The Beacon

Blog Tags: African Penguins

Ocean Roundup: Great Barrier Reef Health “Never Been Worse,” Coral Could Be New Substitute for Bone Grafts, and More

Coal ports and development threatens the Great Barrier Reef

The Ribbon Reef, located within the Great Barrier Reef. Reef health has been heavily compromised by development along the coast. (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A new report found that ospreys don’t carry “significant” amounts of pharmaceutical chemicals, despite widespread presence in waters and some fish. This was the first study that looked at bioaccumulation of chemicals in osprey food webs. EurekAlert


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Ocean Roundup: Sea Otter Teeth Stronger than Human’s, Sri Lanka May Face International Fishing Ban, and More

Sea otter teeth are two times stronger than human teeth

Sea otter teeth may be twice as strong as human teeth. (Photo: Alan Wolf / Flickr Creative Commons)

- New research shows that tiny microbes found along seamounts and the seafloor play a big role in sequestering methane. The scientists are still unsure as to how much methane these microbes take in, but say that they play a significant role in keeping methane from entering the water column. Grist


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

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


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Ocean Hero Finalists: Jay Holcomb

jay holcomb

Jay Holcomb (left) cleaning a bird.

This is the second in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

Today’s featured finalist is Jay Holcomb, the Executive Director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC). Coincidentally, Jay is down on the Gulf coast as we speak, preparing to lead his organization’s efforts to clean up oiled wildlife from the Deepwater Horizon spill.


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The Scanner: Snowy Edition

As you’ve no doubt heard, Father Winter dealt the DC area a record-breaking series of blizzards this week, so it’s been quiet on the blog. While we were breaking our snow shovels (at least I did) and fighting cabin fever, the oceans were making news. Here's your weekly digest:

…A new study reports, unsurprisingly, that the world's first experimental marine protected area closed to fisheries has had immediate benefits for the endangered African penguin. The African penguin’s population has decreased by 90 percent during the 20th century because their primary food source, sardines, have shifted due to overfishing and warming oceans.

… After last month’s freeze in Florida, more than 4,000 cold-stunned sea turtles were rescued. 200 to 300 injured sea turtles are still receiving treatment.

…Both sides of the climate debate tried to use the East Coast's snowy winter as ammo. And while one frigid season does not a climate make, “there is evidence that such events will probably become more frequent as global temperatures rise.”

…SeaNotes reports on the “immortal jellyfish”, Turritopsis nutricula, which is able to perform transdifferentiation by reverting back from mature (medusa) to immature (polyp) life stages.

...Salt belongs in the oceans, not so much on roads. Discovery News points out that the 22 million tons of road salt used nationwide each year may help melt snow and ice, but it can also harm plants, aquatic life and groundwater. New techniques and chemicals are in development, but for now the salt assault continues.

 


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