Category Archives: science

Galapagos shark, Carcharhinus galapagensis

Scientists urge Brazil to take a stand on protecting marine life

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.

SENSOR SNIFFS OUT METHANE IN DEEP-SEA VENTS AND COWS

Sensor sniffs out methane in deep-sea vents and cows

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 […]

Pacific blue-fin tuna

How warm-bodied tuna hearts keep pumping in killer cold

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.

Loggerhead Turtle, Caretta caretta

Loggerhead turtles home in on nests magnetically

Mother turtles find their way back to nesting beaches by looking for unique magnetic signatures along the coast, according to a new study published in Current Biology. Loggerhead turtles, for example, leave the beach where they were born as hatchlings and traverse entire ocean basins before returning to nest, at regular intervals, on the same stretch of […]

Crustacean

Sex-change crustaceans retain some masculinity

Male crustaceans avoid being completely feminised by pollutant-contaminated seawater as they “lock down” their maleness. New research by scientists at the University of Portsmouth has shown that crustaceans turned partially into females but retained a core of masculinity, and they may have learned how to do it after evolutionary battles with parasites. The research is […]

Helmut Jellyfish

Strange marine animals found around the Canary Islands

Marine conservation group Oceana finds amazing array of marine life in Canary Islands expedition, from shallows to down to 1000m. Using ROVs (remotely operated underwater vehicles) as well as scuba divers to shallow depths, they documented large colonies of deep-sea white coral, crystal aggregations of sponges, dense forests of black corals, oceanic puffers, giant foraminifera, carnivorous sponges and sharks, as well as many other biological communities and species in the south of the El Hierro Island.