Materials commonly used in sunscreens are harmful to marine life. Research shows sea urchin embryos, plankton and coral all affected.
A new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge has shown that the dottyback, a small predatory reef fish, can change the colour of its body to imitate a variety of other reef fish species, allowing the dottyback to sneak up undetected and eat their young. Its Latin name, Pseudochromis, means false damselfish – […]
Scientists have discovered a surprising new short-circuit to the biological pump. They found that sinking particles of stressed and dying phytoplankton release chemicals that have a steroid-like effect on marine bacteria feeding on the particles. The chemicals juice up the bacteria’s metabolism causing them to more rapidly convert organic carbon in the particles back into […]
Sunburn can ruin a scuba diving holiday, but you could soon tell when to cover up thanks to an early warning sunburn indicator, developed by Queen’s University Belfast. Researchers at Queen’s have developed a strip of plastic, containing ‘smart’ ink, which turns colourless from an initial blue colour just before exposure to too much ultraviolet […]
Scientists develop mesh that captures oil but lets water through and could help clean oil spills. The work was partly inspired by lotus leaves, whose bumpy surfaces naturally repel water but not oil.
The ocean is vast and has been greatly explored in the last decades. But there is still much to be discovered. With clear plans for 2015, NOAA’s research vessel – the Okeanos Explorer – has already begun its field season and is currently mapping in the Caribbean. Last year saw two successful expeditions, one in […]
We all have our favourite types of environment and weather. Some love those warm, sunny days spent on a beach of golden sands. Some love those rainy days in the forest, when everything glistens with the raindrops. Some love nothing more than a cold crisp day in snowy mountains. We humans are lucky. We can […]
Brazil fisheries have no bag or size limits for any species of fish and even the most basic fisheries statistics, such as the numbers and weights of fish being caught, are a blank space. The newly published Red List of Brazilian species at risk from extinction, identifies 83 types of marine animal aslo commercially exploited by fisheries. The Galapagos shark is an example of a keystone species thought to have been fished to regional extinction due to decades of nonexistent fisheries regulations. This species is one of many that could have greatly benefited from management plans that help reduce by-catch and prevent the overexploitation of fishing stocks.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat about 20 times more effectively than carbon dioxide. Understanding the sources of methane, and how the gas is formed, could give scientists a better understanding of its role in warming the planet. Now a research team including scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods […]
When tunas dive down to cold depths their body temperature stays warm but their heart temperature can fall by 15 degrees within minutes. The heart is chilled because it receives blood directly from the gills which mirrors water temperature. This clearly imposes stress upon the heart but it keeps beating, despite the temperature change. In most other animals the heart would stop.