Archive for April, 2014


Drones changing marine reserves

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The conservation and protection of the world’s fisheries and marine life is crucial for a healthy, diverse marine habitat now and in the future.  The highest pressures on marine life are overfishing and fishing in destructive manners. Marine sanctuaries have been established to protect the diverse marine life within. In one study in the Philippines, […]

The Negative Impacts Commercial Fisheries Have on the Environment

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Ecological extinction is caused by many different human disturbances including pollution, the decrease in water quality, and global warming.  Overfishing precedes all of these human disturbances to coastal ecosystems.  Even though evidence suggests that the stocks of fisheries in today’s world are in terrible shape, humans still manage to fish down marine food webs that […]

Bobtail Squid Bioluminescense

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Euprymna scolopes,  commonly known as  Bobtail squid, are indigenous to the Hawaiian islands. This species is found in warm shallow areas and makes them unqiue in the sepiolida family, because their cousin mainly resides in deeper waters. The unique features that E. scolopes has is a symbiotic relationship with a bacterium called Vibrio fischeri. The V. […]

Deep Diving Record Holder

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Until recently, the southern elephant seal held the world record for the deepest and longest mammalian dive at more than 1.5 miles depth and 120 minutes. In March, results of a new study were published that put a new marine mammal in the lead. The Cuvier’s beaked whale’s record breaking dive lasted for 2 hours […]

Incredible Action Taken by Sperm Whales

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Orcinus orca, commonly known as killer whales or orcas, are marine mammals that are very intelligent, having the second largest brain in the animal kingdom. Using their intelligence and skills, orcas use strategic hunting skills to occasionally prey on larger mammals such as sperm whales, Physeter macrocephalus. Sperm whales live in well-defined social groups known […]

Algal dominated reefs can be healthy!

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There is a stereotype that algae-dominated reefs are not healthy reefs. However, recent studies by investigators for the Coral Reef Ecosystems Division (CRED) indicate that the opposite is the case.  They collected data from many long-term monitoring sites and found evidence that algae can dominate in a healthy reef and discovered that algae have a […]

Fluorescent Bands on Coral Skeletons Reflect Rainfall Patterns

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It has been observed that the skeletal coral structures of the Great Barrier Reef exhibit yellow-green fluorescent bands reflecting centuries of rainfall and coastal runoff.  These bands are found only on the inner shelf reefs within 20 km of shore, and exhibit a strong correlation with the timing, duration, and intensity of summer and monsoonal […]

The Art of the Sting

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Carybdea alata or the Hawaiian box jellyfish is simple organism that once a month wreaks havoc among the beaches of O’ahu, Hawai’i. Not as deadly their Australian cousin, the Hawaiian box jellies are attracted to the bright lights of Honolulu during their migration path. As they slowly wade in the water, their tentacles wrap around […]

the stunting effect of increased CO2 in the ocean

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The stunting effect of a high CO2 ocean on calcification and development in sea urchin larvae, a synthesis from the tropics to the poles, by Byrne et al., is a scientific paper that examined how 15 species of sea urchin larvae responded to the changes in their ocean environment. Sea urchins have what is called […]

A Bumpy Journey to Discovering a Horny Sponge

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It is not often one can go out into the field and discover a possible new species; however last semester on a field trip to the Hawai‘i Kai reef flats I may have just done that.  As the class and I were wading in the water looking for invertebrate animals to collect, I came across […]