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Posts Tagged "ocean"

@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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@ScientificAmerican

Citizen Scientists Study Whale Songs: Years of Work Done in Months

In November 2011, Scientific American, Zooniverse and a team of research partners launched the Web site Whale.FM, a citizen-science project devoted to cataloging the calls made by Pilot whales and Killer whales (Orcas), both of which are actually dolphin species. Different whale families have their own dialects and closely related families share calls. Underwater microphones, [...]

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Expeditions

Counting Fish: Wrap Up and Conclusion

Since July 2012, I’ve been posting about a study of artificial reefs along the Texas coast. Scientists at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Corpus Christi conducted the research, funded by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, to determine whether these structures increase fish populations, and whether their location, type and [...]

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Expeditions

Scientists Explore New Zealand’s Deep Sea (Part II)

sea urchin image

We made five planned dives during our voyage, each one a day long. It is a long day for the sub team. It takes several hours to prepare the submersible for the dive, and after seven to eight hours on the seafloor, another round of work is needed to prepare the sub for its next [...]

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Expeditions

Scientists Explore New Zealand’s Deep Sea (Part I)

Shinkai 6500 submarine

The JAMSTEC research vessel RV Yokosuka sailed from Nuku’alofa in Tonga this morning, heading towards New Zealand to explore the animal life on deep undersea mountains, or seamounts. A team of 14 scientists from Japan and New Zealand, 41 ships officers and crew are on board. The Yokosuka is the mother ship for the human-operated [...]

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Expeditions

Arts and crafts day on the Knorr

Yesterday was officially arts and crafts day on the R/V Knorr. We had a very specific project: decorate styrofoam cups. If you’re wondering why, just hold on a minute. First, some pictures of our beautiful cups: Ok, so the reason we each decorated a couple of cups has to do with pressure in the ocean. [...]

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Expeditions

The South Pacific Islands Survey–Destination: The Cook Islands!

I’ve already been nicknamed Jeffery. Now, Jeffery, I should mention, is the ship’s jack-of-all-trades. In 2009 I sailed with him and Algalita to the Pacific Garbage Patch and Captain Dale decided I just might be as helpful as Jeff. Well, I can tell you right now that I don’t know how to repair a broken [...]

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Expeditions

The Catlin Arctic Survey: Thermohaline circulation

If you look at a map of the world and draw a line through London, a latitude of about 50 degrees North and follow this line across the world, you’ll see that it passes through southern Siberia and skims the southern shores of Hudson Bay in Canada. The week before I came out to the [...]

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Expeditions

Measuring iron’s importance to ocean life

rv-atlantis

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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Expeditions

How do you build an observatory on the ocean floor?

Editor’s Note: University of Southern California geobiologist Katrina Edwards is taking part in a three-week drilling project at the Atlantic’s North Pond—a sediment-filled valley on the ocean floor—designed to locate and study what she calls the “intraterrestrials”: the myriad microbial life-forms living inside Earth’s crust. This post is a response to a question from a [...]

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Guest Blog

How does a floating plastic duckie end up where it does?

In Moby-Duck, Donovan Hohn tracks the fate of 28,800 plastic bath toys (“rubber” ducks, frogs, turtles and beavers) across the northwestern coast to their origins in China and even through the Northwest Passage. But how did these bath toys come to be spread on the shores of Alaska, Washington, Hawaii and Russia? On January 10th [...]

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Guest Blog

A True Duck Hunt: interview with Donovan Hohn

For the author of Moby-Duck, Donovan Hohn, it all started with a school assignment. In 2008, he challenged his journalism class to find the "archaeology of the ordinary." A student, known to be a bit of an odd one, wrote his assignment on his lucky rubber duck. In passing, the student mentioned a newspaper article [...]

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Guest Blog

Overboard: 28,800 toys and one man lost at sea

Few things inspire wonder like seeing something out of its element: Christmas lights on a cactus, a flag on the moon or a yellow rubber duck floating in the middle of the ocean. This incongruity captivates writer Donovan Hohn, who decides to go looking for 28,800 bath toys 13 years after they were lost at [...]

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Guest Blog

Slabs, Sneakers, Gyres and the Grotesque

Book review: ‘Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How one man’s obsession with runaway sneakers and rubber ducks revolutionized ocean science’ by Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano, Collins hardcover edition, 2009: ISBN 978-0-06-155841-2, HarperCollins paperback edition, 2010: ISBN 978-0-06-155842-9 With a touch of whimsy, tales of the grotesque, and the barest hints of essential mathematics, Dr. [...]

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Guest Blog

Now in 3-D: The shape of krill and fish schools

Watching videos of fish feeding frenzies is a very emotional experience for me. You know the videos I’m talking about (personal favorites here, 0:55 in, and here). They feature a swirling, glittering mass of fish that seems to dance and flit as a single entity while being torn apart by three or four types of [...]

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Image of the Week

Drown Your Town

DrownYourTown_mini

From: Drown Your Town: what does your hometown look like with sea level rise? by David Wogan at Plugged In. Source: Andrew David Thaler Amid a couple of harrowing weeks in the science blogging community, a madcap and dastardly plan was hatched by the Southern Fried Scientist, Andrew David Thaler. Using Google Maps and a [...]

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Observations

Complex Brains Existed 520 Million Years Ago in Cockroach Relative

insect brain evolution 520 million years arthropod fossil

Your everyday cockroach might not seem terribly intelligent. But new fossil evidence from 520 million years ago suggests that this insidious insect might have had some surprisingly smart early ancestors. Cockroaches and other insects belong to a group called the arthropods, which arose some 540 million years ago. A new Chinese fossil is yielding new [...]

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Observations

How Would Fish Vote in the 2012 Election?

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

This week’s look at the ScienceDebate answers provided by Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama focuses on their replies to a question about the health of our oceans and coastlines. Two areas in particular—declining fisheries and pollution—were highlighted for special consideration. Of course, the oceans also play a major role in driving weather systems [...]

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Observations

Oyster Genome Pries Open Mollusk Evolutionary Shell

oyster genome sequence

The world of the mollusk genome is now our oyster, as researchers have now sequenced the genetic code of this hearty (and delicious) shellfish, revealing it to be even more complex and adaptable than previously imagined. The new genome provides insights how oysters manage to cope with a dynamic habitat and how they build their [...]

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Observations

50 Shades of Sea Slug Sex: It’s Stranger Than You Think

sea slug sex traumatic mating female

Two-part barbed penises, a physical struggle and 20 minutes of penetration. That’s how some sea slugs do it. But the real shocker is that, for one species at least, those in the female role seem to engage in these bizarre, violent sexual encounters more often than might be biologically necessary. Nothing about sea-slug sex sounds [...]

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Observations

This Psychedelic Shrimp Will Get You Hammered [Video]

peacock mantis shrimp hammer club

The psychedelic-looking peacock mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) has a decidedly non-peacenik way of getting a meal: clubbing it. This small (3 to 18-centimeter-long), solitary stomatopod wields two dastardly hammer-like appendages. At just 5 millimeters wide, each dactyl club can generate a force of 500 Newtons. That’s enough punch to shatter the glass of a standard [...]

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Observations

Millennia-Old Microbes Found Alive in Deep-Ocean Muck

mud-core

A sparse community of microbes can persist for eons in the clay beneath the deep blue sea. When scientists drilled into the Pacific Ocean bottom and pulled up a long core of clay, they also pulled up microbes living on so little that it was hard for the scientists to tell if they were alive [...]

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Observations

5-Armed Brittle Stars Always Face Front [Video]

brittle star

How would you walk if you had five arms and no brains? If you’re a brittle star, the answer turns out to be quite well (for an echinoderm)—although it’s a little complicated. The blunt-spined brittle star (Ophiocoma echinata) looks like a claymation creature from an alien horror movie as it moves its disk-like body along [...]

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Observations

A Bike That Uses Its Brakes for a Speed Boost (and Other Student Engineer Inventions) [Video]

flywheel, bicycle,energy

For more than 150 years New York City’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (more commonly called The Cooper Union) has finished its school years with an annual event  showcasing student projects in the areas of art, architecture and engineering. Of the more than 300 projects on display this year were several [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Scientists Move to Patent Octopus Robot

octopus

Scientists have spent years crafting a very special, creepy robot. One that can crawl over obstacles, swim through surf and grasp just about any object. To achieve all of these tasks, the robot needed to be unlike most other bots. It needed to be soft. In late 2011, a team of researchers in Italy had [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

How To Grow a Patagonian Red Octopus

octopus eggs

Octopuses are tricky animals to keep in captivity. They’re smart, strong and slinky. But surely their eggs much be easier—being naturally contained and all. Not always, it turns out. Researchers in Chile have been on a quest to grow a local octopus species in captivity after it was overfished in the wild. The results of [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Amazing Mimic Octopus Caught in Thailand [Video]

mimic octopus

The mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) eluded formal description until 2005. Perhaps it was this banded cephalopod’s incredible impersonation abilities that kept it from science for so long. Its many guises and odd behaviors have been caught on video, but a new specimen, captured off the coast of Thailand, gives researches new evidence of the octopus’s [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Giant Octopus Checks Out Camera and Diver [Video] [Updated]

The octopus making headlines this week was probably not—contrary to other claims—attempting to wrestle a diver or take a selfie. But then again, nice, curious invertebrates rarely make headlines. Two divers, Warren Murray and David Malvestuto, were photographing wildlife in Bluefish Cove, off the cost of Carmel, California about 80 feet below the surface, NBC News [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

16 Arms + 6 Hearts = Love? Watch an Octopus Blind Date Live

octopus date love

  This Valentine’s Day, two octopuses are getting set up on a blind date. And you can watch what happens. Ace, a male giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) between 40 and 50 pounds and two-and-a-half to three-years old, and YoYo, a female of a similar size and age, will be introduced for the first time [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

National Zoo’s Octopus Dies in the Company of Her Favorite Toy—a Kong

pandora octopus

Pandora, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) died at her Washington, D.C. home (tank) Wednesday at the advanced age of five. She stretched more than eight feet across and was the zoo’s longest-lived octopus. Earlier this week, Biologist and keeper of the invertebrate exhibit, Tamie DeWitt, wrote in an email that, “for [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

How the Octopus Creates Instant 3-D Camouflage on Its Skin

octopus skin camo

We’ve all seen the amazing video of the octopus that has entirely vanished against a plant, only to flash white and reveal itself as it swims away. The seamless color-matched camouflage is stunning. But we’ve been ignoring an equally as incredible aspect of their camo abilities: 3-D morphing. Yes, they can squeeze their bodies to [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Odd Male Octopus Flaunts 2 Unexpected Arm Phalluses

octopus arm phallus hectocotyli

Is that a case of bilateral hectocotylization, or are you just extra happy to see me? Or so might a female octopus say if she met the young subject of a new report about a certain biological oddity—or oddities. A rare juvenile octopus was captured off the coast of Alaska flaunting not one but two [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Baby Octopuses: Pickier Eaters Than Baby Humans

baby octopus food

Baby octopuses are notoriously difficult to keep alive in captivity—as in, almost impossible. Like their adult parents, they’re sensitive to water pH and temperature and all of that jazz. But unlike grown octopuses in captivity, the babies almost always die of starvation. Often just within a few days of hatching. We humans have tried feeding [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Speedy Octopus Sets Record for Jar Opening

octopus jar open

It isn’t every day in the ocean that an octopus comes across a jar to open—especially one that contains a tasty live crab. Which is why it is particularly impressive that these invertebrates can quickly figure out how to twist off a cap in captivity. The treat-in-a-jar trick has long been a favorite activity to [...]

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PsiVid

“It’s so FLUFFEEE!”: Otter 501, A must-see movie!

OTTER-501-FINAL_low-res-FOR-web2-202x300

This enthusiastic movie line, lifted from the kids film, “Despicable Me“, about an evil villian whose heart is warmed by a trio of young girls who come into his life, is a very appropriate introduction to a movie that animal lovers simply must take time out to see . If you are along the west [...]

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Running Ponies

Pyura chilensis: the closest thing to getting blood from a stone

“Period Rock? You’re calling me Period Rock now? Guys, seriously, I might look like a stone, but that doesn’t mean I have the heart of one. Why doesn’t anyone ever just call me Michael?” **** Despite appearances, this is not some kind of cruelly bisected alien stone organism or a tomato thunderegg. This is Pyura [...]

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Symbiartic

If Anime Can Save Science Outreach, It Will Look Like This

Guilty_Yuumei_mini

Guilty, by Yummei a.k.a. Wenquing Yan is simply a stunning and extraordinary work of art in an attempt to raise ecological awareness about pollution in the oceans. Painted in a realistic and anime blended style, the lighting, complicated colours create an almost idealized version of reality. Yuumei says about the piece, “Education is the best [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt of the Day: The Great Architeuthis

12-028FEATURE

From: Louis Figuier, The Ocean World: Being a description of the sea and some of its inhabitants, 1872. Perusing the stacks in the University of Chicago’s Crerar Library one day, I found this gem of a book – a richly illustrated account of sea creatures from 1872 by a naturalist named Louis Figuier. In it [...]

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