Sea Life News

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  • Animal populations are shrinking due to their high-risk food-finding strategies
    on November 15, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    A study using animal-attached technology to measure food consumption in four very different wild vertebrates has revealed that animals using a high-risk strategy to find rarer food are particularly susceptible to becoming extinct, as they fail to gather food for their young before they starve. […]

  • A bigger nose, a bigger bang: Size matters for ecoholocating toothed whales
    on November 15, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    A new study sheds light on how toothed whales adapted their sonar abilities to occupy different environments. The study shows that as animals grew bigger, they were able to put more energy into their echolocation sounds -- but surprisingly, the sound energy increased much more than expected. […]

  • Humpback whales come to the Mediterranean to feed themselves
    on November 15, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Although the presence of humpback whales in the Mediterranean has been considered unusual, it is known that their visits have increased in the last 150 years. A recent study indicates that what motivates these cetacean mammals to enter these waters is the search for food. […]

  • Killer whales share personality traits with humans, chimpanzees
    on November 15, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Killer whales display personality traits similar to those of humans and chimpanzees, such as playfulness, cheerfulness and affection, according to new research. […]

  • First tally of US-Russia polar bears finds a healthy population
    on November 14, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    The first scientific assessment of polar bears that live in the Chukchi Sea region that spans the US and Russia finds the population is healthy and does not yet appear to be suffering from declining sea ice. […]

  • 'Rare' jellyfish not so rare
    on November 13, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    When the Rhizostoma luteum jellyfish was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, only nine specimens were identified. For years, it was so inconspicuous that later, in the 20th century, it failed to turn up for six decades. A team of scientists, with the help of a citizen initiative, has now confirmed that it is not really as difficult to find as previously believed. […]

  • Deepwater Horizon oil spill's dramatic effect on stingrays' sensory abilities
    on November 13, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Marine fishes rely on their sensory systems to survive. A study is the first to quantify the physiological effects of whole crude oil on the olfactory function of a marine vertebrate -- the Atlantic stingray. Results of the study, confirm that exposure to crude oil, at concentrations mimicking those measured in coastal areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, significantly impaired olfactory function in the Atlantic stingray after just 48 hours of exposure. […]

  • Rising sea levels may build, rather than destroy, coral reef islands
    on November 13, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Rising global sea levels may actually be beneficial to the long-term future of coral reef islands, such as the Maldives, according to new research. Low-lying coral reef islands are typically less than three meters above sea level, making them highly vulnerable to rising sea levels associated with climate change. However, research has found new evidence that the Maldives -- the world's lowest country -- formed when sea levels were higher than they are today. […]

  • Business as usual for Antarctic krill despite ocean acidification
    on November 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    A new study has found that Antarctic krill are resilient to the increasing acidification of the ocean as it absorbs more C02 from the atmosphere due to anthropogenic carbon emissions. Krill are one of the most abundant organisms on Earth and a critical part of the Southern Ocean marine ecosystem. […]

  • Escape responses of coral reef fish obey simple behavioral rules
    on November 13, 2018 at 12:17 am

    The escape response to evade perceived threats is a fundamental behavior seen throughout the animal kingdom, and laboratory studies have identified specialized neural circuits that control this behavior. To understand how these neural circuits operate in complex natural settings, researchers recorded and analyzed escape responses in wild coral reef fish. Their results show how a sequence of well-defined decision rules generates evasion behavior in a wide range of coral reef fish species. […]

  • Fish's brain size influenced by habitat
    on November 12, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    This is the first known study to connect habitat with varying brain size in a single lake fish population. The finding may provide clues about how fish and other creatures will respond to mounting environmental stressors from pollution to climate change. Researchers say bigger brains contain more neurons, and more connections among them, that lend its owner cognitive and behavioral smarts that may help it adapt to new environments. […]

  • New light cast on fishing throughout history
    on November 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    A new study has revealed new insights into ancient fishing throughout history, including what type of fish people were regularly eating as part of their diet. […]

  • Plastic microfibers found for first time in wild animals' stool, from S. A. fur seals
    on November 9, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    For the first time, plastic microfibers have been discovered in wild animals' stool, from South American fur seals. The findings were made by scientists who suggest examining scat from pinnipeds can be an efficient way to monitor environmental levels of microfibers and microplastics in the environment. […]

  • Freshwater turtles navigate using the sun
    on November 9, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    A new study shows that simulating a clock shift of six hours causes hatchling Blanding's turtles to shift their course, demonstrating that the sun is central to their navigational compass. […]

  • Study tracks severe bleaching events on a Pacific coral reef over past century
    on November 8, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    A new study has uncovered the history of bleaching on a reef in the epicenter of El Nino, revealing how some corals have been able to return after facing extreme conditions. […]

  • Warming waters caused rapid -- and opposite -- shifts in connected marine communities
    on November 8, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Two connected marine ecosystems -- the Eastern English Channel and Southern North Sea -- experienced big and opposite changes in their fish communities over a 30-year period. Rapid warming drove smaller ocean fishes to shift abruptly northward from one ecosystem to the other. […]

  • Reducing seafood fraud: Researchers and partners work with sushi restaurants
    on November 8, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    A new monitoring project aims to take 'fake sushi' off Los Angeles diners' plates. The Los Angeles Seafood Monitoring Project team -- which includes university researchers, students, sushi restaurants and government regulators -- is working to reduce sushi fraud and the mislabeling of fish. […]

  • The secret behind coral reef diversity? Time, lots of time
    on November 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    One of the world's premier diving destinations owes its reputation as a hot spot of marine biodiversity to being undisturbed over millions of years, according to ecologists. The researchers conclude that patterns of high diversity may take tens of millions of years to arise, but can be wiped out in a few years by human impacts. […]

  • Marine Protected Areas overlook a large fraction of biodiversity hotspots
    on November 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Around 75 percent of marine biodiversity in Finnish waters is left unprotected, reveals a performance assessment of the country's current Marine Protected Area network. Increasing protection by just 1 percent in the most biodiverse areas could double conservation of the most important species. In addition to identifying areas of high conservation value, the methodology can also be used in ecosystem-based marine spatial planning and impact avoidance, including siting of wind energy, aquaculture and other human activities. […]

  • Codebreaker Turing's theory explains how shark scales are patterned
    on November 7, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    A system proposed by world war two codebreaker Alan Turing more than 60 years ago can explain the patterning of tooth-like scales possessed by sharks, according to new research. […]

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