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.


Iberian orcas, increasingly trapped
Thanks to the more than 11,200 sightings of cetaceans over the course of ten years, Spanish and Portuguese researchers have been able to identify, in detail, the presence of orcas in the Gulf of Cadiz, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea. According to the models that have been generated, the occurrence of these cetaceans is linked to the distribution of their main prey (red tuna) and their presence in Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan waters is thus more limited than previously thought.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:11:20 EST

Amazonian shrimps: An underwater world still unknown
A study reveals how little we know about the Amazonian diversity. Aiming to resolve a scientific debate about the validity of two species of freshwater shrimp described in the first half of the last century, researchers have found that not only this species is valid, but also discovered the existence of a third unknown species. The researchers concluded that these species evolved about 10 million years ago.
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:39:05 EST

Hydrothermal settlers: Barnacle holds clues about how climate change is affecting the deep ocean
The deep ocean seems so remote that it is difficult to imagine any sort of human-generated change making an impact on deep-sea life. It is even more difficult to collect or examine evidence from the deep ocean to determine what those impacts might be. Enter the barnacle; a hard, sessile creature that looks like a tiny volcano and attaches to rocks, boat bottoms, and other hard substrates, where it filters ocean water to feed on tiny organisms. The barnacle holds clues about how climate change is affecting the deep ocean. 
Publ.Date : Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:53:05 EST

Endangered hammerhead shark found migrating into unprotected waters
The precise movements of a young hammerhead shark have been tracked for the first time, scientists report. The study, which ran over a 10-month period, reveals important gaps in current efforts to protect these endangered sharks and suggests key locations that should be protected to help the survival of the species.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:58:41 EST

Endangered species success: Idaho salmon regaining fitness advantage
Once on the brink of extinction with only a few fish remaining, Snake River sockeye salmon are regaining the fitness they need to rebuild wild populations. A new analysis shows that naturally spawned offspring of fish saved by a hatchery program are now surviving to return at increasing rate -- high enough to not only sustain the population but also to rebuild it.
Publ.Date : Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:08:34 EST

CT scans of coral skeletons reveal ocean acidity increases reef erosion
For coral reefs to persist, rates of reef construction must exceed reef breakdown. Prior research has largely focused on the negative impacts of ocean acidification on reef growth, but new research demonstrates that lower ocean pH also enhances reef breakdown: a double-whammy for coral reefs in a changing climate.
Publ.Date : Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:01:21 EST

Biology trumps chemistry in open ocean: How phytoplankton assimilate limited concentrations of phosphorus
Scientists laid out a new framework based on in situ observations that will allow them to describe and understand how phytoplankton assimilate limited concentrations of phosphorus, a key nutrient, in the ocean in ways that better reflect what is actually occurring in the marine environment. This is important because nutrient uptake is a property of ocean biogeochemistry, and in many regions controls carbon dioxide fixation, which ultimately can play a role in mitigating climate change.
Publ.Date : Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:29:28 EST

Avoiding ecosystem collapse: Experts Weigh in
From coral reefs to prairie grasslands, some of the world's most iconic habitats are susceptible to sudden collapse due to seemingly minor events. A classic example: the decimation of kelp forests when a decline of otter predation unleashes urchin population explosions. Three studies hold the promise of helping resource managers predict, avoid, and reverse the tipping points that lead to degraded habitats, economic losses, and social upheaval.
Publ.Date : Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:56:01 EST

Fiddler crab migrating north, possibly from climate change
The fiddler crab, Uca pugnax, has migrated nearly 50 miles north of its supposed natural range along the US East Coast. This may be another sign of climate change, experts say.
Publ.Date : Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:24:34 EST

Life's extremists may be an untapped source of antibacterial drugs
Life's extremists, a family of microbes called Archaea, may be an untapped source of new antibacterial drugs. That conclusion arises from the discovery of the first antibacterial gene in this ancient lineage.
Publ.Date : Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:25:53 EST

Environmental bleaching impairs long-term coral reproduction
Bleaching -- a process where high water temperatures or UV light stresses the coral to the point where it loses its symbiotic algal partner that provides the coral with color -- is also affecting the long-term fertility of the coral.
Publ.Date : Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:15:59 EST

Virulent bacteria affecting oysters found to be a case of mistaken identity
The bacteria that helped cause the near-ruin of two large oyster hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest have been mistakenly identified for years, researchers say in a recent report. In addition, the study shows that the bacteria now believed to have participated in that problem are even more widespread and deadly than the previous suspect.
Publ.Date : Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:56:02 EST

History's lesson reveals depth of fish catch decline
Scientists in Australia have used historic media to measure the decline in Queensland's pink snapper fishery, highlighting a drop of almost 90 percent in catch rates since the 19th century.
Publ.Date : Tue, 18 Nov 2014 10:54:18 EST

Virus devastating sea stars on Pacific Coast identified
Scientists have now explained the mysteriously sudden appearance of a disease that has decimated sea stars on the North American Pacific Coast.
Publ.Date : Mon, 17 Nov 2014 16:44:07 EST

Extinction risk not the answer for reef futures
Leading coral reef scientists say there needs to be a new approach to protecting the future of marine ecosystems, with a shift away from the current focus on extinction threat.
Publ.Date : Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:17:38 EST

Evolutionary constraints revealed in diversity of fish skulls
In the aquatic environment, suction feeding is far more common than biting as a way to capture prey. A new study shows that the evolution of biting behavior in eels led to a remarkable diversification of skull shapes, indicating that the skull shapes of most fish are limited by the structural requirements for suction feeding.
Publ.Date : Mon, 17 Nov 2014 08:47:21 EST

Scientists employ satellite tags to solve whale-sized mystery
For the first time, scientists working in the waters of Patagonia are using satellite tags to remotely track southern right whales from their breeding/calving grounds in the sheltered bays of Península Valdés, Argentina, to unknown feeding grounds somewhere in the western South Atlantic.
Publ.Date : Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:10:28 EST

Combatting illegal fishing in offshore marine reserves
Conservation scientists say there needs to be a new approach to protecting offshore marine reserves. They have found a way to predict illegal fishing activities to help authorities better protect marine reserves.
Publ.Date : Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:03:04 EST

Climate change puts coastal crabs in survival mode, study finds
Intertidal zone crabs can adapt to a warming climate, but will not have energy for much else besides basic survival, researchers have learned. In the first study to look at the combined effects of varying temperatures and ocean acidity levels on porcelain crabs, researchers found that as temperature rises and pH drops, the crabs' thermal tolerance increases but their metabolism slows.
Publ.Date : Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:32:12 EST

Peru: Towards better forecasting of fish resources
Its turbid cold waters are home to the largest fish stocks in the world: the Humboldt Current system, which runs along the Peruvian and Chilean coasts, boasts exceptional biological productivity thanks to a very intense coastal upwelling phenomenon – ascents of deep nutrient-rich waters. Thanks to high-resolution models of the oceanic circulation and water oxygen content, researchers have now quantified this ecosystem's sensitivity to various disturbances in the equatorial Pacific.
Publ.Date : Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:19:58 EST