Mantis Shrimp Animals Biology 

How the Mantis Shrimp Packs a Powerful Punch

The miniweight boxing title of the animal world belongs to the mantis shrimp, a cigar-sized crustacean with front claws that can deliver an explosive 60-mile-per-hour punch. The speed of a mantis shrimp’s strike has been compared to that of a bullet leaving the barrel of a gun. Now, a Duke University study of 80 million years of mantis shrimp evolution reveals how the animal’s fast weapons developed a dizzying array of shapes — from spiny and barbed spears to hatchets and hammers — while still managing to pack a characteristic…

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Oysters, clams, and mussels in Oregon and Washington are showing the effects of ocean acidification (Oregon State University) Environment Oceanography 

Ocean Acidification Threatens Shellfish

By Kate Stone Coastal communities in fifteen U.S. states that depend on the $1 billion shellfish industry (primarily oysters and clams) are in trouble. The shellfish supplies in these areas are at risk from the increasing threat of ocean acidification, according to a new study from Oregon State University. Previously, the Pacific Northwest was most frequently cited as the region with vulnerable shellfish populations, say the researchers. Now they have identified many more coastal areas where the problem exists, ranging from Chesapeake Bay to the bayous of Louisiana. “Ocean acidification…

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Bluefin Tuna at the Hopkins Marine Station, Monterey Bay Aquarium in California (©Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder) Animals Biology Oceanography 

Tuna Stay Warm with Cold Hearts

The heart of a bluefin tuna keeps pumping during extreme temperature changes that would stop a human heart, according to a joint team of scientists from the University of Manchester and Stanford University. Pacific bluefin tuna are top predators renowned for their epic migrations across the Pacific Ocean. They are also unique amongst bony fish as they are warm bodied (endothermic) and can raise their core body temperature to 20°C above that of the surrounding water. They can also dive down into much colder water 1000 meters or more below…

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Oceanography Animals Biology Featured Oceanography 

Jellyfish Do More than Drift

Jellyfish might look like they are just drifting along with the ocean currents, but according to a new study of barrel jellies, these animals are moving with purpose. Researchers have found that jellyfish can detect ocean currents and actively swim against them. “Jellyfish are not just bags of jelly drifting passively in the oceans,” says Graeme Hays of Deakin University in Australia. “They are incredibly advanced in their orientation abilities.” It is believed that this is how jellyfish are able to congregate in blooms consisting of hundreds to millions of…

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Harlequin filefish can disguise their smell to confuse predators (Tane Sinclair-Taylor) Animals Biology 

Harlequin Filefish Uses Smell to Fool Predators

By Kate Stone Researchers have found an ingenious coral-eating fish that can change its smell to hide from predators. It’s the harlequin filefish, and it camouflages its scent to smell like the coral it’s eating. In other words, it manages to smell like its own food, and not like something else’s. “By feeding on corals, the harlequin filefish ends up smelling enough like its food that predators have a hard time distinguishing it from the surrounding coral habitat,” explains Rohan Brooker from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef…

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