Marine Biology

Marine Biology News -- ScienceDaily Marine Biology News. Read scientific research on marine animals and their aquatic habitats. From plankton to whales, you will find it all here.

  • Fish's use of electricity might shed light on human illnesses
    on June 21, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    African weakly electric fish, commonly called baby whales, use incredibly brief electrical pulses to sense the world around them and communicate with other members of their species. Part of that electrical mechanism exists in humans -- and by studying these fish, scientists may unlock clues about conditions like epilepsy. […]

  • Marine reserves are vital -- but under pressure
    on June 21, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    A massive study of nearly 1800 tropical coral reefs around the world has found that marine reserves near heavily populated areas struggle to do their job -- but are a vast improvement over having no protection at all. […]

  • Boring barnacles prefer the shallow life on coral reefs
    on June 20, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Scientists have quantified how barnacles infest stony coral over a variety of conditions and reduce calcium carbonate on reefs. Coral reefs harbor diverse marine life and help prevent coastal erosion. […]

  • When cozying up with would-be predators, cleaner shrimp follow a dependable script
    on June 20, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    It's a mystery how cleaner shrimp partner with would-be fish predators -- sometimes even climbing in their mouths -- without getting eaten. A new study reveals how the shrimp convinces fish not to eat them, and the fish conveys that it's a friend and not a foe. […]

  • Beluga whales have sensitive hearing, little age-related loss
    on June 20, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Scientists published the first hearing tests on a wild population of healthy marine mammals. The tests on beluga whales in Bristol Bay, Alaska, revealed that the whales have sensitive hearing abilities and the number of animals that experienced extensive hearing losses was far less than what scientists had anticipated. […]

  • World's first known manta ray nursery
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Located in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas at NOAA's Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, the juvenile manta ray habitat is the first of its kind to be described in a scientific study. […]

  • Deep-sea marine sponges may hold key to antibiotic drug resistance
    on June 19, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    FAU's Harbor Branch houses more than 1,000 strains of actinobacteria, one of the most prolific microbial groups for the production of natural products. Derived from sea sponges and other macro-organisms, several strains were identified for their potent antifungal activity, for anti-MRSA activity, and for both antifungal and antibacterial activities. A key finding was the identification of a strain that produced metabolites that are more potent than the bacterial antibiotic, vancomycin, against C. difficile. […]

  • Coral reef 'oases' offer glimmer of hope
    on June 19, 2018 at 2:24 am

    Scientists have discovered small communities of corals that are flourishing against the odds while so many around the world are dying. […]

  • Local interventions boost coral's resilience to bleaching
    on June 19, 2018 at 2:24 am

    Local conservation actions can significantly boost coral's resilience to, and recovery from, climate-induced thermal bleaching by reducing other energy-sapping stresses the coral faces, a new study finds. Scientists found they could reduce the extent of bleaching by half if they removed or reduced populations of coral-eating snails from affected reefs. The coral's recovery from bleaching was also enhanced. […]

  • Rising sea temperatures threaten survival of juvenile albatross
    on June 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Changes in sea surface temperature affect the survival of albatross during their first year at sea, resulting in a reduced population growth rate when temperatures are warmer than the current average, a new study has revealed. […]

  • Great white sharks dive deep into warm-water whirlpools in the Atlantic
    on June 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Tracking data from two great white sharks reveals that they spend more time deep inside warm-water eddies, suggesting that's where they like to feed. […]

  • Key ocean fish can prevail with changes to farmed fish, livestock diets
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:38 am

    A new study shows that if current aquaculture and agriculture practices remain unchanged into the future, wild forage fish populations likely will be overextended by the year 2050, and possibly sooner. However, making sensible changes in aquaculture and agriculture production would avoid reaching that threshold. […]

  • Climate change has fish moving faster than regulations can keep up
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:37 am

    The world's system for allocating fish stocks is being outpaced by the movement of fish species in response to climate change, according to a study undertaken by an international team of marine ecologists, fisheries and social scientists, and lawyers. […]

  • Stress test to predict how diatoms will react to ocean acidification
    on June 13, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Researchers have shown that diatoms can withstand population collapse in an acidified environment by conserving valuable energy normally used for carbon dioxide consumption. […]

  • Sea urchins see with their feet
    on June 12, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Sea urchins lack eyes, but can see with their tentacle-like tube feet instead, previous research has indicated. Now, researchers have tested their vision in a new study, and shown that while sea urchins have fairly low resolution vision -- it is good enough to fulfill their basic needs. […]

  • Putting animals in their best light: Some shades of LED lamps threaten wildlife
    on June 12, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    A research team identifies harmful effects to wildlife as LED lights proliferate. Some hues, including blues and whites, imperil creatures while other wavelengths are more benign. They devised an interactive web-based tool to help people make wildlife-friendly choices in outdoor lighting. […]

  • Volcanic activity, declining ocean oxygen triggered mass extinction of ancient organisms
    on June 11, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Global climate change, fueled by skyrocketing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, is siphoning oxygen from today's oceans at an alarming pace -- so fast that scientists aren't entirely sure how the planet will respond. […]

  • Fueling a deep-sea ecosystem
    on June 11, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Miles beneath the ocean's surface in the dark abyss, vast communities of subseafloor microbes at deep-sea hot springs are converting chemicals into energy that allows deep-sea life to survive -- and even thrive -- in a world without sunlight. Until now, however, measuring the productivity of subseafloor microbe communities -- or how fast they oxidize chemicals and the amount of carbon they produce -- has been nearly impossible. […]

  • Proactive conservation management strategy urged for North Atlantic right whale
    on June 11, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Marine ecologists urge a more proactive conservation management strategy for the North Atlantic right whale. […]

  • Large-scale study indicates novel, abundant nitrogen-fixing microbes in surface ocean
    on June 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    A large-scale study of the Earth's surface ocean indicates the microbes responsible for fixing nitrogen there -- previously thought to be almost exclusively photosynthetic cyanobacteria -- include an abundant and widely distributed suite of non-photosynthetic bacterial populations. […]

  • Secret to whale shark hotspots
    on June 8, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    A study has uncovered the secret to why endangered whale sharks gather on mass at just a handful of locations around the world. […]

  • Secrets of fish population changes revealed
    on June 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Populations of fish in the ocean are notoriously variable, waxing and waning in often unpredictable ways. Knowing what drives changes in fish population sizes is important for managing fisheries and conserving species. For the first time, scientists have linked the ecology of adult fish populations inhabiting coral reefs with the dispersal of baby fish between reefs, reporting the dynamics of a living network called a 'marine metapopulation.' […]

  • Nutritional quality of fish and squid reduced by warm water events
    on June 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    The nutritional quality of fish and squid deteriorates under warm water events, research reveals -- with implications for the marine environment, marine predators and fisheries capturing food for human consumption. […]

  • Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' forecasted to exceed the size of Connecticut
    on June 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Scientists have predicted the dead zone, or area with little to no oxygen in the northern Gulf of Mexico, will become larger than the state of Connecticut by the end of July, according to a new report. While there are more than 500 dead zones around the world, the northern Gulf of Mexico dead zone is the second largest human-caused coastal hypoxic area in the world. […]

  • Study of sleeping fur seals provides insight into the function of REM sleep
    on June 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    All land mammals and birds have two types of sleep: rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (also called slow-wave sleep). Earlier evidence had suggested that REM sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being and learning, but the underlying function of REM sleep has been a mystery. New insight into the function of REM sleep, based on studies of an unlikely animal: the fur seal. […]

  • Algal partner responds to climate-change stresses more strongly than coral host
    on June 7, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    A new study puts a surprising twist into our understanding of how coral reefs react to ocean warming and acidification and may offer an early warning system for warmth-induced coral bleaching events. […]

  • Dolphins deliberately killed for use as bait in global fisheries
    on June 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Ahead of World Oceans Day, new research exposes the practice of killing of aquatic mammals, including some listed as endangered, for the express purpose of securing bait for global fisheries. The practice is widespread globally, but most common in Latin America and Asia. The study reveals there is little information on the impact of this harvesting on targeted mammal populations and urges increased monitoring. […]

  • How the quality of red sea urchin roe -- uni -- influences fishermen's behavior
    on June 6, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Sea urchin roe is an acquired taste. Served as sushi, uni -- the Japanese word for this delicacy -- is actually the reproductive organ of the sea urchin. One of the most highly valued coastal fisheries in California is the red sea urchin (Mesocentrotus franciscanus), found in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Baja California. Red sea urchins are sold to processors who determine the price of each uni batch based on its quality -- a function of its size, shape, texture and color (usually orange to yellow). […]

  • Patenting marine genetic resources: Who owns ocean biodiversity?
    on June 6, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Marine organisms have evolved to thrive in various ocean environments, resulting in unique adaptations that make them the object of commercial interest. Researchers have identified 862 marine species, with a total of 12,998 genetic sequences associated with a patent. They found that a single transnational corporation (BASF, the world's largest chemical manufacturer) has registered 47 percent of these sequences. […]

  • Nutrient pollution makes ocean acidification worse for coral reefs
    on June 6, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    A new study showed that local impacts of humans -- nutrient pollution from activities on land -- may accelerate the negative impacts of global ocean acidification on coral reefs. […]