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Posts Tagged "oceans"

@ScientificAmerican

Whale.FM: Where Citizen Science, Whale Songs and Education Come Together

Above all, science is a collaborative enterprise, where researchers working together can span the continents. Increasingly, nonspecialists—citizen scientists—are pitching in as well. Whale.FM—a collaborative effort of Scientific American, Zooniverse and the research institutions WHOI, TNO, the University of Oxford and SMRU—lets citizen scientists help marine researchers who are studying what whales are saying. (You can [...]

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Expeditions

Understanding nitrogen’s role in the ocean

Angela Knapp (UMiami) takes samples

Editor’s Note: Journalist and crew member Kathryn Eident and scientist Jeremy Jacquot are traveling on board the RV Atlantis on a monthlong voyage to sample and study nitrogen fixation in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, among other research projects. This is the fourth blog post detailing this ongoing voyage of discovery for ScientificAmerican.com RV ATLANTIS [...]

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Extinction Countdown

30 Percent of Sharks, Rays and Related Species at Risk of Extinction

Northern River Shark

The first worldwide analysis of the extinction threat of all sharks and related species has just been published, and the news is sobering. Of the 1,041 known species of chondrichthyan (cartilaginous) fishes—sharks, rays and deep-sea chimaera (aka ghost sharks)—more than 30 percent are endangered, threatened, vulnerable to extinction or near threatened. Another 46 percent lack [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Amazing Neptune’s Cup Sponge Rediscovered in Singapore

More than 100 years after it was last seen, the giant Neptune’s cup sponge (Cliona patera) has been rediscovered off the coast of southern Singapore. First discovered in 1822, the sponges grew so large—a meter or more in both height and diameter—that their cup-like structures were sometimes used as tubs for babies. But their size [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Can’t an Ugly, Slimy Bottom-Feeder Get Some Love?

hagfish

Look at a hagfish and you’ll probably think it’s pretty icky. Don’t look at any hagfish and you’ll probably never think about them at all. But these oft-ignored creatures play an essential role in the ocean ecosystem, and you might want to think about them before they’re gone. Last week, the International Union for Conservation [...]

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Food Matters

Eat Small: Why our Big Fish Problem is leading to big fish problems. (VIDEO)

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 1.07.58 AM

We like big fish. And that’s a problem, according to Andy Sharpless, CEO of the ocean conservation organization Oceana, and co-author (along with Suzannah Evans) of the book The Perfect Protein. The book describes how regulations from a small group of countries, and a shift in the way we think about seafood, could ensure a sustainable [...]

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Guest Blog

A World Ocean

Every year on June 8 ocean enthusiasts celebrate World Oceans Day. Last year over 300 official events in 45 countries recognized how the Earth’s largest and most complex ecosystem affects not only the rest of the planet and its inhabitants, but how the seas touch upon the essence of being human and the connectivity of [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Billion Year Old Seawater

As it was, and as it is, an ocean on Earth (T. Fioreze)

If there is one thing our universe makes a lot of, it is water. This isn’t an immediately obvious property based solely on the universal inventory of stuff. Hydrogen utterly dominates normal matter throughout the cosmos, and despite some 13 billion years of stellar nuclear fusion only a small number of these primordial protons have [...]

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Observations

Climate Change Future Suggested by Looking Back 4 Million Years [Video]

The last time the Earth enjoyed greenhouse gas levels like those of today was roughly 4 million years ago, during an era known as the Pliocene. The extra heat of average temperatures as much as 4 degrees Celsius warmer turned the tropical oceans into a nice warm pool of bathwater, as noted by new research [...]

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Observations

Giant Eyes Help Colossal Squid Spot Glowing Whales

giant squid eye

Giant and colossal squid can grow to be some 12 meters long. But that alone doesn’t explain why they have the biggest eyeballs on the planet. At 280 millimeters in diameter, colossal squid eyes are much bigger than those of the swordfish, which at 90 millimeters, measure in as the next biggest peepers. “It doesn’t [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

How Do You Count Giant Octopuses? Color-Code Them with Silicone [Video]

giant pacific octopus tagging tracking populations noaa

Octopuses are clever, reclusive, dexterous, strong and slippery as heck—especially those belonging to the very largest species: the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). So how are researchers to catch and track them? Certainly not with traditional nets and tags, which the octopuses can (respectively) squeeze out of and rip off. Instead, try enlisting the help [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

How Does a Fish Mimic a Mimic Octopus? [Video]

mimic octopus and jawfish

Mimic octopuses (Thaumoctopus mimicus) have one-upped their well-camouflaged cousins by actively impersonating other sea creatures—such as venomous sea snakes and lionfish—by changing their body shape and movement. But they have now been one-upped by a tiny fish that mimics them (or at least takes advantage of their complex patterning and movement to better camouflage itself). [...]

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Plugged In

Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

A cluster of tuna off the southern tip of Italy. Photo: Courtesy of the UN FAO

In 2010, people across the globe munched their way through 128 million tons of seafood. That’s according to the latest data coming out of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This hefty supply of fish equals around 41 pounds per person each year, and is taking its toll on the health of the oceans [...]

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