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Loose skin and 'slack volume' protect Hagfish from shark bites

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:31:02 EST ~ New research shows how hagfishes survive an initial attack from predators before they release large volumes of slime to defend themselves. Because the slime is released after they are attacked, this defense strategy is only effective if they survive the initial bite. Results show that hagfish skin is not puncture resistant; it is both unattached and flaccid, which helps avoid internal damage from penetrating teeth. Find out more...

Lizards of Oz take toll on turtle eggs

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:08:56 EST ~ Goannas have overtaken foxes as the number one predator of the endangered loggerhead turtle at its second largest Queensland nesting beach. A new study has found that since feral red foxes were controlled in the 1980s, there has been an increase in the number goanna raids on loggerhead turtle nests at Wreck Rock beach, south of Agnes Waters. Find out more...

Scientists call for improved technologies to save imperiled California salmon

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:01:14 EST ~ Scientists working to protect California's most endangered salmon say that key improvements in tracking Sacramento River winter-run Chinook through California's complex water delivery system would help recover the species while the water continues to flow. Find out more...

The oldest plesiosaur was a strong swimmer

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:36:42 EST ~ Plesiosaurs were especially effective swimmer. These long extinct 'paddle saurians' propelled themselves through the World's oceans by employing 'underwater flight' -- similar to sea turtles and penguins. The find comes from the youngest part of the Triassic period and is about 201 million years old. Find out more...

A single sand grain harbors up to 100,000 microorganisms from thousands of species

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:58:53 EST ~ Just imagine, you are sitting on a sunny beach, contentedly letting the warm sand trickle through your fingers. Millions of sand grains. What you probably can't imagine: at the same time, billions upon billions of bacteria are also trickling through your fingers. Between 10,000 and 100,000 microorganisms live on each single grain of sand, as revealed in a new study. This means that an individual grain of sand can have twice as many residents as, say, the city of Fairbanks, Alaska! Find out more...

Habitat counts when predators lurk

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:58:23 EST ~ Something in the way it moves -- or not -- can save a creature's life in the wild, depending on whether it's exposed in the open or hiding in a complex habitat. A researcher studied patterns among a set of predator-prey pairings to see how the latter behaved when hunted. Find out more...

UVB radiation influences behavior of sticklebacks

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:46:13 EST ~ Fish cannot see ultraviolet B rays but still change their behavior when they grow up under increased UVB intensity. According to studies by biologists, on three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) increased UVB leads to a smaller body size and more risk-seeking behavior when faced with predators. Climate change is likely to increase UVB intensity, possibly with consequences for ecosystems and fish farming. Find out more...

The public fear sharks less when they understand their behavior

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:56:09 EST ~ Researchers surveyed more than 500 visitors to an aquarium 'shark tunnel' to understand how attitudes to sharks and government shark policies can change. Find out more...

Fish and ships: Vessel traffic reduces communication ranges for Atlantic cod, haddock

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:56:04 EST ~ Scientists studying sounds made by Atlantic cod and haddock at spawning sites in the Gulf of Maine have found that vessel traffic noise is reducing the distance over which these animals can communicate with each other. As a result, daily behavior, feeding, mating, and socializing during critical biological periods for these commercially and ecologically important fish may be altered, according to a new study. Find out more...

Plankton swim against the current

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:17:03 EST ~ Copepods swim together in a swarm even in turbulent currents. Researchers have observed the behavior of fish food with high-speed cameras. Find out more...