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Behavior

This category contains 65 posts

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 2nd year PhD student 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 2nd year PhD student 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.

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 […]

Brains only for you

Brain size might dictate the laws of attraction in guppies. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

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! Karla HaiatI’m an Undergraduate student at University of Rhode Island majoring in Ocean Engineering and Marine Biology. I’m interested in the intersection between technology, […]

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! Erin McLeanHi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master’s degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and how they respond […]

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. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

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. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island […]

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. Anne […]

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