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Marine Life

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Multiple ocean stresses threaten "globally significant" marine extinction Last Updated on 2014-01-04 14:54:36     A high-level international workshop convened by IPSO met at the University of Oxford earlier this year. It was the first inter-disciplinary international meeting of marine scientists of its kind and was designed to consider the cumulative impact of multiple stressors on the ocean, including warming, acidification, and overfishing. The 3 day workshop, co-sponsored by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), looked at the latest science across different disciplines. The 27 participants from 18 organisations in 6 countries produced a grave assessment of current threats — and a stark conclusion about future risks to marine and human life if the current trajectory of damage continues: that the world's ocean is at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history. Delegates called for urgent and... More »
Focus on Ocean’s Health as Dolphin Deaths Soar Last Updated on 2013-12-23 07:56:40                   Krystal Rodrique, left, and Liz Schell of the Virginia Aquarium’s stranding response team                             with a dead dolphin last summer in Norfolk. By LIZETTE ALVAREZ MIAMI — Like a macabre marine mystery, the carcasses — many badly deteriorated and tossing about in the surf — first turned up along the coast of New Jersey in June. Soon, droves of them washed up in Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and most recently Florida, their winter home.                       The lower jaws and teeth of dolphins from the Indian River Lagoon in Florida are cataloged.   So far this year, nearly 1,000 bottlenose dolphins — eight times... More »
Protecting Dolphins: A Right to Life Last Updated on 2013-09-10 20:35:41 One of the daily privileges of living in southern California along the Santa Monica Bay is watching pods of bottlenose dolphins patrolling the coastline. They are extraordinary creatures with astounding memories that bring joy to my day - each time I see them. My students and I believe that dolphins are entitled to the right of life. We along with millions of other Earthlings are mortified that Japan and Faroe Islanders brutally slaughter dolphins i.e. Faroe Islands and Taiji Cove with such reckless abandon and a despicable sense of entitlement. Those unfortunate dolphins not slaughtered but caught are sentenced to an unimaginable captivity - suffering a brutal and torturous existence in dolphinariums for the amusement of unconscious humans. Have you seen the documentary Blackfish? Since July 1, my colleagues and I have witnessed bottlenose dolphins dying along the eastern seaboard... More »
Marine biology mystery solved Last Updated on 2013-05-20 14:48:13 Function of 'unicorn' whale's 8-foot          tooth discovered by Harvard School of Dental Medicine researcher Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) researcher Martin Nweeia has just answered a marine science question that had eluded the scientific community for hundreds of years: why does the narwhal, or "unicorn," whale have an 8-foot-long tooth emerging from its head, and what is its function? Nweeia, a clinical instructor in restorative dentistry and biomaterials sciences at HSDM, will be presenting his conclusions at the 16th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in San Diego. The narwhal has a tooth, or tusk, that emerges from the left side of the upper jaw and is an evolutionary mystery that defies many of the known principles of mammalian teeth. The tooth's unique spiral, the degree of its asymmetry to the left side,... More »
Saving leatherback sea turtles crucial to healing earth Last Updated on 2013-03-08 00:00:00 Sea turtles are ancient but not primitive. Having evolved on land some 200 million years ago, they spend their entire lives at sea except to lay eggs on rugged beaches around the globe. Leatherback turtles are the largest of the seven sea-faring species and they are truly remarkable, most worthy of admiration and in dire need of protection. Leatherbacks are Earth’s last giant warm-blooded reptiles; their weight can easily exceed one ton. All sea turtles except leatherbacks have shells. Leatherbacks instead have backs with a jigsaw of thousands of small, thin bones overlaid by a thick matrix of oily fat and fibrous tissue. Their belly has only a narrow oval bone with heavy fibrous tissues. They are the fastest-growing and heaviest reptiles in nature. And the fastest swimming turtle with the widest distribution. Their four legs are wings in the sea and shovels on... More »