To determine whale pregnancy, researchers have relied on visual cues or hormone tests of blubber collected via darts, but the results were often inconclusive. Research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) points to a weakness of previous testing and evaluation methods and provides a new hormone testing regime that offers better results.
Otago scientists studying sperm whales off the coast of Kaik?ura have discovered earthquakes affect their ability to find food for at least a year. The University of Otago-led research is the first to examine the impact of a large earthquake on a population of marine mammals, and offers new insight into how top predators such as sperm whales react and adapt to a large-scale natural disturbance.
A secret to survival amid rising global temperatures could be dwelling in the tidepools of the US West Coast. Findings by University of California, Irvine biologists studying the genome of an unusual fish residing in those waters offer new possibilities for humans to obtain dietary protein as climate change imperils traditional sources. Their paper appears in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
First evidence that animal DNA methylation patterns can be passed to the next generation.
Ecological niches are a concept well known from higher animals. Apparently, bacteria act accordingly. Researchers from the Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen have found that marine Polaribacter bacteria find their ecological niche by specializing on their favorite sugar. They now present their results in ISME Journal.
The combined effects of chemical contamination by road salt and invasive species can harm native amphibians, according to researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
From the shoreline to the deep sea, one group of bacteria is particularly widespread in our planet's seabed: The so-called Woeseiales, which may be feeding on the protein remnants of dead cells. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research NIOZ now describe the distribution, diversity and lifestyle of these bacteria in The ISME Journal.
Many insects, mosses and lichens in the UK are bucking the trend of biodiversity loss, according to a comprehensive analysis of over 5,000 species led by UCL and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), and published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
They might not be as popular as jaguars and parrots, but fish hold the key to lots of the Amazon rainforest's secrets. Studying the different kinds of fish living in the region's lakes and rivers helps scientists understand how rainforest ecosystems are connected. An investigation of fish populations is helping scientists make a case that protecting one tiny corner of the Guiana Shield can help protect rivers and biodiversity across the Amazon.
New research by a team from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and University of Western Australia reveals that species of the seagrass genus Posidonia have evolved a remarkable adaptation for ocean survival: a winged seed whose shape harnesses the force of underwater currents to hold it on the seafloor for rooting.