Brianna Elliott's blog

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

Posted Fri, Aug 1, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to african penguins, bumphead parrotfish, EU MPA, sea hares, Velella velella

African penguin language has been decoded

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


Continue reading...

Photos: Meet the Ocean Animals with the Wildest Teeth

Posted Thu, Jul 31, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to animal teeth, dolphins, fangtooth, narwhals, sharks, toothed animals

Fangtooth moray eel has wild, glass-like teeth

The fangtooth moray eel, an eel species with multiple glass-like teeth. (Photo: Philippe Guillaume / Flickr Creative Commons)

When you’re out swimming or surfing at the beach, have you ever wondered which ocean animals surrounding you have teeth? It turns out that sharks aren’t the only marine animals with teeth—a tool in some marine animals may be more widespread than you thought.

From hundreds of sharp, razor-blade-like teeth in great white sharks to the singular long, spiraled tooth on narwhales, teeth come in all shapes in sizes in marine ecosystems. This diversity is for good reason—some use their teeth to shred and slice prey, while others use their teeth more as a harpoon.


Continue reading...

Video: Watch Dozens of Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtles Scurry to the Ocean

Posted Thu, Jul 31, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to animal cam, florida keys, loggerhead sea turtle, sea turtle cam, sea turtles

This sea turtle cam caught a nest hatch in Florida

Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings make their way to the ocean in Florida. (Photo: FloridaKeysTV / Florida Keys Turtle Cam) 

It’s that wonderful time of year again on the East Coast: sea turtle hatching season! Turtle nests—from green sea turtles to loggerheads, Kemp’s ridleys, and even more species—are starting to hatch from Virginia to the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re a sea turtle lover and haven’t made it to the beach to catch a nest hatch, don’t worry—the Florida Keys Turtle Cam has got you covered.


Continue reading...

Ocean News: Brazil Bans Catfish Fishery to Protect Pink River Dolphins, Arctic Ice Melt Leading to Large Arctic Waves, and More

Posted Thu, Jul 31, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to Arctic ice melt, deep sea octopus, drones, pink river dolphins, seismic airgun testing

Brazil bans catfish industry to protect pink river dolphins

A pink river dolphin, a species that’s declined from Brazil’s catfish fishery. (Photo: Colombia Travel / Flickr Creative Commons)

- In its biggest fisheries ban since 1967, Brazil banned its commercial catfish fishery that uses pink river dolphins as bait. Dolphin populations have severely declined over the past decade, and one population saw a 50 percent drop in numbers since 2004. New Scientist


Continue reading...

Creature Feature: Caribbean Spiny Lobster

Posted Wed, Jul 30, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to Caribbean spiny lobster, creature feature, lobster fishery, lobster migration

Creature feature Caribbean spiny lobster

Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) in a giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) in the Elbow Reef, Key Largo, Florida, USA. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

This lobster species is perhaps best known for its impressive navigational skills. Caribbean spiny lobsters orient themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field, and then follow that point to find food at night and for long migrations. During these migrations, they form queues—long, single file lines in groups of 50 that walk day and night until reaching their destination. Lobsters prefer warmer water, so they migrate en masse to deeper waters when water starts to cool in winter.


Continue reading...

Ocean News: Climate Change Threatens Red Knots, Pacific Island Leaders Meet to Discuss Ocean Conservation, and More

Posted Wed, Jul 30, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to Gulf of Mexico coral communities, mackerel, Palau fisheries, red knots, satellite imagery

Climate change threatens red knot migration

Red knots (Calidris canutus rufa) flying over Delaware. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Scientists recently found two new coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico show signs of damage from the 2010 BP oil spill. The communities are over 13 miles from the spill, indicating that the spill is “deeper and broader” than thought. Salon


Continue reading...

Ocean News: Cape Cod Embraces Shark Spottings, Rare White Southern Right Whale Calf Spotted off Australia, and More

Posted Tue, Jul 29, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to North Carolina seismic opposition, ocean acidification, Pacific striped octopus, sharks sighting, southern right whale

Great white sharks are celebrated on Cape Cod

A great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). (Photo: Scubaben / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A rare white southern right whale calf was recently spotted off southern Australia with its mother. Only about two percent of southern right whales are born white, but remain that color for just a year. Adelaide Now


Continue reading...

Staff Spotlight: Jackie Savitz

Posted Mon, Jul 28, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to jackie savitz, Oceana leadership, Oceana victories, staff spotlight

Oceana’s Vice President for U.S. Oceans Jacqueline Savitz

Oceana’s Vice President for U.S. Oceans Jacqueline Savitz (Photo: Oceana / Cory Wilson)

Going forward, The Beacon will feature one Oceana staff member every month, highlighting their role at Oceana and personal history with the oceans. The first spotlight is on Oceana’s vice president for United States Oceans, Jackie Savitz. Take a look below to learn more.


Continue reading...

Baby Sea Turtles Found to Make Noise to Coordinate Hatching

Posted Mon, Jul 28, 2014 by Brianna Elliott to leatherback sea turtles, noise pollution, sea turtle conservation, sea turtle hatchlings, sea turtles

Leatherback sea turtles make noises

Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) hatching from their nest in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

If you’ve ever witnessed a sea turtle nest hatch, you’ve probably noticed that it seems like these reptiles emerge from their nests in silence. Scientists have long assumed that too, but a new study adds to a growing body of literature that finds that baby sea turtles can in fact make noise—and this communication is key to a successful hatching  process.


Continue reading...