The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

Vibrant Giant Clams May Influence Solar Technology

Giant clam lips could influence solar technology

A giant clam (Tridacna gigas) in the Maldives. The vibrant lips of giant clams could influence solar technology. (Photo: Malcolm Browne / Flickr Creative Commons)

The vivacious blue lips of giant clams dot shallow bays and reef communities throughout the Indo-Pacific region, adding vibrant patterns to the seafloor. Like many other creatures with elaborate hues—say, the poison dart frog, whose bright colors helps ward off predators—the bright blue lips of the giant clam aren’t just there to impress onlookers.


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Ocean Roundup: Seven Sharks Illegally Caught in Costa Rica National Park, Dolphins Cross-Breeding in UK Waters, and More

Dolphins are cross-breeding off the UK

A bottlenose dolphin and calf. New research shows bottlenose dolphins off the UK are cross-breeding with other species. (Photo: Oceana / Soledad Esnaola)

- Scientists warn that otters off of Scotland are only living for about a third of the time than those off mainland Europe, largely due to more polluted waters and prey sources. The scientists warn that the short lifespans are troublesome because it keeps the otter population from being able to breed. The Scotsman


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Celebrate National Seafood Month with This Sustainable Recipe: Roasted Black Cod

National Seafood Month celebrates sustainable seafood

Roasted black cod. (Photo: Larry / Flickr Creative Commons)

October is National Seafood Month, a time to raise awareness for sustainable fisheries and celebrate the benefits of seafood in one’s diet.


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Photos: How Cuttlefish Master the Art of Disguise

Cuttlefish are a member of the cephalopod family

A common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) off Italy. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

This week marks International Cephalopod Awareness Days, a time to celebrate these invertebrates and bring attention to their conservation. Earlier this week, Oceana discussed octopus vision, and also recently celebrated them during Cephalopod Week. Now, Oceana is bringing attention to a lesser-known cephalopod through a Creature Feature.  


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Ocean Roundup: Dolphin Intelligence May Be Overestimated, Penguin Personalities To Help with Climate Change Adaption, and More

New research shows that dolphins may not be as smart as thought

Dolphins may not be as intelligent as assumed. (Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

- It turns out that pollution and runoff may be having a much bigger impact on the Great Barrier Reef than previously thought. New research shows that pollution may be decreasing organisms’ ability to photosynthesize, thereby making it harder to absorb CO2. The Guardian


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Video: Oceana in Belize Exposes Belizean First Family to Belizean World Heritage Sites

Belize's first family visits the Great Blue Hole

Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow's wife and daughter visit the Great Blue Hole. (Photo Oceana / Alex Ellis)

The Great Blue Hole, a Belizean National Monument and World Heritage Site, is one of the most gorgeous marine settings in the world. Situated just over 50 miles east of Belize City in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the rare reef formation stretches over 1,000 feet wide and over 400 feet deep. Previously an above-ground cave that’s sunk underwater, this sinkhole is teeming with marine life and is a haven for divers and ocean enthusiasts. Belize is home to three of the Caribbean’s four natural coral reef atolls.


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Ocean Roundup: Seaweed Transporting Disease to Sea Otters, Lego to Break Ties with Shell, and More

Seaweed particles are helping spread disease among sea otters

Seaweed particles are helping spread disease among sea otters. (Photo: Vicki & Chuck Rogers / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Scientists have recently discovered that some mangroves are offering coral reef shelter and protection from climate change. In Hurricane Hole, a mangrove habitat in the U.S. Virgin Islands, scientists found 30 species of coral growing underwater. Science Daily


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Video: Oceana Supporter Maya Gabeira Determined To Keep Surfing after Near-Fatal Accident

Maya Gabeira was featured in Outside magazine

Maya Gabeira pictured during her Oceana PSA. (Photo: Oceana / Brian Bielmann Photography)

It was a year ago this month when champion big-wave surfer Maya Gabeira set out to ride the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman off Nazaré, Portugal. She's surfed 46-foot waves in South Africa, but nothing like the monstrous 50-foot-plus waves that formed off the underwater cliffs in the Atlantic last October. As Gabeira set out to ride one of these massive waves, she fell into the surf and suffered a near-fatal accident before being rescued.  


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Ocean Roundup: Orcas Can Shift Vocal Sounds around Dolphins, Larval Fish Found to Make Noise, and More

Orcas were found to engage in cross-species vocal learning

Orcas were found to engage in cross-species vocal learning. (Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Brandon Southall, NMFS/OPR / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Humans, cetaceans, and some birds are some of the only species known to practice vocal learning—communicating with sounds that aren’t just innate. Researchers found orcas not only practice this, but orcas engage in cross-species vocal learning, meaning they shift sounds depending on who they’re hanging out with. Science Daily


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Ocean Roundup: Cause of Green Sea Turtle Tumors Discovered, Sharks Found to Have Distinct Personalities, and More

Green sea turtle tumors have been attributed to nitrogen

Nitrogen runoff is causing tumors to grow on green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) around Hawaii. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

- Scientists have detected a 40 percent decline in calcium carbonate in one section of the Great Barrier Reef near Lizard Island. Calcium carbonate serves as building blocks for coral reefs, so scientists say this study calls for “an arrest to ocean acidification.” The Sydney Morning Herald


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