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How just 3% saves 50%: Small expansions of protected areas in “shark hot spots” could save HALF of currently endangered Sharks, Skates, and Rays

The old adage of, “work smarter, not harder” even applies to shark conservation…read on to learn how targeted expansion of marine protected areas could better protect more than 50% of imperiled shark species around the globe.

Red dead algae

Life on earth has been evolving for a long time – billions of years! The timing of when different kinds of life developed is controversial, but can tell us about the conditions of earth in the past. A group of scientists in Sweden looked at ancient fossils from India, and found what they describe as red algae. This is important because at 1.6 billion years old (that’s 1,600,000,000 years) this is the oldest fossil of this type of algae described to date. These red algae fossils are also much older than most biological models said they should be. This could mean that more types of organisms have been around longer than we thought!

Atlantic confirmed as accomplice in Arctic sea ice loss

A team of scientist gathered new evidence from the Arctic Ocean, revealing a new suspect responsible for rapidly melting Arctic sea ice.

Now you see me, now you don’t…or do you?

Camouflage is a fantastic adaptation that appears all over the tree of life. One thing we don’t often consider, though, is how effective the disguise of camouflage is when viewed through non-human eyes. Click here to find out more about how flounder hide in plain sight of their predators and prey!

Take my breath away: Decline in oceanic oxygen levels fifty years in the making

Most marine organisms require dissolved oxygen to sustain their survival. So what is the current status of oceanic oxygen levels? Read on to learn about the oft under appreciated resource of our planet!

Throwing Babies out with the Sea Ice: Ringed Seals Response to Ice Decline

As the Earth warms, sea ice declines. What happens to those animals who rely on the ice? Today’s oceanbites looks at one animal, the ringed seal, and how it may be affected by climate change!

An Ocean in Your Beer

This St. Patrick’s Day, think outside the green beer and whiskey and try an ocean-inspired beer! Didn’t know there were beers brewed with ocean life? Read on to learn more about how our oceans and your beer are intertwined.

Oceans absorb more carbon with weaker ocean circulation

A team of researchers investigate why the ocean has been absorbing more carbon from the atmosphere in recent decades, and find ocean circulation could be responsible.

A look into the past…and into a gnarly set of teeth

New discoveries are made every day, but ‘new’ does not always mean current. In this case, scientists are using technology to reconstruct the jaws of a creature that dominated the oceans over 70 million years ago and are solving the mystery of how its strange teeth allowed for a diverse diet. Intrigued?

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.

Glaciers have big league role in silica budget.

Glaciers get a lot of attention because they’re expansive sheets of ice. They’re important to understand because they can impact sea level, circulation, climate, albedo, and they are homes to microbial organisms and large animals. A new reason they are getting attention is their recently realized importance to the global silica budget. Researchers found that melting glaciers deliver enough silica to the surface ocean that their contribution should not be ignored.

Turn off some lights for the turtles: using statistics to make turtle conservation tangible

You’ve heard about “turn down for what…”; now check out this article and figure out exactly what you’re turning down for, or at least turning the lights down for! Turtles are impacted by light pollution; this article summarizes research framing this problem in an economic way.

Keeping Up the Fight: Tips for Science Policy Engagement

Concerned for the future of science? I’ve highlighted a few things you can do to stay engaged in 15 minutes a day.

Fisheries and Food Security

Fish have provided sustenance for millions of people, but in a world where stocks are rapidly depleting, what are the consequences of trying to save and rehabilitate their populations?

Working with the coast

The coast is very dynamic and at the constant mercy of wind and water energy. Often times, humans will try to control the coast by constructing seawalls and groins. Such projects have major impacts on sediment transport that can affect natural ecosystems and recreational beaches. Read here about a group of scientists who sought to quantify just how much of an impact seawall and groin development had on a section of coast in southeast India.

Hard Coral or Macroalgae? Coral Reefs May Have Another Option

Most of the time coral reef communities are discussed, it seems the focus is whether they’re dominated by hard coral or algae. It turns out there may be other possible outcomes for reefs in the future. Find out more in today’s oceanbites!

Contaminant fingerprints in fat tell all

This tell-all exposé isn’t from the Maury Show…read on to learn about the use of a nifty chemistry technique that paints a picture of all the contaminants found in the fat of Brazilian dolphins, and what this means for you

Earth’s strongest current even stronger than previously thought

The Antarctic Circumpolar current, which wraps around Antarctica and connects the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, is notoriously difficult to measure. Recently a group of researchers tackled the wild current, and found it was 30% stronger than scientists previously thought.

The whirling world of starfish larvae whorls

A close look at starfish larvae reveals the beautiful patterns they create while moving through the water. These tiny vortex machines can create lots of swirls around themselves to trap food, or they can let the water flow by them smoothly when they want to swim fast.

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