marine biology

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We May Never Find a Fish Deeper Than This

Snailfish filmed just above suspected death zone in Pacific Ocean's Izu-Ogasawara trench

(Newser) - Scientists have filmed the deepest fish ever observed, an incredible 27,349 feet, or 8,336 meters, deep in the Izu-Ogasawara trench southeast of Japan. The young snailfish was spotted calmly swimming by sea robots exploring the depths last September. The deepest fish observed previously was a snailfish at 8,...

Her Career Was Ending. What to Do With Her Worm Samples?

Preserving biological collections can save money and effort

(Newser) - We're guessing you don't think about parasitic flatworms very often. Not the dazzling " Fuchsia Flatworm " or its cousin, the ruffly " Pleasing Flatworm ." Dr. Marian Litvaitis spent a career thinking about them, researching these and other members of the order Polycladida for over 30 years,...

Whales Have a Unique Way to Avoid Choking
Whales Have a Unique
Way to Avoid Choking
new study

Whales Have a Unique Way to Avoid Choking

Researchers say an 'oral plug' seals off airways from water during lunge feeding

(Newser) - Researchers say they've figured out what has long been a mystery about certain whales—how they keep from choking when taking in massive amounts of water while feeding. The answer? An "oral plug" at the back of their throats that shifts into place to seal off and protect...

Massive Icefish Colony Stuns Scientists
'How Come No One
Has Ever Seen This Before?'
new study

'How Come No One Has Ever Seen This Before?'

Scientists were amazed by 60M icefish nests found in Antarctic

(Newser) - Before a research expedition to Antarctica's Weddell Sea last year, the biggest icefish colony scientists had ever seen contained around 60 nests. They were amazed to discover an icefish metropolis with an estimated 60 million active nests spread out over an area bigger than Seattle. Around three-quarters of the...

California Scrambles to Wipe Out Algae Invader

Species that can overtake habitat has been spotted in state waters for the first time

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists say they have seen a species of bright green algae growing in the waters off California—and they are hoping it's the last. The invasive algae can overtake the environment and displace critical food sources for ocean animals on the southern California coast. A...

Shark Populations Have Plunged 71% Since 1970
Shark Populations Have
Collapsed Since 1970

Shark Populations Have Collapsed Since 1970

They're down by 71% globally, researchers say

(Newser) - Scientists have known for decades that individual shark species are declining, but a new study drawing on 57 global datasets underscores just how dramatically worldwide populations have collapsed in the past half century. Globally, the abundance of oceanic sharks and rays dropped more than 70% between 1970 and 2018, according...

New Seaweed Species Is Smothering Reefs

'Tumbleweed' algae is covering remote Hawaii reefs

(Newser) - Researchers say a recently discovered species of seaweed is killing large patches of coral on once-pristine reefs and is rapidly spreading across one of the most remote and protected ocean environments on earth. A study from the University of Hawaii and others says the seaweed is spreading more rapidly than...

Purple Sea Urchins Are Causing West Coast Nightmare

They've already wiped out 90% of northern California's underwater kelp forests

(Newser) - Tens of millions of voracious purple sea urchins that have already chomped their way through towering underwater kelp forests in California are spreading north to Oregon, sending the delicate marine ecosystem off the shore into such disarray that other critical species are starving to death. A recent count found 350...

Scientists Heading to One of the Last 'Unexplored Frontiers'

Nekton Mission will investigate Indian Ocean ecosystems

(Newser) - Scientists prepared Thursday to embark on an unprecedented, years-long mission to explore the Indian Ocean and document changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades. The ambitious expedition will delve into one of the last major unexplored frontiers...

Scientists Discover Gross Way Sea Slugs Get 2 Meals in 1

They call it 'kleptopredation'

(Newser) - Quartz describes it as "theft-meets-murder-in-a-meal," but we think it sounds more like nature's turducken. In a study published Wednesday in Biology Letters , marine biologists from the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Portsmouth in Britain describe a heretofore unobserved method of eating and coined...

In Wake of Tsunami, the Unprecedented Happened in Pacific

At least 289 species made it across the ocean

(Newser) - Every spring, "pulses" of floating garbage from the Pacific trash vortex arrive on the US West Coast—and every year since 2011, more unwanted visitors from Japan arrive. Researchers say that the devastating Japanese tsunami sent an armada of debris across the ocean, with "mega-rafts" carrying a horde...

'Unicorn of Mollusks' Uncovered in Philippines
After Centuries, Scientists
Find Live Giant Shipworm

After Centuries, Scientists Find Live Giant Shipworm

Rare species is like the 'unicorn of mollusks'

(Newser) - The giant shipworm is actually an extremely long clam—and it is so rare that although it has been known to science for centuries, researchers are only now getting a look at a live one for the first time. Five 3-foot-long specimens found in a lagoon full of rotting wood...

Amazing Sea Dragon Species Seen in Wild for First Time

Ruby sea dragon was only identified in 2015

(Newser) - Marine biologists who look in the right places "can still find big, charismatic, bright red fish that no one has even seen before," says Josefin Stiller, a member of the team that spotted the ruby sea dragon in the wild for the first time. Stiller helped identify the...

'Psychedelic Slinky' Spotted for First Time in 100 Years

Weird sea creature of legends found off California coast

(Newser) - In 1899, a Leipzig University marine biologist named Carl Chun came across a see-through "sea blob" in the southern Atlantic, and its existence hasn't been confirmed since—until now. Live Science reports on the Bathochordaeus charon invertebrate (what it describes as a "psychedelic Slinky"), recently spotted...

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...

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. "...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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