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Physiology

This tag is associated with 13 posts
Fig. 4: Ringed seal pup. Author: Shawn Dahle, NOAA, Polar Ecosystems Program research cruise. Source: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pusa_hispida_pup.jpg

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!

Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) [Wikimedia]

Now we got bad blood: Oxygen binding is not affected by haemoglobin subtype in Atlantic cod

Why do northern and southern populations of Atlantic cod have different haemoglobin subtypes? A recent study upsets over 50 years of theory.

An eight-week old starfish larva forms vortices around its body while eating. This image was made by adding tiny white beads to the water that follow the diverging currents. Food is trapped in the vortices and brought to the larva’s mouth. (Figure 1a in the paper.)

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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Warm water curtails sea snakes’ dives

Like frogs, sea snakes can uptake oxygen through both their lungs and their skin. How will these “bimodal breathers” cope with warm ocean temperatures?

The Greenland shark has recently be recognized as the longest-lived vertebrate on Earth [Flickr].

Long-lived sharks challenge ageing theory

Greenland sharks can live to be over 400 years old. What can they tell us about ageing?

Bowhead whales patrol Arctic and subarctic waters. Some populations migrate north and south with the annual formation and loss of sea ice. [Flickr, Day Donaldson].

Young whales build baleen out of ribs

Juvenile bowhead whales put off gaining length and undergo severe bone loss to invest in growing their massive heads and baleen plates.

A lot of interesting work has been doing on sea turtle nests, some of which has been covered on Oceanbites. Did you know warm nests produce more females?  Or that rising sea levels hinder hatching success?  [Flickr - Jeroen Looye]

With a little help from my friends: sea turtles hatch together to save energy

Sea turtle hatchlings face long odds when they emerge from their buried nests. But at least they don’t have to dig themselves out alone.

Happy Shark Week! Today we examine a persistent and interesting biogeographical puzzle: why are there so few deep sea sharks?

Why don’t sharks go deep?

Happy Shark Week! Today we examine a persistent and interesting biogeographical puzzle: why are there so few deep sea sharks?

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Icefish can’t keep their cool in warm water

The Antarctic climate is changing, and the increasing temperature is wreaking havoc on the physiology of endemic species. Will icefish, the Southern Ocean’s most abundant group of fishes, be able to cope with the metabolic consequence of life in warm water?

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The coelacanth and its leftover lung

The coelacanth keeps surprising us! Rediscovered off the South African coast in 1938, these animals were once thought to have died out 66 million years ago. Newly characterized lung and fatty structures may have been a key adaptation for their survival in deep-water environments.

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Sound waves: dolphins in a noisy ocean

As human influence in Earth’s oceans increases, so does the background noise. How might dolphins cope with changes in environmental noise levels, particularly in areas where it has seen a substantial, recent increase? Do chattier dolphins have to invest more energy into their aural physiological systems?

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Offspring inherit trait developed in parents

Damselfish offspring inherit a trait developed by parents raised in warmer temperatures.

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Crustaceans are smarter than you think

Ever wondered how your lobster behaves before it reaches your dinner plate? Caribbean spiny lobsters take advantage of a unique sensory system to survive in the wild. Recently, the spiny lobster has been hit by a deadly virus that is threatening population size. How do healthy spiny lobsters avoid other individuals with the disease?

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