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Behavior

This category contains 74 posts

Same-Sex Squid Sex

Same-sex sexual behavior exists across a wide range of animals, but the behavior has long puzzled scientists because of the apparent paradox of mating behavior that does not produce offspring. What is the adaptive value of same-sex mating and what are the different reasons it has evolved in so many species? A recent paper describes […]

Ecology of Fear: Current Implications of Orca Presence on Narwhal Behavior and Future Trends

The ecology of fear is a hypothesis that predators drive habitat use and behavior in prey species. In the Arctic, the orca drives behavioral changes in a variety of species including narwhals. Analyzing a narwhal population in a Fjord in Greenland researchers were able to look at how fear drives narwhal behavior. Article Breed, Greg […]

The Biological Big Bang: Testing the hypothesis that sperm whales use auditory bursts to stun prey and other proposed feeding strategies.

Article Fais, A., Johnson, M., Wilson, M., Soto, N. A., & Madsen, P. T. (2016). Sperm whale predator-prey interactions involve chasing and buzzing, but no acoustic stunning. Scientific reports, 6, 28562. Background Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are big. To put it in perspective, an adult or bull sperm whale is longer on average (52 ft.) […]

Scaredy Fish: How Timid Fish Could Skew Research

Divers have long suspected that some fish are more afraid of people than others. A recent study has shown that certain groups of fish will actually hide for hours after a diver has passed through a reef. This has important implications for the future of coral reef surveys and the way we study species diversity. […]

Octopus Mama Drama: Research Expedition Bonus Science

Dorado Outcrop is a small underwater mountain that first received attention from a few scientists because the seafloor that it sits upon is colder than what is expected. It ended up in the media spot-light because of the hundreds of octopuses that call it home. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, […]

Studying Leopard Seals in Antarctica

Check out this article by guest author Sarah Kienle about her recent research expedition to Antarctica to study leopard seals! Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in the Lohmann Lab. My current research interests include environmental chemistry, water quality, as well as coastal […]

Bite or Flight: How Seaweed Can Shape Feeding Behavior in Fish

What is a forest without trees or a coral reef without coral? Neither a forest nor a coral reef. Entire ecosystems are made possible by the living flora that define them; they provide shelter and hunting grounds for the animals which live in them. But what happens when the building blocks of these ecosystems are […]

The Efficiency of Nautili

Imagine if you could function just as well at the top of Mt. Everest (where the air is super thin) as you do at sea level; you’d probably be considered pretty special. Well, nautiluses can do that, and these researchers wanted to know why. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m […]

Not Just Hanging Out: The Importance of Humpback Whale Mother Calf-Area Use in Hawaii

Continue to celebrate Mother’s Day before May ends by exploring the amazing bond between humpback whale mothers and their calves. Understanding mother-calf pod area utilization might just be the next step in protecting and conserving these giant marine mammals to ensure their continued path to recovery. Rishya NarayananRishya is pursuing an M.S. in Environmental Science […]

Power by the numbers: tiny shrimp generate turbulence in the ocean

Imagine hundreds of thousands of tiny shrimp swimming in the ocean. Believe it or not, the combined swimming action of these ocean dwellers can generate large-scale mixing of the ocean water column. Read on to learn more about these incredible ocean mixers. Katherine BarrettKate is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Biological Sciences Department […]

Killing Jaws: Tackling the Idea of the Bloodthirsty Predator

Even though shark attacks are rare, fear of sharks has led people to support laws that kill sharks en masse. A new study shows that at the root of our fear of sharks is the belief that they intend to hurt us. By thinking about how we talk about shark intentionality in educational settings and […]

3 Courtship Tips From the Ocean: Valentine’s Day Edition

Long before we celebrated V-Day, animals in the ocean have evolved courtship strategies to help them score mates.  Might there be something we can learn from them?  Read more to find out! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in Iceland, and am currently working at […]

Can we build a multisensory shark repellant?

Human-shark interactions don’t always end well on both sides. Is it possible to build a shark repellant that can keep both humans and sharks safe by using information about sharks’ sense of sight and hearing? Read more to find out! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of […]

Facts not enough to stop whale watching vessels from disturbing killer whales

  Marine-based eco tourism is a fast-growing industry for many countries and vital part of coastal economies. In many places, it can also be a boon to the conservation of charismatic species that draw in the tourists. The Soundwatch Boater Education Program at the Whale Museum in Washington has been monitoring the behaviour of tourists […]

Lobsters fighting antenna and claw over burrows

Animals fight for all kinds of reasons, but the main reason an animal will fight is to become a dominant member of the population. But how do lobsters figure out which one of them is the alpha lobster? Read on to find out! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree […]

Solstice Strategies for Survival: Yule be amazed!

Winter blues got ya down? For some organisms on our planet, the shortened days may influence their very survival. On this, the shortest day of the year for the Northern Hemisphere, read on to find out how one type of tiny marine algae cope with the low-light conditions, and may even thrive compared to their […]

Mussel and flow

Mussels are nearly ubiquitous in coastal ecosystems. As filter feeders, they are critical for sifting out sediment and nutrients washed into the ocean from land. Despite their importance, scientists have only recently begun to tease out how mussels manage to efficiently get all that stuff into their shells. The answer could have far reaching implications […]

How to clean a sea turtle

Could you imagine if you had to actively seek out showering stations to stay clean? For sea turtles, they must search for cleaning stations. Katherine BarrettKate is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Notre Dame, and holds a Masters in Environmental Science & Biology from SUNY Brockport. […]

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! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management […]

The effects of social history on alcohol tolerance in crayfish

Lonely crawdad’s can really handle their liquor according to this study. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

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