The Beacon

Ocean News: African Penguin Language Decoded, Tiny Hydrozoans Bombarding the West Coast, and More

A pair of African penguins in South Africa. (Photo: Paul Mannix / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Researchers recently found that the bumphead parrotfish can benefit but also harm coral reef ecosystems in the Pacific. Bumpheads help coral reefs reproduce and reduce-fast growing algae that compete with corals, but since bumpheads do eat coral, they can reduce its abundance and diversity. Red Orbit

- New research shows that African penguins can communicate through six different vocal calls to express hunger, anger, and loneliness. These penguins, sometimes called jackass penguins because of a call that sounds like a donkey, are native to South Africa and Namibia. The Guardian

- A new study found that boat noise may have a profound impact on a small invertebrate called the sea hare. When exposed to this type of noise, many eggs don’t develop and hatched eggs have higher mortality rates. Science Daily

- The West Coast has seen an unusual number of Velella velella—or more commonly known as “by the wind sailors”—wash up this summer. Experts are still determining what’s causing these hydrozoans to cluster in such big numbers, but in the meantime, don’t worry—they’re not poisonous. The Guardian

- A European Union Commissioner recently called for action to tackle the problem of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Europe, which are often protected on paper but not in person. She specifically called out how the Pelagos Sanctuary in the Mediterranean Sea needs protection, as its home to a diverse group of marine mammals. Oceana


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