An algorithm can predict when narwhals hunt - a task once nearly impossible to gain insight into. Mathematicians and computer scientists at the University of Copenhagen, together with marine biologists in Greenland, have made progress in gathering knowledge about this enigmatic Arctic whale at a time when climate change is pressuring them.
Should zoos display legally protected species that have been smuggled out of their range countries? A new study in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Nature Conservation suggests that a pause and rethink may be needed, as it reports that accredited zoos have acquired a rare and legally protected reptile, the earless monitor lizard endemic to Borneo, without any evidence that these animals were legally exported.
Chemical additives used in plastic production have been found in herring gull eggs, new research shows.
Microplastic pollution of waterways has become a huge concern, with the tiny pieces of plastic entering food webs and potentially having harmful effects on animals and people. In addition, microplastics can act as breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Now, researchers reporting in Environmental Science & Technology have analyzed antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) on five types of microplastics at different locations along the Beilun River in China, finding much higher abundances in urban than rural regions.
What will the Earth be like for our children and grandchildren, as temperatures continue to rise? We can be fairly certain of some things: Some regions will become inhospitable, as heat drives their inhabitants away or causes massive declines and changes in their ecosystems. Many other physical, chemical and biological processes will also be affected by rising temperatures that threaten critical ecosystem services such as food production, biodiversity and energy security.
Pesticides safeguard agricultural yields by controlling insects, fungi, and weeds. However, they also enter streams and damage the aquatic communities. In a nationwide monitoring program, scientists led by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research have shown that the governmental thresholds for pesticides are too high and that these levels are still exceeded in over 80% of water bodies. The loss of biodiversity can only be halted if the environmental risk assessment of pesticides is revised.
Marine scientists assessed the risk posed by small-scale fisheries to all 72 species of toothed whales found throughout the world's oceans. They found that this risk was highest in the Central Indo-Pacific, Temperate Northern Pacific, Temperate South America and the Western Indo-Pacific.
Conditions during Baltic herring spawning may have cascading effects on the whole Baltic ecosystem.
Just two weeks of citalopram exposure caused changes in crayfish behavior, with the potential to disrupt stream ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling, oxygen levels, and algal growth.
Killer whales have complex social structures including close "friendships", according to a new study that used drones to film the animals.