Discovery without Destruction: a minimally invasive approach to new species

A new study by Ziegler and Sargony (2021) has demonstrated how non-invasive methods can be used to record and catalogue new species of megafauna. Traditional methods including collecting specimens to handle physically which, aside from killing the specimen, can also damage the structures of the organism - impairing proper scientific understanding. While non-destructive imaging techniques have proven effective in describing novel species of small organisms this is the first time it has be utilised for a deep-sea megafauna, the cirrate octopus - Grimpoteuthis imperator.

2021-05-08T07:59:04-05:00May 5th, 2021|Categories: Science News, Species News|Tags: , , |

Octopuses, neighbourly or not?

A recent study in the journal of Marine Biology has tested a different method of investigating social behaviour in octopuses. Traditionally octopuses have been seen as asocial creatures that ignore others of their species (conspecifics) but recent discoveries of aggregations or groups of wild octopuses such as: algae octopuses (Abdopus aculeatus), Graneledone octopuses, Muusoctopus octopuses, Caribbean Reef Octopuses (Octopus briareus), Atlantic pygmy octopuses (Octopus joubini), Octopus laqueus, Common Sydney octopuses (Octopus tetricus) and Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis.

2021-05-03T06:51:38-05:00May 3rd, 2021|Categories: Species News|Tags: , , |

Some like it hot, but not salmon

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) are an important species of fish both for their ecological value and commercial value. These anadromous fish are spawned in rivers, travel to the sea to grow and mature before returning to the stream or river they were born in to spawn the next generation. As such the ability to swim against strong currents and up natural barriers is important, which is why a recent study published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology is concerning.

2021-05-03T10:26:08-05:00May 3rd, 2021|Categories: Species News|Tags: , , , |

Hot sand poses further risks to endangered turtles

Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are the largest species of sea turtle. Found around the world's oceans they travel distances up to 4,828 km, using their large pectoral flippers to swim as fast as 24kph. Diving to as deep as 1000m these turtles follow the diel movements of jellyfish - their preferred prey.

2021-05-03T11:49:49-05:00May 3rd, 2021|Categories: Species News|Tags: , , , , |

Dolphin population uses different whistles to beat noise

A recently recorded population of Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins has been observed using their own distinct whistles which have longer durations, lower frequencies and fewer inflection points. Not only does this suggest they are an independent population but researchers suggest that the specific features of this delphinid language are used to communicate more effectively in the waters around Hainan Island, Zhanjiang, and Sanniang Bay.

How Climate Change affects Baltic mussels

Mytilus mussels are keystone species in the Baltic Sea: they build reefs which provide more complex habitats for various species (macrofauna, macroalgae and meiofauna), filter water (linking the pelagic and benthic systems) and are a staple food source for numerous organisms (eider ducks, flounder, crabs, starfish and the larval stages feed herring larvae and other carnivorous zooplankton). They can also be extremely numerous – forming up to 90% of the animal biomass in some shallow waters.

2021-04-25T11:18:04-05:00April 22nd, 2021|Categories: Species News|Tags: , , , , |

Resident fin whales calving in the Gulf of California

Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) have resident populations in three different regions - including the Gulf of California. Daniela Bernot‐Simon, Lorena Viloria‐Gómora, Alejandro Gómez‐Gallardo and Jorge Urbán R. have now found evidence of the fin whale calving ground in the resident Californian fin whales. While numbers are recovering with around 100,000 individuals globally, fin whales are still listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List.

2021-04-25T18:54:11-05:00April 22nd, 2021|Categories: Species News|Tags: , , |

Organic Contaminants cross the placental barrier in Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins

A new study by Xiyang Zhanga, Fengping Zhana, Ri-Qing Yu, Xian Sun and Yuping Wu has found that pregnant Indo-pacific humpback dolphins transfer organic contaminants to their unborn offspring. Their investigation found that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) were all found in both the mothers and foetuses.

2021-04-24T12:53:37-05:00April 22nd, 2021|Categories: Species News|Tags: , , |

Seahorses and other Syngnatharia originated in the ancient Tethys Sea

Syngnatharia are a diverse clade of percomorph fishes found throughout tropical and warm-temperate waters with many of its members found in the Indo-Pacific. The group includes: trumpetfishes, goatfishes, dragonets, flying gurnards, seahorses and pipefishes of which seahorses will be immediately familiar to most people. Their wide distribution combined with the long-rang dispersal capabilities of many of its members has made it challenging to pin down where in the world this group of fishes comes from.

2021-04-28T10:58:58-05:00April 22nd, 2021|Categories: Species News|Tags: , , , , , , , |
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