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New Web Portal Displays West Coast Ocean Acidification Data

A new site displays real-time ocean acidification data for the open ocean and protected bays in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California.

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Study: Environmental Bleaching Impairs Long-Term Coral Reproduction

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Professor Don Levitan, chair of the Department of Biological Science, writes in the latest issue of Marine Ecology Progress Series that bleaching — a process where high water temperatures or UV light stresses the coral to the point where it loses its symbiotic algal partner that provides the coral with color — is also affecting the long-term fertility of the coral.

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Microbes Take Their Sulfur Light

Dr. Itay Halevy of the Weizmann Institute and Dr. Boswell Wing of McGill University found that deep-sea microbes that “breathe” sulfur prefer that sulfur to be light. In fact, the microbes will “fractionate” heavier sulfur into lighter isotopes. Learning the preferences of these microbes can help reveal the ancient past … and predict the future.

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Scientists Employ Satellite Tags to Solve Whale-Sized Mystery

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For the first time, scientists working in the waters of Patagonia are using satellite tags to remotely track southern right whales from their breeding/calving grounds in the sheltered bays of Península Valdés, Argentina, to unknown feeding grounds somewhere in the western South Atlantic.

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Historic Advances in International Shark and Ray Conservation

Conservationists are rejoicing at the listing of 21 species of sharks and rays under the Appendices of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), made official today in the final plenary session of the Conference of Parties (CoP).

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Bangladesh Creates New Marine Protected Area for Dolphins, Whales, Sharks, and Sea Turtles

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The Government of Bangladesh has created the country’s first marine protected area that will now safeguard whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and other oceanic species, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

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Climate Change Impacts Countered By Stricter Fisheries Management

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A new study has found that implementing stricter fisheries management overcame the expected detrimental effects of climate change disturbances in coral reef fisheries badly impacted by the 1997/98 El Niño, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

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Phytoplankton as Carbon Pumps

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Phytoplankton blooms can fix as much carbon as an equivalent-size rainforest, but where does the carbon go when the bloom collapses? Three Weizmann Institute scientists – a marine microbiologist, a cloud physicist, and an oceanographer – investigate.

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Study Finds Fish Just Wanna Have Fun

Gordon Burghardt and his colleagues Vladimir Dinets, a psychology research assistant professor, and James Murphy of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., are the first to document play with objects in a cichlid fish species.

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Killer Whales Learn to Communicate Like Dolphins

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The sounds that most animals use to communicate are innate, not learned. However, a few species, including humans, can imitate new sounds and use them in appropriate social contexts. This ability, known as vocal learning, is one of the underpinnings of language. Now, researchers have found that killer whales can engage in cross-species vocal learning: when socialized with bottlenose dolphins, they shifted the sounds they made to more closely match their social partners.

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