marine biology

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Decades-Old Question About This 'Purple Sock' Is Answered

Scientists still haven't seen the creatures feed

(Newser) - Since it was first discovered 60 years ago off the coast of Sweden, biologists have wondered exactly where the deep sea creature that resembles a crumpled purple sock belongs in the animal kingdom's family tree. Now the discovery of four new species in an entirely different ocean has effectively... More »

This Is What a Dolphin 'Sees'

'The 3D print of a human being left us all speechless'

(Newser) - Great news for anyone who's ever wanted to know what it's like to be a dolphin. Researchers have figured out how to see what dolphins "see" when they use echolocation, printing 2D and 3D images of a number of objects—including a human, NBC News reports. "... More »

Big Sign of Hope: Starfish Babies

Big crop of youngsters seems resistant to melting disease

(Newser) - Emerging from a recent dive 40 feet below the surface of Puget Sound, biologist Ben Miner wasn't surprised by what he found: The troubling disease that wiped out millions of starfish up and down the West Coast had not spared this site along the rocky cliffs of Lopez Island.... More »

Incredibly Rare Pocket Shark Caught in Gulf

Only previous catch was 36 years ago

(Newser) - Scientists know very little about the pocket shark—they're not even sure what it keeps in its pockets—but a Gulf of Mexico catch has doubled the number of known specimens. At 5.5 inches, the species is small enough to fit in your pocket, the National Oceanic and... More »

DNA Analysis Fills in Piece of Dolphins' History

It suggests they moved into the Mediterranean roughly 18K years ago

(Newser) - Bottlenose dolphins may be an iconic draw to the Mediterranean, but they're not exactly indigenous. So say researches out of the University of Lincoln in the UK, who report in the journal Evolutionary Biology that the water-dwelling mammals didn't arrive until the end of the last Ice Age... More »

Beautiful but Toxic 'Sea Sparkle' on the Rise

'Magnificent' sight caused by farm pollution

(Newser) - Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water seen glimmering off Hong Kong's seashore are magnificent, disturbing, and potentially toxic, marine biologists say. The glow is an indicator of a harmful algal bloom created by something called Noctiluca scintillans, nicknamed "Sea Sparkle." It looks like algae and can act... More »

Frilled Shark With 300 Teeth Caught Off Australia

It's described as a 'living fossil'

(Newser) - Fishermen off the coast of Australia were startled to haul in something none of them had ever seen before: a rare species of "living fossil" shark virtually unchanged since before dinosaurs went extinct. The frilled shark they caught was around 5 feet long, almost as big as they get,... More »

Antarctic Fish Have Ice in Their Veins

Antifreeze proteins appear to prevent melting

(Newser) - How do the fish that thrive in the waters around Antarctica prevent their blood from turning to ice? Turns out at least some of them don't. Scientists have long known that the group of fish species known as notothenioids have an antifreeze protein in their blood that prevents them... More »

Scientists Defrost, Dissect Rare Colossal Squid

Specimen is one of 2 known intact ones ever found

(Newser) - After thawing an animal that had been frozen for 8 months and some careful maneuvering with a forklift to get it into a tank, scientists were able to take a good look at the best-preserved specimen of the elusive colossal squid ever discovered. The 770-pound creature hauled up by a... More »

Pelvic Bones Give Whales 'Crazy Control' During Sex

Mammal's pelvis is key to tricky reproductive maneuvers, scientists say

(Newser) - All this time, scientists thought a whale's pelvis was useless—but it turns out that it may actually help the marine mammal make its moves when it's time to get it on. A study published in the journal Evolution finds that bigger actually is better when it comes... More »

Mushroom-Shaped Critter in Deep Sea Vexes Biologists

Animal found in 1986, only now being scientifically described

(Newser) - From afar, the deep-sea animal species Dendrogramma enigmatica resembles a chanterelle mushroom. Upon closer inspection, though, the creatures seem to belong to the animal, not fungi, kingdom. And yet they cannot be classified under any existing animal group, perhaps necessitating an entire rewriting of the early tree of life, not... More »

Giant New Jellyfish Has No Tentacles

Keesingia gigas has potentially deadly sting

(Newser) - A huge new species of jellyfish discovered off western Australia looks a bit like a plastic bag—but one that can deliver a potentially lethal sting. Keesingia gigas is as long as a human arm, though bizarrely, none of the specimens caught or photographed appear to have any tentacles, the... More »

Miami Divers in Rush to Save Rare Corals

The deadline is Saturday, when excavation begins on the city's shipping channel

(Newser) - A group of scientists has until Saturday to save as many corals as time and weather permit along the bottom of a Miami shipping channel, before it is scheduled to be dredged and deepened by eight feet. With the Panama Canal in the process of being widened, the excavation project... More »

Remarkable Find: an Underwater 'Graveyard'

Science gets its first view of giant sharks and rays being devoured

(Newser) - Marine biologists have gotten a grisly treat courtesy of remotely operated vehicles surveying the seafloor off Angola for the oil and gas industry: For the first time, the carcasses of large fish—a whale shark and three mobulid rays—and the feeding frenzy they create have been filmed. The researchers... More »

Photos of Freakish Shark Reveal Another Big Find

Isopods signal 'whalefall' at bottom of Gulf

(Newser) - Researchers studying photos of a rare goblin shark hauled up in the Gulf of Mexico last month say they've spotted something just as exciting—and just as weird-looking—in the shrimpers' catch. Mixed in with the shrimp are unusually large numbers of giant isopods, a deep-sea creature that resembles... More »

After 50 Years, Mysterious Ocean Quack Identified

'Bio-duck' is actually minke whale

(Newser) - A mysterious quacking noise in the ocean that has baffled scientists for decades has finally been identified, researchers say. Acoustic recorders placed on Antarctic minke whales have produced what NOAA experts say is "conclusive evidence" that the sound is their chatter, the BBC reports. The sound was dubbed the... More »

To Give Birth, Sharks Return to Own Birthplace

Even if they're away for years: study

(Newser) - A mother shark can be away from her birthplace for years—but she'll still return there when it's time for her to have babies, scientists have found in a 17-year-study. Researchers suspected as much, but to confirm their suspicions, they decided to follow individual lemon sharks starting in... More »

World's Oldest Animal Lived to 507

Ming was killed when scientists cracked open its shell

(Newser) - The oldest animal ever known lived from 1499 until the day researchers cracked its shell open, killing it in the process. Ming, an ocean quahog from the species Arctica islandica, was initially thought to be a record-setting 402 years old. But the scientists who found it on a seabed near... More »

Newly Discovered Dolphin Species Needs Name

Humpbacks live off northern Australia coast

(Newser) - A species of dolphin that lives off the coast of northern Australia is so new to science that it doesn't have a name yet. Scientists knew about the dolphin populations, but they were thought to be part of another humpback dolphin species until genetic testing revealed that they were... More »

Tests Hint at Fish Miles Below Antarctic Ice

Scientists study RNA at Lake Vostok

(Newser) - A lake nearly 2.5 miles below Antarctica's ice sheet could harbor some surprising organisms—including, perhaps, fish, scientists find. Lake Vostok, some 5,800 square miles in area, is thought to have been closed off from the atmosphere for millions of years, the BBC notes. But rivers below... More »

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