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predation

This tag is associated with 20 posts

Moray Eel’s Eerie Jaws Provide Unique Advantage

Most fish have a second set of jaws deep inside their throat that helps them process food. While these jaws in many fish are stationary, those of moray eels are strong and mobile, allowing them to swallow prey on land—an impossible feat for other bony fish. Rena KingeryI am a student of the MA in […]

Cone snails use the illusion of sex to catch their next meal

With the promise of sex, cone snails lure their prey out of hiding and deliver a deadly strike. The results of this study not only help to understand the complex hunting behavior of cone snails, but it might also lead to the development of new pain-relieving drugs. Pablo Brenes CotoHello! I am a science communicator […]

A larger gray whale and a smaller gray whale, both with mottled white spots, are shown from above swimming side by side in greenish waters. The text reads "NOAA/SR3 Research Image NMFS Permit #19091, MBNMS Permit #2017-8"

There and back again: Uncovering the mysteries of gray whale migration

Gray whales undertake one of the longest migrations of any animal, swimming 12,000 miles round-trip between their northern feeding grounds and subtropical breeding and calving grounds. But what could be the reason to make such a long and perilous journey? Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research […]

The view from a sperm whale’s nose

What happens if you place a microphone on the tip of a sperm whale’s nose? Putting anything on the nose of a 50-foot (15-meter) giant is no easy task, but the reward is a glimpse of how the world’s largest toothed predator sees the world. Julia ZehI am a PhD candidate at Syracuse University studying […]

Consider the marsh crab: Climate change shifts which species are key

Munching, nibbling and burrowing their way through life, the humble marsh crab can now add “keystone species” to its ecological resume. As sea level rise has inundated shorelines on the East Coast of the United States, marsh crabs have emerged as important players in shaping how marshes respond to climate change. Kristin HuizengaI am a […]

Bite or Flight: How Seaweed Can Shape Feeding Behavior in Fish

What is a forest without trees or a coral reef without coral? Neither a forest nor a coral reef. Entire ecosystems are made possible by the living flora that define them; they provide shelter and hunting grounds for the animals which live in them. But what happens when the building blocks of these ecosystems are […]

The ocean’s tiny, mysterious majority

The earth has more viruses than the universe has stars – but we know far less about our tiny majority at home than we do about the glowing balls of gas in our night sky. Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why […]

Using seabirds to study squid

How do scientists track fast swimming squid in the remote and vast open waters of the Southern Ocean? Probably not in any way you’d expect. They use squid predators, specifically a seabird—the wandering albatross—to find the squid for them. These albatrosses are outfitted with some very cool technology to bring the researchers information on their […]

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! […]

Inked and Eaten: how squid have adapted a defense mechanism to help them capture prey

Just when we thought squids couldn’t get any cooler, researchers have discovered that squid use ink clouds not just to help them escape from predators, but to be predators themselves! Read on to find out how. Gordon OberPostdoctoral Researcher, Claremont McKenna College I am currently a postdoc at Keck Sciences, Claremont McKenna College. I work […]

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 […]

Scaredy-crab behavior can alter food webs

Being small crab can be tough. Dodging predators from the land, sea, and air is no small task. A new study focuses on the convergence of individual behavior with ecosystem dynamics, showing how mangrove tree crab behavior may link distinct aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Derrick AlcottDerrick is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Organismic and […]

Killer food: the harmful effects of a diatom diet

What if a single bite out of your favorite cheeseburger was toxic to your health? In the ocean, copepods are faced with this issue when they feed on certain types of diatoms. Some diatoms produce toxins as a way to defend themselves from predators. How do these toxins effect hungry copepods? Sean AndersonI am a […]

Oxygen favours the bold

It takes personality for the African sharptooth catfishes to breathe air. But they also consider their surroundings before visiting the surface. Photo: Wikimedia. 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 […]

Cuttlefish “freeze-out” their predators

Cephalopods such as cuttlefish are known to use camouflage behavior to avoid being eaten. Sharks are able to find disguised cuttlefish using their electrolocation. Do cuttlefish have a way to counter? This study suggests cuttlefish can “freeze” themselves in order to escape predation. Sean AndersonI am a first year MS candidate at the University of […]

Switching it up: When do predation and habitat control damselfish abundance?

Another tale of how the loss of predators due to overfishing might impact coral reefs, but this one has a twist! Instead of the emphasis being on who’s eating whom, prey fish behavior is the key to what happens to the corals! Learn more in today’s oceanbites! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University […]

Sea urchins and their pathogens: a relationship that’s heating up.

The relationship between sea urchin, their amoeba pathogens and their kelp prey is changing with the climate. Find out how! Sarah GiltzI am a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. My research focuses on the larval dispersal and development of the blue crab in the Gulf of Mexico. When not concerning […]

Lethal Injection: Crown of Thorns Edition

Predation by crown of thorns sea stars (COTS) is one of the main causes of coral reef decline in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Death by injection of sodium bisulfate is the most commonly used method, but this requires COTS to be removed from the reef and injected many times. Is there a better way? Read […]

Detach claw & flee: Strategies for porcelain crabs to evade immediate death from different predators

Autotomy or shedding an appendage can be a useful trick to escape from predators. Studies have shown that autotomy is an effective strategy for porcelain crabs to escape immediate death from larger predatory crabs. But how do porcelain crabs fare against rockfish with a different attack method? Read more to find out! Megan ChenI graduated […]

Get crabby! A coral’s guide to self-defense

Crabs in the genus Trapezia are not only good housekeepers, clearing sediment off host corals, but they are also effective defenders. While just the presence of guard crabs can increase the chance of coral survival, are different species more effective than others? Read more to find out! Megan ChenI graduated with a Masters of Coastal […]

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  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    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
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  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
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  • by oceanbites 11 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 11 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
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