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Archive for July, 2016

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?

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A salty ocean makes a happy home (planet)

The first things we learn about the ocean are that it’s big and salty. We know that its bigness is an important factor for earth’s climate; the authors of this paper demonstrate that its saltiness is too, and that this can affect whether other earth-like planets are truly habitable.

Krill with particles stuck in their digestive tracts. Red arrows point to the sediment particles. (Figure 4 in the paper.)

Antarctic krill, stuck with rocks in a hard place

Krill have been washing up on the coast of an Antarctic island with pebbles stuck in their digestive tracts. As melting glaciers dump more sediments into the ocean, krill sometimes find themselves stuck among the dirt and their filter feeding systems get clogged so no real food can get down.

A lot of interesting work has been doing on sea turtle nests, some of which has been covered on Oceanbites. Did you know warm nests produce more females?  Or that rising sea levels hinder hatching success?  [Flickr - Jeroen Looye]

With a little help from my friends: sea turtles hatch together to save energy

Sea turtle hatchlings face long odds when they emerge from their buried nests. But at least they don’t have to dig themselves out alone.

Cambiando con el ambiente: ¿Cuan resilientes son los peces de los arrecifes de corales?

Translated by Sandra Schleier, Original Post BY SEAN ANDERSON Artículo: Rummer, J. L., & Munday, P. L. (2016). Climate change and the evolution of reef fishes: past and future. Fish and Fisheries. DOI: 10.1111/faf.12164. Introducción: Vivimos en un mundo que siempre está cambiando y evolucionando a nuestro alrededor. En nuestras vidas diarias, enfrentamos el cambio, en ocasiones sin […]

Meltwater flows through off the Greenland Ice Sheet. Credit: Wikicommons.

Greenland ice melt may impact Atlantic Ocean temperature and climate

Paper: Claus W. Böning, et al. 2016.  Emerging impact of Greenland meltwater on deepwater formation in the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature Geoscience, v.9: 523–527. We know the ocean is warming due to climate change. But did you also know there are huge paths that heat and energy takes through the global ocean? Although the ocean […]

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Migrating lobsters use magnets to find their way

For the last post in our school’s out for summer theme week, take a look inside to see how migrating groups of lobsters use the force to navigate around the bottom of the ocean!

Fig. 2: Fish group together in schools like this to combat predation or to forage (Photo: via Azula).

Loud and Order: How reef fish vocalize to keep schools cohesive

Many animals use vocalizations to send signals to their group, but never before has this been documented in fish, until now. Researchers have found a reef fish that uses vocalizations in order to keep their schools together. Read on to find out how.

Figure 1 – The rainbow darter: A small freshwater fish used in this experiment. Photo credit: Jeff Finley, USFWS

School is in Session for Fish

Human school is a place to learn. Fish school is a way of swimming in a group to stay alive. Baby fish are not cared for or taught the skills needed to survive by their parents, they are born with that innate knowledge. Does this mean fish don’t learn? Is their memory to short to learn? Find out here.

By Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Do You Have Your Exit Buddy?

It’s a tough ocean out there for a larval fish—sticking together can be the best thing to do. But until now, we didn’t know how beneficial schooling could be. Intrigued? Click here to find out more!

Orca (Killer) Whales breaching the surface source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_whale

Killer whale pods: hunting dynamics

Killer whale pods spend almost all of their time together, with the exception of when they hunt. Why are they not social when they hunt? Could it be to ensure the survival of the newest and weakest pod members? Is it related to food availability? It is related to food preference? It is just a factor of physical abilities? Read more to find out what scientist have learned so far!

Figure 1: Sawfishes may look like sharks but they are actually just close relatives and are technically a type of ray (don’t worry, no stinging barb though!)

Shark (and fish, reptiles, and amphibians) Week for Scientists II: Notes from the Joint Meeting of Ichthyology and Herpetology 2016

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!

Figure  1: the "rainforest of the sea"

Do coral reefs help fight climate change?

Coral reefs are called the rainforests of the sea for their stunning biodiversity. But can they, like forests on land, absorb CO2 and help reduce global warming?

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Seals put on their thinking caps for under-ice science

Scientists investigate warm water that drives melting in Antarctica with the help of some seals with high-tech hats.

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Pluto perhaps not so icy after all

Pluto, the ex-planet at the far reaches of our solar system, recently had a nice photo op as a NASA vehicle drifted by. The pictures gave an unprecedented view of the object and, perhaps, point to the presence liquid water.

Shark & clipboard credits: Unbox Science (CC0) and modified by Megan Chen

Marine Educator Conference Highlights: Glowing jellyfish, bad petitions, lost sharks & affordable VR

An ocean pharmacy made possible by jellyfish, the danger of bad petitions, the importance of understanding ‘lost sharks’, and affordable virtual reality–all highlighted in this post covering just a sliver of the National Marine Educators Association Annual Conference!

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Rip Rap Sill: The Best of Both Worlds

The hybrid shoreline stabilization method called rip rap sill combines rock structures with native vegetation. This study found that fish biodiversity and abundance in rip rap sills was more similar to a native marsh than a built rip rap.

Artículo de la Visita: Playa de los Tigres, Bahamas: Un refugio para tiburones tigres hembras.

  Translated by Sandra Schleier, Original post by Amanda Ingram Este artículo fue escrito por una estudiante graduada, Amanda Ingram. Amanda es una estudiante en el Programa de Asuntos Marinos en la Universidad de Rhode Island. Se graduó en el 2010 con un doble bachillerato en Ciencias Ambientales y Periodismo y Comunicación en la Universidad […]

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Analyzing supply and demand of overharvested manta and devil rays

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.

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