theguardian.com
Scientists observe coral polyps fighting turf wars and 'kissing' – video

Scientists using a new underwater microscope have observed features as small as single cells in organisms in their natural environment. The instrument brought ‘the lab to the ocean, instead of bringing the ocean to the lab’, said study co-author Tali Treibitz from the University of Haifa in Israel. The scientists captured images of millimetre-sized coral polyps in the Red Sea attacking other species of coral in microscopic turf wars. In one colony they saw polyps ‘kissing’ – which they suspected might be for the purpose of exchanging materials

Cleaning the oceans one step at a time

Two Australians created this container that collects plastic, paper, oil, fuel and detergent floating in the ocean. They want to implement it the middle of next year to clean up the sea worldwide. It seems a great idea. The only “but” as always is money, so they are raising funds to get to their goal. You can see their project and donations here.

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

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The Okeanos Explorer has discovered a very cute octopus at a depth of 4,290 metres.

This is the deepest an octopus of this particular sub order of octopus has ever been seen. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration noted this is a completely unsubscribed species and perhaps not belonging to any specific genus. Highlighting how little we still know about the creatures in the depths of our oceans.

(Ocean Explorer)

Gorgeous, Weird Jellyfish Found 12,000 feet Below the Surface Near Mariana Trench

The jellyfish in question was filmed earlier this week near the Mariana Trench during a submersible dive to explore an area called the Enigma Seamount. The jellyfish was spotted at a depth of over 12,139 feet. The NOAA researchers identified it as a kind of jellyfish called a hydromedusa, a part of the genus Crossota. Watch a video of it floating around.

Photography by  NOAA

400-year-old Greenland shark is the oldest vertebrate animal

She was born during the reign of James I, was a youngster when René Descartes set out his rules of thought and the great fire of London raged, saw out her adolescent years as George II ascended the throne, reached adulthood around the time that the American revolution kicked off, and lived through two world wars. Living to an estimated age of nearly 400 years, a female Greenland shark has set a new record for longevity, scientists have revealed.

And you’ll never guess how old she has to be before reaching sexual maturity…

Read more about this discovery >>>

Photograph: Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Creative/Getty Images

cbc.ca
Greenland sharks may live 400 years, scientists say
Creature that dwells in Arctic Ocean and deep sea may live up to 400 years

Step aside Galapagos tortoises, the Greenland shark may be the longest-living vertebrate on Earth with a 400-year lifespan, a new study suggests.

The study published in the journal Science examined 28 females caught as bycatch and determined that Greenland sharks have an average lifespan of 272 to 512 years, with their most likely lifespan being 390 years.

The two largest sharks in the study were estimated to be around 335 to 392 years old.

Experts believe that Galapagos tortoises have a lifespan of about 250 years. Bowhead whales can live up to 200 years, and some fish live to 150.

“It’s really fun to dig in to a very fundamental question about such a big animal,” said Julius Nielsen, one of the study’s authors, and a PhD candidate from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

“This thing with the age just seemed to be like the absolute top mystery.”

Nielsen said that he had suspicions about the longevity of Greenland sharks, but he never suspected that they could live so long. He said one Greenland shark caught and measured by researchers and then tagged and released was caught again 16 years later and had only grown eight centimetres.

“So people have always expected Greenland sharks to be very slow growing,” said Nielsen.

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