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Rebecca Flynn

Rebecca Flynn has written 37 posts for oceanbites
Fig. 4: Ringed seal pup. Author: Shawn Dahle, NOAA, Polar Ecosystems Program research cruise. Source: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pusa_hispida_pup.jpg

Throwing Babies out with the Sea Ice: Ringed Seals Response to Ice Decline

As the Earth warms, sea ice declines. What happens to those animals who rely on the ice? Today’s oceanbites looks at one animal, the ringed seal, and how it may be affected by climate change!

Red Crown-of-Thorns Starfish eating coral. Author Matt Kieffer, Flickr. No modifications made. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattkieffer/3016449061 Link to license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Small MPAs: the new all-you-can-eat buffets?

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a popular conservation tool and are in many situations very effective. Unfortunately, as with many plans, there may be some unintended consequences, as seen in the case of small MPAs in Fiji, where they appear to have attracted corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp.). Find out more in today’s oceanbites!

Figure 1: Manta rays are gentle giants that filter feed on tiny zooplankton. Image from strangebehaviors.wordpress.com

Theme Week Survey: March 2017

Hello! We, the Oceanbites Team, want to know what you want us to read more about! Please take the survey below and tell us what you’d like us to cover for one week in March! And please feel free to give us suggestions for future theme weeks in the Comments! Thank you very much! ~The […]

Soft coral dominated reef. Author: Matt Kieffer. Source: Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattkieffer/15439205306)

Hard Coral or Macroalgae? Coral Reefs May Have Another Option

Most of the time coral reef communities are discussed, it seems the focus is whether they’re dominated by hard coral or algae. It turns out there may be other possible outcomes for reefs in the future. Find out more in today’s oceanbites!

Fig. 1. Encroaching Mangrove in Homestead, FL
Source: G. Gardner, National Park Service, via Wikimedia Commons

Mangrove Takeover Impacting Salt Marshes

Mangroves are encroaching on salt marsh habitats worldwide, but what does this change in plant community mean for the plants, ecosystem processes, and other inhabitants of these areas? Find out a bit of the answer to that question in today’s oceanbites!

Fig 5: Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico from Bunche Beach, Fort Myers, FL. Source: Rebecca Flynn. Please do not use this photo without permission of the author.

Giving Thanks for the Ocean: The gratitude of the writers

Today is the day after Thanksgiving, but I think the spirit of gratitude should live on. Many of the other writers wanted to share their gratitude for the ocean. Some waxed poetic, some pragmatic, but all spoke from a personal place. Yet the gratitude we feel for the ocean unifies all of us—not just the writers here at oceanbites but also the larger us, aka humans.

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December ’16 Theme Week Survey

Let our writers know what you want us to cover for a week during December!

Fig. 3. Entangled Sea Turtle. Source: NOAA.

Let’s Ghost Fishing for Halloween!

Ghost fishing is ghastly because it creates underwater graveyards for wildlife. The authors covered here wrote a new review of gear entanglement among mammals, reptiles, and sharks. Find out what they discovered by reading today’s post!

Figure 2: Picture of French Grunt (Haemulon flavolineatum) originally by Albert Kok. Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons

Grunts and Gnathiids: One Fish’s Daily Migration to Escape Parasites?

Animals move for a number of reasons. The French grunt leaves the coral reefs at night for seagrass. A group of scientists proposes and provides good evidence for why they might do that! Read on to discover whether they’re leaving to avoid being parasitized?

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Survey! October Theme Week

We, the Oceanbites writers, want to write for you! Let us know what you’re interested in reading about for a whole month in October! If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below! Thank you!

Fig. 3 Photos showing D. perlucidum  growing on seagrass, a navigational marker and substrate. Source: Simpson et al. 2016.

Seagrass Invasion! Tunicates colonizing seagrass beds impact plant and animal community

Seagrass habitats worldwide are in decline due to a number of factors. What happens when an invasive species comes on the scene to add to the stressors affecting seagrasses?

Fig. 3: The Japanese Pygmy Squid (Idiosepius paradoxus) (Photo: tumblr.com).

Theme Week Survey: September 2016

Help your oceanbites writers decide what to write about in September!

Fig. 1. Polar Bear (climate change refugee). Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author Arturo de Frias Marques.

If You Must, Adjust? Polar Bears Leaving Sea Ice in the Arctic

Everyone knows that polar bears have become the poster children for species threatened by climate change. And it’s for good reason that they are. Polar bears rely on sea ice for access to prey, finding mates, and creating dens. The persistence of the species depends on the state of sea-ice and more generally a healthy marine ecosystem in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the volume and extent of sea ice have been decreasing by 28% and 14% per decade. Is there a way for polar bears to adapt to the changing sea ice coverage in this sensitive habitat?

Fig 1: Marine debris on the beach at Green Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Author: Keeley Belva, NOAA. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kure_debris_440.jpg

To I.D. Debris: LIDAR as a tool to identify trash on the beach

Scientists may have a new option for figuring out how much debris litters our beaches and what it all is! Find out more in today’s World Oceans Day post on marine debris!

Credit: jidanchaomian, flickr Creative Commons

July Theme Week Survey

We’d love to know what you want to read about for a whole week during the month of July! Take our one question survey to share your opinion! Thank you!

Figure 1: Harbor Seal with lots of whiskers.  Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kiotari_at_the_MMC_by_Aaron_J_Cohen.JPG

June 2016 Theme Week Survey

Here at OceanBites, we–the writers–like to know what you want to read! For one week each month, we write posts related to a topic of your choosing. Please vote for what you’d like to hear about in June! And if you have suggestions for future themes, share them in the comments! Thank you! Create your […]

Figure 3. Deep sea octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica). Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author: NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Photo also used as featured image.

Parenthood: The Most Rewarding Experience or The Ultimate Sacrifice?

Our human parents make a lot of sacrifices for us! They devote their time and energy, provide for us, invest in us (monetarily, sure, but also emotionally), nurture us, attempt to teach us, make career decisions with us in mind, and lose a lot of sleep worrying about us. However, in the marine world things can get much more extreme? Some animals make the ultimate sacrifice by literally dying to reproduce. Find out more about some of these marine creatures in today’s Oceanbites!

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Oceanbites Theme Week Survey: May 2016

Please vote for next month’s theme so we can write about a topic that you want to know more about!

Fooled Ya! How marine animals stay hidden in plain sight

It’s April Fools’ Day! Today’s the day when you try to prank people, convince them your lies are true, and generally make mischief and act sneakily! Animals have to act like it’s April Fools’ Day everyday, and it probably isn’t nearly as much fun since their lives depend on it. Predators sneak up on their prey. Prey hide from those who wish to eat them. It’s a harsh world out there, but luckily animals have a number of ways to stay hidden. Here are my 5 (well, actually 6) favorite examples of camouflage in the marine realm!

Fig. 1: Loggerhead sea turtle returning to the sea after nesting and receiving a satellite tag. Photo Credit: Rebecca Flynn. Please do not use this photo without permission. Sea turtles are protected by the Endangered Species Act. This photo was taken with appropriate permits.

For Sea Turtles, There’s No Place Like Home

Tagline: Sea turtles are occasionally released in locations that are not their home areas. But do they remain there? Find out in today’s oceanbites!

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