Sea Life

Sea Life News -- ScienceDaily Current events articles in marine biology and science. From beached whales to coral reef bleaching, learn what is happening in today's oceans.

  • Life goes on for marine ecosystems after cataclysmic mass extinction
    on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    One of the largest global mass extinctions did not fundamentally change marine ecosystems, scientists have found. […]

  • Climate shifts shorten marine food chain off California
    on October 19, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Environmental disturbances such as El Niño shake up the marine food web off Southern California, new research shows, countering conventional thinking that the hierarchy of who-eats-who in the ocean remains largely constant over time. […]

  • Maintaining fish biomass the key to conserving reef fish biodiversity
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    A new study has found that conserving fish diversity in Madagascar's coral reef systems may depend on maintaining fish biomass above critical levels. […]

  • Surprise new butterflyfish from the Philippine 'twilight zone'
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    A new species of striped Philippine butterflyfish -- the charismatic Roa rumsfeldi -- made a fantastic, 7,000-mile journey before surprising scientists with its unknown status. Live specimens collected from a depth of 360 feet escaped special notice until a single black fin spine tipped off aquarium biologists back in San Francisco. […]

  • Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report
    on October 18, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say. […]

  • DNA tests on albatross excrement reveal secret diet of top predator
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A study that used DNA tests to analyse the scats of one of the world's most numerous albatrosses has revealed surprising results about the top predator's diet. DNA analysis of 1460 scats from breeding sites around the Southern Ocean has shown that the diet of black-browed albatrosses contains a much higher proportion of jellyfish than previously thought. […]

  • Hardy corals make their moves to build new reefs from scratch
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Resilient species of coral can move to inhospitable areas and lay the foundations for new reefs, a study shows. […]

  • Healthy coral populations produce a surprising number of offspring
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Healthy coral populations can produce up to 200 times more juvenile corals than degraded coral populations nearby, according to a new study. […]

  • Keratin, proteins from 54-million-year-old sea turtle show survival trait evolution
    on October 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Researchers have retrieved original pigment, beta-keratin and muscle proteins from a 54-million-year-old sea turtle hatchling. The work adds to the growing body of evidence supporting persistence of original molecules over millions of years and also provides direct evidence that a pigment-based survival trait common to modern sea turtles evolved at least 54 million years ago. […]

  • Oysters offer hot spot for reducing nutrient pollution
    on October 16, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Marine scientists have quantified potentially denitrifying bacteria in the oyster gut and shell, with important implications for efforts to reduce nutrient levels in coastal waters through oyster restoration. […]

  • Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies
    on October 16, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects -- much like human societies. A major new study has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains. […]

  • Bite on this: Alligators caught eating sharks
    on October 16, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Jaws, beware! Alligators may be coming for you. A new study documents American alligators on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are eating small sharks and stingrays. This is the first scientific documentation of a widespread interaction between the two predators. […]

  • Harvey runoff menaces Texas' coral reefs
    on October 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    The more than 13 trillion gallons of floodwater from Hurricane Harvey have created a massive plume of freshwater in the Gulf of Mexico that is threatening the coral reefs of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary about 100 miles offshore of Galveston. […]

  • Cocktail tests on toxic waste called for
    on October 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Surprisingly low concentrations of toxic chemicals -- from fungicides to antidepressants -- can change the way some aquatic creatures swim and feed, according to new research. In addition, depending on the cocktail of toxins they can produce unexpected results. […]

  • Giant sea bass worth more alive as undersea wonders than as commercial catch
    on October 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    An investigation of the different economic values of giant sea bass finds they are worth more alive as undersea wonders than as commercial catch. […]

  • Baltic clams, worms release as much greenhouse gas as 20,000 dairy cows
    on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Ocean clams and worms are releasing a significant amount of potentially harmful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, scientists have shown. […]

  • Scientists uncover a centuries-old case of mistaken identity in the Chesapeake Bay
    on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Scientists recently discovered that some jellyfish in the Bay are quite different from their ocean cousins. This led scientists to declare them as two different species. […]

  • The sea cucumber genome points to genes for tissue regeneration
    on October 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    A new high-definition genome sequence of the sea cucumber provides molecular insights into its ability to regenerate. […]

  • Scientists begin bold conservation effort to save the vaquita porpoise from extinction
    on October 12, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    An international team of experts has gathered in San Felipe, Mexico at the request of the Mexican government (SEMARNAT) and has begun a bold, compassionate plan known as VaquitaCPR to save the endangered vaquita porpoise from extinction. […]

  • Herbivores help protect ecosystems from climate change
    on October 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Plant-eating critters are the key ingredient to helping ecosystems survive global warming, finds new research that offers some hope for a defense strategy against climate change. […]

  • Bycatch responsible for decline of endangered New Zealand sea lion
    on October 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Getting caught in fishing nets is a major cause of death for the increasingly endangered New Zealand sea lion, according to new research. […]

  • Year-to-year volatility of penguin population requires new approaches to track marine health
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    A study using data on Adélie penguin populations over the last 35 years has found that only a small fraction of year-to-year changes in Adélie penguin populations can be attributed to measureable factors such as changes in sea ice. […]

  • 'Obscure' stalked filter feeder lived in Utah some 500 million years ago
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    The only fossilized specimen of a species previously unknown to science -- an 'obscure' stalked filter feeder -- has just been detailed for the first time. […]

  • Scientists eavesdrop on little-known beaked whales to learn how deeply they dive
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Scientists have reported the first dive depths for Gervais' and True's beaked whales, two of the least known beaked whale species known as mesoplodonts. The study is also the first to use a towed linear hydrophone array to document dive depths for beaked whales, and researchers say it's a promising method to obtain dive depths for other beaked whale species. […]

  • Removing invasive plants can increase biodiversity in stream waters
    on October 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Restoration projects to remove invasive plants can make a positive impact on native plant species. But a new study shows restoration has an additional benefit. Removal of invasive species growing alongside a stream or river can also improve the biodiversity of aquatic organisms. […]

  • Humpback whale blow microbiome described
    on October 10, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    For the first time, scientists have identified an extensive conserved group of bacteria within healthy humpback whales' blow -- the moist breath that whales spray out of their blowholes when they exhale. […]

  • Marine snowfall at the equator
    on October 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Animal excrements and parts of dead organisms constantly sink from the surface of the oceans towards the deep sea. This particle flow plays an important role in the global carbon cycle and consequently for the climate. Little is known so far about its distribution in the water column. An international research team has now published a detailed image of the distribution of the marine snowfall in the equatorial ocean. […]

  • Clear lakes disguise impaired water quality
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Look at a hundred lakes in the United States' agricultural heartland and you'll likely see green lakes surrounded by green fields. Agricultural fertilizers that help crops grow also fuel growth of algae and cyanobacteria that in excess can turn lakes the color of pea soup. Yet when scientists looked at 13 years of data from 139 lakes in intensively agricultural areas of Iowa they saw lakes that were surprisingly clear despite extremely high nutrient concentrations. […]

  • Size doesn't matter, at least for hammerheads and swimming performance
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Different head shapes and different body sizes of hammerhead sharks should result in differences in their swimming performance right? Researchers have conducted the first study to examine the whole body shape and swimming kinematics of two closely related yet very different hammerhead sharks, with some unexpected results. […]

  • DNA study in the Pacific reveals 2000 percent increase in our knowledge of mollusc biodiversity
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Scientists working in the Pacific have revealed a remarkable 2000% increase in our knowledge of the biodiversity of seafloor molluscs in a region being explored for deep-sea mining. Using the latest DNA-taxonomy methodology, they have newly-described and recorded 21 species where only one was previously known. The discoveries were made in the eastern region of the CCZ, a vast 5 million km² region of the central Pacific. […]