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Hookworms employ live fast/die young strategy in fur seal pup hosts

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:55:40 EDT ~ Hookworms exploit a live fast/die young strategy in their South American fur seal pup hosts. As a result, they often kill their host, rather than finding a happy equilibrium. Scientists are concerned that this type of hookworm infection could eventually pose a risk to critically endangered populations of fur seals. Find out more...

Basking sharks can jump as high and as fast as great whites

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:21:05 EDT ~ These gentle giants, which can grow up to 10 m in length, have been recorded jumping out of the water as high and as fast as great white sharks. Marine biologists are unsure why they do this, but have pointed to this phenomenon as evidence of how much we still have to learn about marine life. Find out more...

Climate change modifies the composition of reefs

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:11:10 EDT ~ Corals devastated by climate change are being replaced naturally by other species such as gorgonians, which are less efficient in acting as a carbon sink. A study has analyzes for the first time why gorgonians are more resistant than corals to human impacts and global climate change. Find out more...

Oldest-known aquatic reptiles probably spent time on land

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:14:57 EDT ~ A comprehensive analysis of Mesosaurus fossils shows that bones from adults share similarities with land-dwelling animals -- suggesting older Mesosaurus were semi-aquatic, whereas the juveniles spent their time in the water. This new research emphasizes the importance of thoroughly analyzing fossilized remains from across all stages of a reptile's life to get a full appreciation of its lifestyle and behavior. Find out more...

Eelgrass wasting disease has new enemies: Drones and artificial intelligence

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:09:56 EDT ~ Every year, the world loses an estimated 7 percent of its seagrasses. While the reasons are manifold, one culprit has long confounded scientists: eelgrass wasting disease. This September a team of biologists is zeroing in on the problem, in the first study of the disease to stretch along the Pacific Coast from southern California to Alaska. Find out more...

Florida Keys' corals are growing but have become more porous

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:08:47 EDT ~ Researchers have long questioned what impact climate change has on the rate at which corals are growing and building reef habitats in the Florida Keys. A new study explored this topic, finding both good and bad news. The rate of coral skeletal growth in the Florida Keys has remained relatively stable over time, but the skeletal density of the region's corals is declining, possibly due to ocean acidification. Find out more...

Micronizing ocean plastics threaten sea turtle populations, ocean life cycle

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:59:30 EDT ~ Ingestion of degrading ocean plastics likely poses a substantial risk to the survival of post-hatchling sea turtles because the particles can lead to blockages and nutritional deficiencies, according to new research. Find out more...

New soft coral species discovered in Panama

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 15:43:42 EDT ~ Another new coral found in Panama's Coiba National Park, a UNESCO National Heritage Site, the location of the Smithsonian's newest research site. Find out more...

Sniffing out sharks

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 14:14:14 EDT ~ Researchers use environmental DNA to detect the presence of white sharks in local waters. Find out more...

Aerial survey reveals great diversity and abundance in NE Canyons Marine National Monument

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 10:03:45 EDT ~ Airborne marine biologists were amazed by the sheer abundance and diversity of large marine wildlife in their recent aerial survey of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the only marine national monument on the East Coast, about 150 southeast of Cape Cod. Find out more...