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!
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!
Ghost fishing is ghastly because it creates underwater graveyards for wildlife. The authors covered here wrote a new review of gear entanglement among mammals, reptiles, and sharks. Find out what they discovered by reading today’s post!
Many believe we are in the midst of another mass extinction both on land and in the ocean. What marine animals are most at risk of extinction? Using current and past extinction data, researchers were able to pinpoint the most vulnerable types of marine animals.
The impact of domestication can be detected within one generation in steelhead trout, and may involve adaptation to highly crowded conditions.
Using radiocarbon dating, scientists have discovered that the Greenland shark can live longer than any other known vertebrate. How long have some of these individuals been alive?
Everyone knows that polar bears have become the poster children for species threatened by climate change. And it’s for good reason that they are. Polar bears rely on sea ice for access to prey, finding mates, and creating dens. The persistence of the species depends on the state of sea-ice and more generally a healthy marine ecosystem in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the volume and extent of sea ice have been decreasing by 28% and 14% per decade. Is there a way for polar bears to adapt to the changing sea ice coverage in this sensitive habitat?
Happy Shark Week! Today we examine a persistent and interesting biogeographical puzzle: why are there so few deep sea sharks?
Marine animals living below the surface have to put up with noise generated by human activity. Heavy shipping traffic can bring a lot of noise. How does the common prawn respond?
Scientists may have a new option for figuring out how much debris litters our beaches and what it all is! Find out more in today’s World Oceans Day post on marine debris!
Species invasions have become serious issues in the marine environment, mostly as a result of increased ship traffic. Once a new species invades an area, it is next to impossible to draw it out. What if there was a way to predict the arrival of alien species to new locations in the ocean? Would this predictive power help minimize future invasions?
Do Mother Nature a solid with these helpful tips & tricks to go green today!
Trillions of tiny plastic fragments are floating in the Earth’s ocean. These microplastics can attract organic pollutants, be ingested by marine organisms, and even end up in table salt. This Earth Week post gives a broad introduction to microplastics and examples of how we can all help to reduce this problem!
Steller’s Sea Cow provides an example of how many large animals in the Pleistocene may have gone extinct.
Seagrass beds bury carbon incredibly well! What happens to that carbon when you uproot, plow through, or otherwise disturb seagrasses? Does that carbon get released again? And how long does it take to capture that much carbon again once the seagrass grows back? All great questions with answers in today’s oceanbites!
What happens to a shrimp’s shell when exposed to more acidic conditions? Read more to find out!
The Mediterranean seagrass plays very important ecological functions but human disturbances are thought to be one of the main causes for its population decline. In this study, Jahnke et al (2015) try to understand how genetic diversity correlates with human disturbances and the results are surprising.
CT scans of the skull of a beached whale has helped a pair of researchers figure out how baleen whales hear. Through computer modeling, they found that baleen whales, in addition to using soft tissue in their head like antennas, also use the bones in their skull to pick up sounds from their environment.
Wind farms are an ideal source of electrical power because of their ability to provide an environmentally low-impact fuel source at a low cost. Over the past few decades, global wind farm production has grown exponentially and will continue to rise into the future. Unfortunately, reported cases of environmental impacts continue to arise; what was once viewed as an eco-friendly fuel source is gaining scrutiny from nearby communities.