Marine Biology

  • Scientists at the University of Exeter have turned to Twitter for a better picture of the effect ocean plastics are having on sharks and rays. Summing these reports, they identified more than 1,000 individual sharks and rays seen entangled in ocean waste.
  • Science
    Amber can be a veritable treasure trove of ancient animals and insects, but it most commonly captures creatures that lived in forests – understandable, given the stuff starts life as tree sap. But now researchers have found a piece of amber bearing a strange mix of land and sea-dwelling creatures.
  • Science
    The fossilized remains of Cthulhu have been discovered in England – but it’s probably safe to look upon its form without going mad. A new species of extinct sea cucumber resembles a mess of tentacles, earning it the name of Sollasina cthulhu, in honor of H.P. Lovecraft’s mythical sea entity.
  • To many of us, the great white shark is a mysterious and scary creature from the deep – but now it’s a little less mysterious. Scientists have sequenced the entire genome of the great white shark, revealing a few clues as to how these animals are so good at healing wounds and resisting cancer.
  • During a recent expedition to the Gulf of California, a team of marine biologists discovered huge schools of fishes living in an environment that’s almost completely devoid of oxygen – levels well below the amount previously thought necessary for these animals.
  • Science
    For millions of years, the apex predator of the oceans was a bus-sized shark known as the Megalodon. But around 2.6 million years ago they just disappeared. So what could wipe out a 50-ft (15-m) shark? According to a new study, the culprit was a series of supernovae exploding fairly close to Earth.
  • ​​Small consumer drones can be used to detect and monitor big sea animals in shallow waters, according to new research from North Carolina State University. The team has shown that a quadcopter drone can be an easy means to collect reliable data.
  • It's well reported that oil spills can have a catastrophic biological and environmental impact. But to date, few studies have examined the effect of whole crude oil on senses of a marine vertebrate. A new study is the first to confirm effects on stingrays' sense of smell.
  • Wyss Institute's forays into soft robots have borne more ripe fruit in the shape of a soft robotic arm fit for use on submarines to handle delicate marine life like coral and jellyfish. This isn't the Harvard institute's first, but its latest iteration moves with "unprecedented dexterity."
  • A new exploration to the Atacama Trench off South America’s west coast has shed new light on one of the Earth’s deepest places, including video evidence of what appears to be three brand new species of marine life. ​
  • Science
    Anglerfish are famous for their head-mounted bulbs that light up the inky blackness of the deepest oceans, but to find out exactly how, Cornell researchers have now sequenced the genome of the bacteria that live inside those lightbulbs, and found a strange story of symbiosis still in progress.
  • ​When scientists are using submersibles to study deep-sea organisms, it's understandable that they'd want to harmlessly capture fragile-bodied animals in order to get a closer look at them. Well, Harvard University's Rotary Actuated Dodecahedron (RAD) sampler is designed for just such a purpose.