Whales songs indicate where they’ve been — where they were born

Humpbacks swap songs at remote group of islands in the South Pacific.

Image source: Nico Faramaz/Shutterstock
  • A whale's song reflects its geographical and social history.
  • A new study identifies for the first time a major migratory crossroads where whales meet.
  • The discovery sheds light on the mystery of how whale songs evolve across the Pacific.
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Scientists discover tiny ‘pocket shark’ that glows in the dark

It's only the second pocket shark specimen ever discovered.

MARK DOOSEY
  • The pocket shark is an extremely rare deepwater fish about which little is known.
  • This new specimen, first discovered in 2010, measures just 5.5 inches long and has pocket glands thought to emit a bioluminescent fluid.
  • The finding "underscores how little we know about the Gulf [of Mexico]," wrote one researcher involved with the recent study.
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How oceanic evolution took a left turn 170 million years ago

New research reveals a major shift in what pressures life used to face.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
  • For the vast majority of the evolutionary history of ocean life, sudden changes in climate and oceanic chemistry had a huge impact on what life could flourish and what life could not.
  • But about 170 million years ago, this changed. The ocean became more stable, and things like predator-prey relationships started to dominate how life evolved.
  • The reason for this sudden change? Calcifying plankton came to dominate the oceans.
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Study explains exactly why captivity is bad for orcas

A comprehensive interdisciplinary paper removes any doubt that orcas don't belong in marine parks and zoos.

Image source: ullstein bild/Getty
  • Researchers present a detailed catalogue of the hardships captive orcas face and the damage done to them.
  • The study draws parallels between known human chronic stresses and entertainment and research facility conditions.
  • The evidence offers a damning response to perplexed apologies offered by proprietors of such parks, aquariums, and zoos when an orca dies.
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Climate change may bring acidic oceans full of jellyfish

One often-neglected result of climate change is ocean acidification. If this process continues, we may start to see fewer fish and more jellyfish.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Since the beginning of the industrial era, humanity has been pumping out unprecedented levels of CO2 into the atmosphere.
  • A significant portion of this CO2 is sucked back into the ocean, where it reacts with water to produce carbonic acid.
  • Most species fair poorly in the newly acidic ocean. Jellyfish, however, seem to resist ocean acidification more than others.
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