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Ashley Marranzino

Ashley Marranzino has written 23 posts for oceanbites
Figure 2: A nearly transparent hyperiid amphipod is only visible by its large orange eyes taking up most of its head and a few internal organs. Image credit: National Geographic (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/12/oceans-animals-invisible-physics/)

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Using an Invisibility Cloak for Deep-Sea Camouflage

You may not have to go to Hogwarts to find an invisibility cloak of your own. Although, the trip to this extreme environment full of transparent crustaceans may be just as tricky to get to. Read more to find out how hyperiid amphipods are able to make themselves invisible!

trench map

Manmade Pollutants Plague Deep-sea Organsims

Scientists have found an alarming accumulation of certain persistent organic pollutants in an environment previously thought pristine and untouched by humans: the deep sea.

Figure 2: A humpback whale swims with her calf. Image from Pitman et al., 2017- taken by M. Lynn, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Heroic Humpbacks: Orcastrate an Escape

While watching a pod of killer whales attacking their prey, scientists noticed a small group of humpback whales come to the rescue. Why did these humpbacks risk their own safety to save another animal? Read more about how scientists are investigating this question.

whale-shark-feeding

Exciting strides for eDNA: Insights into whale shark population genetics

In the past few decades scientists have found new and exciting ways to use DNA to answer scientific questions. There is now a new technique that could further revolutionize DNA analysis by using tiny pieces of tissue floating around in the ocean. Read more about how scientists are using this technique to answer questions about whale sharks.

independence

The Rebirth of the “Mighty-I”

Happy Halloween! This is the true, spooky tale of life, death, and rebirth beneath the waves. To end off OceanBites’ haunting Halloween theme week, read the story of USS Independence – an aircraft carrier that participated in atomic bomb trials at Bikini Atoll.

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

The Manta in the Mirror: Are Manta Rays Self-Aware?

Fish are not typically thought of as the most intelligent animals. Yet, new research on manta rays may revolutionize the way we think about how some fish grasp difficult concepts like self-awareness. Read on to see how.

Tools for exploration: The E/V Nautilus (top) and the two ROVs, Hercules (bottom left, in water collecting a sample), and Argus (bottom right, getting lowered into water before a dive).

Ocean Exploration aboard the E/V Nautilus

I am fresh off a month-long stay aboard the Corps of Exploration vessel the E/V Nautilus. Read more to learn about the incredible exploration and research conducted aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus

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: There are less fish in the sea then there were just a few decades ago. Image from World Wildlife Fund

Earth Week: Overview on Overfishing

We rely heavily on the oceans as a source of food. Unfortunately, fish populations have declined by over 50 percent over the past several decades. This can spell disaster for us and ocean ecosystems. Read on for to find out more about how we are impacting the oceans through overfishing.

Figure 1: Spotted Eagle Ray . Image credit: Mike Smith.

The Mystery of the Virgin Birth

A female eagle ray gives birth to two female pups. But she has been housed in a tank without any sexually mature males. Is it a miracle or is there some logical explanation?

Figure 1: anemone fish (sometimes called clown fishes) are protandrous hermaphrodites. Image from: Krzysztof Odziomek/Shutterstock, retrieved from theatlantic.com

Sea of Love: Hermaphroditic fishes

Finding a date on Valentine’s Day can be hard! Whether you are single or in a relationship, we are trying to make your week a little brighter by sharing some tales of romance from the ocean. Today we will look at the answer some fishes have found for not being able to find a suitable date: they just change their gender!

SICB_Logo

Oceanbites at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology: Part II

This year’s annual meeting for the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology brought together over 2000 scientists to share their research. With a slew of exciting topics ranging everywhere from ecology to biomechanics, there were plenty of talks worth reporting. But, for the second post on SICB, I will share my most memorable marine talks.

Figure 1: two chitons, Acanthopleura granulata, on a rock. Image from: en.wikipedia.org; photo credit: Hans Hillewaert.

How to See Through a Shell

You may never have heard of this funny little ocean creature, but the chiton is pretty incredible. Why? It has hundreds of remarkable little eyes! Read how materials scientists are using this odd ocean animal as a model for building better materials.

anglerfish pumpkin

Halloween Edition: Creepy Ocean Critters

For this special Halloween edition of OceanBites we are going to explore the creepy creatures that inhabit our ocean. Get ready to learn about some weird, wonderful, and spooky animals. Happy Halloween!

anglerfish-on-finding-nemo

Colorful adaptations: the use of fluorescence as a lure

When viewed under the right filter, the world can look like one big black light party. A large variety of organisms – everything from plants to penguins – are fluorescent. But what is the purpose of glowing when exposed to certain lights? Researchers tested one hypothesis: these fluorescent organisms may be luring in unsuspecting prey.

Endeavor

Science at Sea

There are many steps in the scientific process before a paper is actually published and results are shared with the public. One of the first steps in this process is collecting samples. For a lot of the research discussed here at oceanbites.org, scientists must go out to sea on a research cruise to conduct their science and get those precious samples. Read on for an inside look into how some of this science is actually done at sea!

Figure 1: Despite their bad reputation, sharks are less likely to injure you than you might think.

Shark Week for Scientists

Shark, fish, and reptile scientists joined together to share their research at the 2015 Joint Meeting for Ichthyologists and Herpetologists last week. Here are some of the interesting talks I was able to see.

Figure 3: The California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides). Source: scienceblogs.com

Seeing with skin: the secret to octopus camouflage

Capable of blending into the environment in a matter of seconds, the octopus in no normal sea creature. But just how is the octopus able to disguise itself so flawlessly? Researchers reveal that these cephalopods may be able to “see” with their skin!

Figure 1: The strange but beautiful opah, Lampris guttatus. Image from swfsc.noaa.gov

The first evidence of a warm blooded fish

Fish are cold blooded, right? Their body temperature is regulated by the temperature of the surrounding water. Well, this may not be the case for all fish. New evidence suggests a species of fish, the opah, is warm blooded! This is the first evidence of full body endothermy in fishes, making this fish kind of a big deal

Figure 1: Soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria). Image from Stokstad, Erik (2015).  Infectious cancer found in clams. Science. 348:6231. p.170.

Clams Catch Contagious Cancer

Clams along the northeastern coast of North America are suffering from a form of cancer that researchers have recently discovered is a new type of contagious cancer.

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