The Beacon

Ocean News: Researchers Discover How Disco Clams Light Up, Pygmy Blue Whales Found to Winter Off Indonesia, and More

The disco clam (Ctenoides ales). (Photo: Jayvee Fernandez / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Scientists found fossils indicating that animals have been building reefs for 548 million years, about 7 million years earlier than previously thought. This means animals starting depositing calcium carbonate shells around the Cambrian explosion. Nature

- An international team of scientists found that penguins are “fully deserving of endangered status due to climate change,” as their populations could drop by one-third at the end of the century from climate change. The penguins are currently under consideration for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The Guardian

- Scientists have filled a long-withstanding knowledge gap about where Australia’s pygmy blue whales wintering grounds. New research reveals that pygmy blue whales head to Indonesia for the winter where they calve. The Sydney Morning Herald

- Over the weekend, a lifeguard in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina jumped off a pier several hundred yards offshore to save a Loggerhead sea turtle entangled in fishing gear and attached to an anti-freeze jug. The turtle is now doing well and will be released by rehabilitators soon. The Outer Banks Voice

- Researchers have discovered what mechanisms cause the disco clam—one that flashes vibrant lights and colors—to light up underwater. They found that the clam’s inner lip is filled with light-reflecting silica that causes about two flashes per second. The New York Times


- Humans tend to fear jellyfish because of their stings, but one author argues why we should appreciate these cnidarians—so much so to add swimming with them to our bucket lists. The Guardian

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