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evolution

This tag is associated with 25 posts

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 […]

Hiding at its best: Ultra-black fish of the deep sea

Animals stay hidden from predators using different skin colors and patterns as camouflage. Scientists recently discovered a unique way some fish use ultra-black pigment to hide in the dimly-lit waters of the deep sea. Tejashree ModakCurrently, I am a postdoctoral research fellow in URI.  Broadly, I study response of marine species to various stressors such […]

A shell of a ride: Pteropod survival through past mass extinction events and insights into present climate change

By looking at DNA and fossils of pelagic sea snails, Dr. Peijnenburg and colleagues are beginning to understand how this group has withstood past climate change, and how they may survive current ocean acidification. Gabrielle StedmanI am currently a 3rd year PhD student in Biological Oceanography at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. I use […]

Shedding Light on the Origin of Clam Photosymbiosis

You may have heard of photosymbiosis in corals. But did you know that some species of clams also host photosynthetic algae? Find out how photosymbiosis evolved in giant clams and fraginae clams. Constance SartorConstance is a graduate student at the University of Guam studying coral genetics. She also paints murals integrating art and science at […]

An ancient dolphin gives a glimpse of the past

What can fossilized dolphin skeletons tell us about how whales transitioned from land to sea millions of years ago? New research describes Ankylorhiza tiedemani, an extinct species of dolphin that hunted large prey in the ancient seas of South Carolina. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research […]

Arctic Unicorns: Understanding the past, present, and future of narwhals and their mysterious tusks

Why do narwhals have tusks that make them look like unicorns? As climate change continues, what is the fate of narwhals and their enigmatic tusks? Two recent studies of these unicorns of the sea start to answer questions about their past, present, and future. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine […]

East African Lake Fosters a Melting Pot for Cichlid Evolution

Darwin’s famed finches weave a tale of evolution in isolation. Joana Meier and her research team now find that evolution, specifically adaptive radiation, may not actually require such complete isolation to stimulate the creation of new species. Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia science communicator with an MS in Media Advocacy from Northeastern University, specializing in […]

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 […]

The Slow Burn: Slower Metabolisms May Help Mollusks Avoid Extinction

By looking at fossils found in the Western Atlantic, Dr. Luke Strotz and a team of scientists at the University of Kansas and Oxford have come across an intriguing idea: that an animal’s metabolism may be linked to how likely the species is to going extinct. Kristin HuizengaI am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography […]

When having babies, is quantity or quality better?

Evolution is riddled with trade-offs. One of the classic examples is how to spread maternal resources – is it better for an individual to have a lot of babies or invest more into only one or two? Researchers examined how this trade-off plays out in the marine world by comparing the competing reproductive strategies of […]

A Tree of Life Project With Some Serious Bite

If you have any intererst in shark anatomy, ecology or evolution, find out about a must-see website designed by the Chondrichthyan Tree of Life Project. Jasmin GrahamI am a Masters student in Biological Sciences at Florida State University. I received my B.S. in Marine Biology and B.A. in Spanish at the College of Charleston where […]

Coming Home to Roost: A case of parasites relying on ancestral DNA to take advantage of a new penguin host species?

Parasites are nasty and resilient organisms, often highly specialized to fit their hosts. But sometimes, nature allows a bit of wiggle room, opportunity strikes, and new species find themselves vulnerable to these unwelcome houseguests. This could be what has happened to Magellanic penguins. Curious to learn more? Click here! Andrea SchlunkI am a former PhD […]

What killer whales tell us about menopause

Killer whales, or orcas (Orcinus orca), are amazingly intelligent and social animals. What can they tell us about the evolution of menopause? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and […]

Swashbuckling spiders sailed the high seas

Long before the Vikings reached North America, a group of coastal spiders was already sailing around the world using prevailing winds, currents, and rafts. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the […]

Grunts and Gnathiids: One Fish’s Daily Migration to Escape Parasites?

Animals move for a number of reasons. The French grunt leaves the coral reefs at night for seagrass. A group of scientists proposes and provides good evidence for why they might do that! Read on to discover whether they’re leaving to avoid being parasitized? Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame […]

The dark side of the…cephalopod eye?

Cephalopods are among the most colorful creatures in the ocean but only see in black and white. A father/son team recently proposed a new theory explaining how these organisms might sense and understand color. Besides explaining a decades old mystery, their idea might force us to reconsider what it means to see in color. Eric […]

Who benefits from more CO2? Harmful algae.

Climate change will produce both winners and losers, but we might not like who ends up winning! New research shows that toxic cyanobacteria can rapidly adapt to increasing CO2 concentrations and outcompete other more desirable types of algae. Michael PhilbenI recently completed a PhD in Marine Science at the University of South Carolina and am […]

Evolution of the opercle: changing bones reflect marine/freshwater divide

The shift from marine to freshwater habitat is a drastic one, and many evolutionary changes accompany it. This article focuses on the evolution of the opercle, a bony outer structure that protects the gills in most fish species. Dina NavonI am a doctoral candidate in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology program at the University of […]

Fooled Ya! How marine animals stay hidden in plain sight

It’s April Fools’ Day! Today’s the day when you try to prank people, convince them your lies are true, and generally make mischief and act sneakily! Animals have to act like it’s April Fools’ Day everyday, and it probably isn’t nearly as much fun since their lives depend on it. Predators sneak up on their […]

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    Happy Earth Day! Take some time today to do something for the planet and appreciate the ocean, which covers 71% of the Earth’s surface.  #EarthDay   #OceanAppreciation   #Oceanbites   #CoastalVibes   #CoastalRI 
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  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    Being on a research cruise is a unique experience with the open water, 12-hour working shifts, and close quarters, but there are some familiar practices too. Here Diana is filtering seawater to gather chlorophyll for analysis, the same process on
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #oceanbites  we are featuring Hannah Collins  @hannahh_irene  Hannah works with marine suspension feeding bivalves and microplastics, investigating whether ingesting microplastics causes changes to the gut microbial community or gut tissues. She hopes to keep working
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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
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Cierra Braga. Cierra works ultraviolet c (UVC) to discover how this light can be used to combat biofouling, or the growth of living things, on the hulls of ships. Here, you
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    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
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on Oceanbites we are featuring Eliza Oldach. According to Ellie, “I study coastal communities, and try to understand the policies and decisions and interactions and adaptations that communities use to navigate an ever-changing world. Most of
  • by oceanbites 6 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
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    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,
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    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
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Shawn Wang! Shawn is “an oceanographer that studies ocean conditions of the past. I use everything from microfossils to complex computer models to understand how climate has changed in the past
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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
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
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  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    Have you ever seen a lobster molt? Because lobsters have exoskeletons, every time they grow they have to climb out of their old shell, leaving them soft and vulnerable for a few days until their new shell hardens. Young, small
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    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
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    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
  • by oceanbites 10 months ago
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  • by oceanbites 10 months ago
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  • by oceanbites 11 months ago
    Did you know horseshoe crabs have more than just two eyes? In these juveniles you can see another set in the middle of the shell. Check out our website to learn about some awesome horseshoe crab research.  #oceanbites   #plankton   #horseshoecrabs 
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