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!
Young penguins living along the southwestern coast of Africa typically follow cool, nutrient rich water to find food as they grow up. This used to lead them to ‘delicious’ fish such as anchovies and sardines. However, in this ecosystem – the Benguela Upwelling Zone – climate change and overfishing have reduced these fish populations. This forces the young penguins to eat less nutritious fish so fewer of them survive to adulthood. This threatens the African penguin’s future. Conservation efforts are needed to ensure this important (and adorable!) species survives.
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!
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!
Like frogs, sea snakes can uptake oxygen through both their lungs and their skin. How will these “bimodal breathers” cope with warm ocean temperatures?
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!
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!
Since 2005, southern right whale calves have been found dead in historic numbers off the Patagonian coast in Argentina. Scientists investigate whether harmful algal blooms may be to blame.
Invasive species can wreak havoc on an ecosystem. Learn about the fishy invasion currently underway in the Mediterranean Sea and what impacts these invaders may be having on the region.
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?
As Shark Week drew to an end, the scientist that study sharks, fish, amphibians and reptiles joined together to discuss their scientific research with one another at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Here are some of the highlights!
Manta and devil rays, closely related to sharks, are at serious risk of extinction due to overfishing. They are primarily being harvested for their gill rakers, which are a key ingredient in a new health tonic marketed by Traditional Chinese Medicine suppliers in China and South-east Asia.
Happy Shark Week! Today we examine a persistent and interesting biogeographical puzzle: why are there so few deep sea sharks?
Over the past few decades, the plight of sharks has been overshadowed by greed for shark fin soup and fears spurred on by movies like Jaws. However, the Bahamas have worked hard to create a safe haven for all shark species through policies and practices. Researchers have recently found that the exciting, cage-free, ecotourism dive spot of Tiger Beach is a very important site for Tiger Shark conservation — Please read on to learn more!
I spent a morning learning about the Marine Mammal Center at Moss Landing in California, helped with the intake of a sea lion, and went out on a call with the team.
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!
This month, a whole post about horseshoe crabs! How do they grow? How have they saved lives? The answer to those questions and to many more!
Do Mother Nature a solid with these helpful tips & tricks to go green today!
A look into Valeska’s graduate research. Why coral reefs depend on the long spined black sea urchin for survival.