine construction could be putting seals' hearing at risk
Noise from pile driving during offshore wind turbine construction could be damaging the hearing of harbour seals around the UK, researchers have found. They say more research is needed on how noise affects marine mammals' hearing and into engineering solutions to reduce noise levels.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 May 2015 21:02:02 EDT

Bugs and slugs ideal houseguests for seagrass health
A simultaneous experiment spanning 15 sites across the Northern Hemisphere shows biodiversity is as important as reducing fertilizer runoff for valuable seagrass ecosystems. The results of the study support that comprehensive coastal management should consider how to maintain robust populations of animals in addition to managing for the more conspicuous effects of pollution and disturbance.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 May 2015 18:22:41 EDT

Real and 3-D printed shells ability to withstand pressure
Engineers analyzed seashells to see how their shapes contribute to their remarkable strength. By modeling the average mollusk's mobile habitat, they are learning how shells stand up to extraordinary pressures at the bottom of the sea. The goal is to learn what drove these tough exoskeletons to evolve as they did and to see how their mechanical principles may be adapted for use in human-scale structures like vehicles and even buildings.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 May 2015 13:26:38 EDT

New colonial marine organisms discovered in Madeira
The Portuguese island of Madeira is considered a diversity hotspot for bryozoans, which are colonial, principally marine, organisms. However, the fauna of these small animals only started being documented a short while ago. Scientists have now discovered two new species of bryozoans, as well as another that had previously only been found in the waters of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 May 2015 08:35:46 EDT

Requiem for a shortfin mako shark: Mako shark tagged by researchers is no more
After nearly a year of transmitting incredible data, a tagged mako shark has been caught. The shark logged more than 9,200 miles throughout the Atlantic Ocean -- his travels took him from the chilly waters off Nova Scotia to the warm, inviting ocean near Venezuela to the clear waters of Puerto Rico.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 May 2015 12:14:00 EDT

New species of marine roly poly pillbug discovered near Port of Los Angeles
A new research article reports on a discovery made during a Los Angeles class fieldtrip -- a new species of marine pillbug. While documenting the new species, a second new species of pillbug originally collected 142 years ago by biologists on a wooden sailing ship in Alaska was discovered in a collection room at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) by researchers.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 May 2015 11:18:51 EDT