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Behavior

This category contains 116 posts

Cuttlefish Pass Intelligence Test by Resisting Temptation

New research finds that cuttlefish display human-like intelligence characteristics. Something called delayed gratification, like avoiding that box of cookies while you wait to cook dinner. These squid relatives may be smarter than they look! Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling to the ocean, or working with wildlife. After obtaining my […]

A large sperm whale dives below the surface with a smaller calf below it and a third sperm whale visible in the background.

Sperm whales learned from each other to avoid 19th century whalers

Is it possible to learn about how whales behaved 200 years ago? A combination of whaling logbooks and mathematical models are shedding light on how sperm whale behavior changed on a large scale in response to whaling. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses on analyzing […]

What do octopuses dream of when they take a little octopus snooze?

Sleep is critical to a healthy lifestyle for humans and other animals. New research shows that even octopuses cycle through similar snoozing schedules, highlighting the deep evolutionary lineage and extreme importance of sleep within the animal kingdom. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island where I studied the sensory biology […]

To communicate with members of its own species, flashlight fish uses a special type of morse code

Below a flashlight fish’s eyes is an organ that provides the ideal conditions for a special partnership. Bioluminescent bacteria live inside these organs. Here bacteria find the necessary nutrients to grow and reproduce. Flashlight fish cannot control how much light is created by these bacteria. However, it does have special flaps that block the bioluminescent […]

Science Reveals Sperm Whale Bro-Fest

  In the mammal world, males tend to not like each other very much. Male-only social groups are rare. The few species who do have boys’ clubs, like chimps, cheetahs, and lions, form them from their relatives and only because they need to protect a shared territory or access to females. This doesn’t seem to […]

Luminous luster…with teeth

Don’t worry—these glowing predators won’t harm you. They’re more interested in picking on someone their own size. Scientists take a look at the latest shark confirmed to be bioluminescent and wonder: why does this large, slow-moving shark need its gleaming hide? Andrea SchlunkI am a former PhD student from the University of Rhode Island, having […]

Mommy dearest: Female sperm whales are the pillars of their families

Still living with your mom? Nothing to be embarrassed about – especially if you are a sperm whale! Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I study regeneration of the nervous system in water salamanders called axolotls. In my free time, I like to read science fiction, bake, go on walks […]

Killer Consequences: How boats affect the behavior of endangered killer whales

Killer whales are famous for their intelligence and athletic prowess in (and leaping out of) the water. However, for some killer whale populations, human activity on the water can negatively impact their lives. Just how bad is this impact, and does it differ between male and female whales? Francesca GiammonaI am a PhD candidate at […]

Why did the octopus punch the fish?

In this study, authors document for the first time, multi-species hunting events with OCTOBOSS as the leader! Brandy BiggarI am a 2nd year Master’s student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am researching the highly invasive species the European green crab, and the impact extreme weather events has on its population abundance and distribution.

A larger gray whale and a smaller gray whale, both with mottled white spots, are shown from above swimming side by side in greenish waters. The text reads "NOAA/SR3 Research Image NMFS Permit #19091, MBNMS Permit #2017-8"

There and back again: Uncovering the mysteries of gray whale migration

Gray whales undertake one of the longest migrations of any animal, swimming 12,000 miles round-trip between their northern feeding grounds and subtropical breeding and calving grounds. But what could be the reason to make such a long and perilous journey? Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research […]

A grey, striped shark rests on the seafloor.

One Fish, Two Fish, Climate Change, Who Lives?

There is variation within species, and this variation can lead to some individuals surviving better in the face of environmental change. But it is difficult to predict how animals will respond to an environment that is changing faster than they can evolve. Luckily, some scientists found a clever way to study how individuals might respond […]

Cuttlefish Cognition: are these oceanic invertebrates capable of learning?

The science of animal behavior has become more focused on figuring out the intellectual capacity of non-human, and particularly non-mammalian, animals in recent years. Cuttlefish have now taken the spotlight, and in a recent study, scientists ask the question: can these small marine animals learn, and make decisions based on past experiences? Francesca GiammonaI am […]

Whistle While you Work (for Lunch): Dolphin Communication Techniques During Foraging

Dolphin groups, or pods, need every member working together to communicate and find food. To do this, dolphins whistle to each other. But when humans, and their boats, are in a pods’ natural territory, do dolphins have to change their whistling and feeding behavior in order to successfully chow down? Francesca GiammonaI am a PhD […]

Surprising fin whale songs in Hawaii

After sifting through thousands of hours of recordings, a team of naval researchers is bringing the previously hidden complexities of fin whale song to light. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses on analyzing underwater recordings of whale calls in order to better understand whale behavior. […]

Surf’s Up: Suckerfish Have a Whale of a Time

Remoras use the powerful suctioning organ on their heads to attach to different animals. For the first time scientists reveal how remoras surf blue whales, which could inspire new technology. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling to the ocean, or working with wildlife. After obtaining my MSc in Marine Environmental […]

An up-close view of a great white shark's head.

Peek-a-Boo, I See You and My Food Too

Imagine yourself floating in a metal cage off the side of a boat. You are waiting to see something rare, exciting, and in all reality dangerous if proper precautions are not used. Then you see it, a dark gray dorsal fin breaking the surface of the water. One of the ocean’s apex predators, a great […]

Crash Compilation #1: A review of vessel collisions with marine animals

As more people take to the seas, either for recreation or trade, sea life encounters have also increased. These encounters can be awe-inspiring, but they can also be dangerous—both for the animals in the water and the people aboard the ships. Click here to read more about the challenges of assessing and preventing boat strikes, […]

Is Noise Pollution Causing Marine Mammals to Starve?

Noise surrounds our daily lives, and the oceans are no exception. Sonar is used by the Navy and oil industry, and the waves travel under the ocean’s surface. How does sonar impact marine mammals? Read on to find out how scientists are studying the consequences of sonar testing on the swimming behavior of dolphins and […]

Red Light, Green Light… Squid Light?

It’s spooky season! And what better way to celebrate than learning about the creatures of the deep? This recent paper illuminates the way the Humboldt squid communicate in the deep sea darkness. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I’m currently working as […]

Bowhead Whales Threatened by a ‘Killer’

The Arctic is experiencing dramatic changes in sea ice. How will this warming affect the marine life? Scientists find there may be an increasing threat to the already endangered bowhead whale. What it is may surprise you. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling to the ocean, or working with […]

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    Leveling up - did you know that crabs have a larval phase? These are both porcelain crabs, but the one on the right is the earlier stage. It’s massive spine makes it both difficult to eat and quite conspicuous in
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    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Elena Gadoutsis  @haysailor  These photos feature her “favorite marine research so far: From surveying tropical coral reefs, photographing dolphins and whales, and growing my own algae to expose it to different
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  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Jiwoon Park with a little photographic help from Ryan Tabata at the University of Hawaii. When asked about her research, Jiwoon wrote “Just like we need vitamins and minerals to stay
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    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring  @riley_henning  According to Riley, ”I am interested in studying small things that make a big impact in the ocean. Right now for my master's research at the University of San Diego,
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    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Gabby Stedman. Gabby is interested in interested in understanding how many species of small-bodied animals there are in the deep-sea and where they live so we can better protect them from
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    Today we are highlighting some of our awesome new authors for  #WriterWednesday  Today we have Daniel Speer! He says, “I am driven to investigate the interface of biology, chemistry, and physics, asking questions about how organisms or biological systems respond
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    A lot of zooplankton are translucent, making it much easier to hide from predators. This juvenile mantis shrimp was almost impossible to spot floating in the water, but under a dissecting scope it’s features really come into view. See the
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    This is a clump of Dead Man’s Fingers, scientific name Codium fragile. It’s native to the Pacific Ocean and is invasive where I found it on the east coast of the US. It’s a bit velvety, and the coolest thing
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