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Behavior

This category contains 82 posts

Birds of a Feather: Social Dynamics of Juvenile Lemon Sharks

Like human’s, juvenile lemon sharks form social groups, but how do they choose who they hang out with? Find out of if the saying “bird’s of a feather flock together” applies to these sharks as well. Jasmin GrahamI am a Masters student in Biological Sciences at Florida State University. I received my B.S. in Marine […]

Minke Boings: A 50-year mystery and the science of listening in the ocean

The study of whale and dolphin communication has evolved from recordings of mysterious sounds, like the minke “boing,” which were recorded by sonar and antisubmarine warfare researchers. Now we can use sound to study elusive marine creatures, like the minke whale. Julia ZehI am a first-year PhD student at Syracuse University studying acoustic communication in […]

Release the Robots! How researchers are studying stressed sharks

Have you ever wondered what happens to a fish after you catch and release it? Does its behavior change? Does it survive after it’s been taken out of the water? Researchers are now using remote controlled robots to answer these very questions! Grace CasselberryI am currently a Marine Science and Technology Doctoral student at the […]

What does it mean when scientists disagree?

In 2015, Senator James Inhofe brought a snowball onto the floor of the US Senate to demonstrate his skepticism of the widely held belief that the Earth’s climate is warming. While the stunt was lauded as ridiculous by the scientifically-literate community and generated a number of lasting cartoons and memes calling out the Senator’s obvious […]

The Dynamic Duo: Application of Complementary BRUVs and eDNA to Marine Fish Assemblages

Innovations in waterproofing cameras and DNA analysis have led marine scientists to apply these methods in unique ways in recent decades. Through the use of BRUVs and eDNA this article looks at fish assemblages in Jurien Bay Marine Park in Western Australia to compare these methods individually and combined. When BRUVs and eDNA were both […]

The Gulf of Mexico Triangle: Assessing Movements of Large Pelagic Fish Across Multiple National Boundaries

Pelagic predators or difficult to manage due to their vast migrations through through multiple countries jurisdictions and international waters. In order to effectively manage these species multinational agreeements are required. However, collecting movement data for species that travel long distances is difficult to collect. Here, researchers look at the movements between countries of 8 species […]

Hawksbills in hot water? Temperature and Precipitation Impacts on Hawksbill Sea Turtle Nests

Climate change is already having effects on sea turtles. All seven species of sea turtle are dependent on temperature for habitat selection and physiology. The impacts of temperature and moisture on hatchling development have real long-term impacts on marine turtle populations. Matthew LarsenI am a second year master’s student at Coastal Carolina University in the […]

The real-time impact of ship noise on dolphin calls

Dolphins are not alone in their adaption to noisy surroundings. Understanding the long-term sustainability of these animals ability to communicate with each other with altered calls is important for establishing meaningful protections for them as greater levels of noise are introduced into their surroundings. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m […]

What’s next for Air Jaws? Research Priorities for The Great White Shark

Since the beginning of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, viewers have been mesmerized by the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). The great white shark coverage outshines the rest with television specials like the Air Jaws series filling many of the week’s time slots. There are numerous unanswered questions about its ecology, physiology, and relationship with humans. To […]

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 3rd 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 […]

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