marine biology

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A small Japanese puffer fish is the creator of one of the most spectacular animal-made structures. To impress the female puffer fish, the male labors 24 hours a day for a week to create a pattern in the sand. If the female finds his work satisfactory, she allows him to fertilize her eggs. She then lays them in the middle of the circle, leaving the male to guard the eggs alone.

Life Story (2014)

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Dark ghost shark (Hydrolagus novaezealandiae) and the pale ghost shark (Hydrolagus bemisi), both are shortnose chimaera of the family Chimaeridae, found on the continental shelf around the South Island of New Zealand in depths from 30 to 850 m.

Both ghost shark species are taken almost exclusively as a bycatch of other target trawl fisheries

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Mimic Octopus

This sea creature can mimic the behaviors and various shapes of different animals it sees. They are highly intelligent and use their ability to camouflage and avoid predators. It is so intelligent that it will actually mimic a sea creature that its predators is afraid of. For example, scientists observed that when the octopus was attacked by territorial damselfishes, it mimicked the banded sea snake, a known predator of damselfishes.

It can mimic sea creatures like the sole fish, lion fish, sea snakes, frog fish and more.

SOURCE

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closely related to sharks but with long, flat bodies and wing-like pectoral fins, mobula rays are ideally suited to swooping through the water - here off the gulf of california - yet seem equally at home in the air, so much so that they have earned the name “flying rays”. mobula rays can reach heights of more than two metres, remaining airborne for several seconds. 

mobula rays are quite elusive and difficult to study, so biologists are not quite sure why they jump out of the water. theories vary from a means of communication, to a mating ritual (though both males and females jump), or as a way to shed themselves of parasites. they could also be jumping as a way of better corralling their pray, as seen with them swimming in a circular formation. 

what is known about mobula rays is that they reach sexual maturity late and their investment in their offspring is more akin to mammals than other fishes, usually producing just a single pup after long pregnancies, all of which makes them extremely vulnerable to commercial fishing, especially as a species that likes to come together in large groups.

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Giant squids might be even bigger than we realized

According to research from Charles Paxton, fisheries ecologist and statistician at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, published in the Journal of Zoology this month, the giant squid could grow to reach as much as 65 feet. But even that is a “conservative analysis,” as size could protect against their #1 predator.

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sciencealert.com
Scientists Just Discovered There Are 'Bees' in the Oceans
Huh...
By Mike McRae

For the first time, researchers have found evidence that underwater ecosystems have pollinators that perform the same task as bees on land.

Just like their terrestrial cousins, grasses under the sea shed pollen to sexually reproduce. Until now, biologists assumed the marine plants relied on water alone to spread their genes far and wide. But the discovery of pollen-carrying ‘bees of the sea’ has changed all of that.

Over several years from 2009 to 2012, researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico filmed the spring nocturnal wanderings of crustaceans among beds of turtle seagrass, Thalassia testudinum.

Looking through the videos, they spotted more invertebrates visiting male pollen-bearing flowers than those that lacked pollen – just like bees hovering around pollen-producing plants on land.

“We saw all of these animals coming in, and then we saw some of them carrying pollen,” lead researcher Brigitta van Tussenbroek told New Scientist.

The concept was so new, they invented a new term to describe it: zoobenthophilous pollination. Before that, researchers had never predicted that animals were involved in pollinating marine plants.

Continue Reading.

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North american researchers at UC Berkeley and California Academy of Sciences have found that the larger Pacific-striped octopus has a unique hunting strategy: Rather than pounce on its prey, it stalks and gently taps it to startle it. Often this drives it into the octopus’s waiting arms…. 

The larger Pacific striped octopus , is, despite its name, no bigger than a tangerine.  Also uses a “slow bounce” to hunt. With its body flattened, and dorsal arms reaching forward, the octopus glides with sporadic bursts of hopping movements before it snatches up its prey of choice.

The octopus is rare, in fact, science has yet no even give it a formal scientific name (belong to Octopus genus). Is poorly understood, however, a recent study shown, they are somewhat social, they mate face-to-face, and the females produce multiple batches of offspring.

Whale sharks now listed as endangered

In a news release earlier this month, the IUCN revealed that increasing anthropogenic pressures (such as fishing and boat strikes) have caused the rapid decline of whale shark populations and that they should now be considered as endangered. 

Originally posted by b3n3aththesurfac3

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species. The IUCN Red List evaluates the extinction risk of thousands of species based on a precise set of criteria, and the resulting evaluation aims to convey the urgency of conservation of a species to the public and policy makers.

Previously, whale sharks were ‘vulnerable’ to extinction, but their status has now been updated to ‘endangered.’ Their numbers have more than halved over the last 75 years as these sharks continue to be fished and killed by ship propellers.

Dr. Simon Pierce and Dr. Brad Norman, two prominent whale shark scientists have spent decades studying the animals and have co-authored the assessment that led to IUCN’s update.

“In our recent assessment, it was established that numbers have decreased more than 50 per cent in three generations – which we estimate to be about 75 years,” Norman explained. “The numbers on a global scale are really concerning.”

The main stressor to these gentle giants is the intense fishing pressure in several countries, including China and Oman, especially for shark-fin soup. Some other nations such as India, the Philippines and Taiwan have started implementing conservation plans and have ended large-scale fishing of whale sharks. While these efforts are admirable, it is now really important to push for more regional protection in these countries and to push other countries to try to save this species.

Originally posted by ijustlovesharks

Whale sharks have been hard to study and to keep track off as they are quite cryptic and disappear into the open ocean fairly quickly. However with the use of modern technology and tagging devices, it has become a lot easier to follow them, collect information on them, but also to realize what kind of threats they are facing. 

The species is just one step away from being critically endangered, an IUCN listing that is very hard to come back from.

We cannot sit back and fail to implement direct actions to minimize threats facing whale sharks at the global scale,said Norman, “It is clear that this species is in trouble.”

Originally posted by creatures-alive

Fish Using Jellyfish as Shelter

Jellyfish serve as a habitat to many ocean creatures… Jellyfish play a critical role in the lives of different marine creatures. While they are used as a direct food source for many, some use them as shelter (juvenile fish), some as a means of travelling from A to B and some have a combined interest of travelling while snacking on the microscopic parasites attached to the Jellyfish. These symbiotic relationships are very intricate and are being investigated by scientists. 

[source]