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Behavior

This category contains 56 posts

Orca vs Narwhal

Orcas are natural predators of narwhals, but they are seasonally kept at bay by Arctic sea ice. As the Arctic becomes increasingly ice-free, killer whales are arriving earlier and hanging out longer in narwhal habitat. How do narwhals fare? Read more to find out!

The effects of social history on alcohol tolerance in crayfish

Lonely crawdad’s can really handle their liquor according to this study.

A long history of tool use in marine mammals? You otter believe it!

The use of tools by animals has been documented in a wide range of species, from birds to invertebrates, encompassing land animals and marine animals. Animals use tools to help shelter themselves as well as find their next meal. By investigating animals on a genetic level it’s possible to determine whether tool use is specific to a population and how long ago this ability evolved. Recently, scientists investigated the genetics of a fan favorite, the sea otter, to try and pinpoint how long they’ve been using tools and what they’ve been using them for. Read on to find out more!

Brains only for you

Brain size might dictate the laws of attraction in guppies.

Public Perceptions of Aquaculture Show Lack of Ocean Literacy

Article: Froehlich HE, Gentry RR, Rust MB, Grimm D, Halpern BS (2017) Public Perceptions of Aquaculture: Evaluating Spatiotemporal Patterns of Sentiment around the World. PLoS ONE 12(1): e0169281. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169281 Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. A 2014 report by the UN-FAO estimated global freshwater and marine farming to constitute 44% of all […]

Shark attack prevention: what works, what doesn’t?

We aren’t going to need a bigger boat to prevent shark attacks…read this review article to get an idea what shark attack prevention strategies are best for both humans and sharks!

Ocean acidification makes predators dumb

Chemistry is important for a lot of things, but can it change the behavior of animals? Read on to find out how changes in water chemistry alter the behavior of a venomous cone snail!

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!

Like a champion Casanova in the sky

After migrating thousands of miles from their southern wintering grounds, males of a certain species of shorebird log thousands more miles scouring the summer territories for fertile females. It’s pretty nuts.

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.

Sharkcano, a melting pot for biology

No, a Sharkcano is not a volcano that erupts sharks. IT IS WAY COOLER THAN THAT! It is a submarine volcano that hosts a diverse macro community in water that is much warmer and more acidic that the surrounding seawater. Read more to find out about this alien-esc ecosystem in the South Pacific Ocean.

A Whale Shaped Needle in a Ocean Sized Haystack

Sperm whales are very large, but they can still be tricky to find in the ocean! These researchers combined several data sets, from centuries old whaling records to modern automated location recording, to determine the locations off the southwest Australia most suitable for sperm whales, so policy makers can plan to protect these animals and other scientists can save time searching for them.

With A Little Help From My Friend: Unexpected benefits of invasive species?

Invasive species are widely talked about as unequivocally bad influences on ecosystems, but oftentimes their interactions are more complex. Click here to read more about an unexpected interplay between two mussel species in the intertidal zone!

Costume Age: some crabs are too young to start dressing up

Well, it’s that time of year again where hoards of costumed kids roam the streets in search of candy. While these kids are met at each door with smiles and sugar, older kids and teenagers are more likely to be met with disapproving frowns – aren’t they too old to be doing this? Well, if you’re a decorator crab you also like to go all out in costume, but it’s not the younger crabs that are doing it, decorator crabs have to be a certain age before they start dressing up!

Seahorses Don’t Like It Hot

Scientists have been doing a lot of work recently trying to figure out how species are going to react to climate change. This research group wanted to figure out just how much heat seahorses could take…and seeing as they can’t get out of the ocean, things aren’t looking good. Read on!

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.

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?

Count On It: Cuttlefish Risk Management

As any gambler will tell you, the higher the financial risk, the larger the potential reward. As it turns out, the hungrier we get, the higher risks we’re willing to take, and this characteristic transfers over to other members of the animal kingdom. In this study, we look at how cuttlefish make decisions about attacking prey based on their level of hunger and the risk they are willing to accept when the reward is that much sweeter.

Dolphin Dialects: first evidence of spoken language in cetaceans?

We all know dolphins are intelligent creatures that communicate with one another, but a recent study has analyzed dolphin sounds finding evidence of actual human-like, structured conversation. Their chats are full of complex sounds and frequencies, akin to words and sentences. In addition, dolphins appear to have a politeness edge on humans as they were observed to pause and hear out others, rather than interrupting with their own sounds!

The physics of tiny jellyfish hunting

Tiny jellyfish live, swim, and eat in a viscous environment. How they capture their food is something of a mystery. A University of Oregon group took advantage of several fancy imaging techniques to shed some light on the matter.

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