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Latest Plankton Stories

593649fa75c5ed956904d3304f0f4ab1
2010-09-05 08:18:28

On Sunday, the French yacht Tara will leave on its second leg of a three-year voyage across the world's oceans to try and collect data on the effects of climate change on microorganisms. The 118-foot boat will depart from Cape Town to head across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for New Zealand next August as part of a 93,750-mile journey. "Sunday ... will be the birthday of the Tara Oceans project because it's the beginning of the second year of the project," said captain Olivier Marien.The...

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2010-08-10 08:05:00

Role extends to removing carbon dioxide from upper ocean and atmosphere What if trains, planes and automobiles all were powered simply by the air through which they move?  What if their exhaust and by-products helped the environment? Such an energy-efficient, self-propelling mechanism already exists in nature. The salp, a small, barrel-shaped organism that resembles a streamlined jellyfish, gets everything it needs from ocean waters to feed and propel itself. Scientists believe its waste...

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2010-08-09 10:47:21

A new study co-authored by professor Kam Tang of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science reveals that tiny aquatic organisms known as "water fleas" play an important role in carrying hitchhiking bacteria to otherwise inaccessible lake and ocean habitats. The article, "Bacteria dispersal by hitchhiking on zooplankton," appeared in the June 29 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It was co-authored by scientists from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and...

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2010-08-03 10:46:49

New research from the University of Sheffield has discovered that the deep open ocean, by far the largest habitat for life on Earth, is currently the most under-explored area of the sea, and the one we know least about. The research, which was published August 1, 2010 in the journal PLoS ONE, has mapped the distribution of marine species records and found that most of our knowledge of marine biodiversity comes from the shallow waters or the ocean floor, rather than the deep pelagic ocean- the...

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2010-07-29 13:05:00

Research suggests that the amount of phytoplankton found in the top layers of the ocean has declined markedly over the last century. Scientists wrote in the journal Nature that the decline appears to be linked to rising water temperatures. The researchers looked at records of the transparency of sea water, which is affected by the plants.  The decline could be ecologically significant as plankton sit at the base of marine food chains. This is the first study that has attempted a...

2010-07-28 19:12:17

Striking global changes at the base of the marine food web linked to rising ocean temperatures A new article published in the 29 July issue of the international journal Nature reveals for the first time that microscopic marine algae known as "phytoplankton" have been declining globally over the 20th century. Phytoplankton forms the basis of the marine food chain and sustains diverse assemblages of species ranging from tiny zooplankton to large marine mammals, seabirds, and fish. Says lead...

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2010-07-26 12:57:15

The icy Arctic waters around Norway's archipelago of Svalbard are facing the threat of acidity. The waters have always absorbed part of the carbon dioxide present in the air, making them acidic.  However, the scientific community is getting worried about the acidification harming marine life with CO2 levels rising. At a tiny coal mine village turned scientific outpost just 745 miles from the North Pole, researchers from nine European countries conducted an unprecedented effort in July...

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2010-07-20 12:20:00

A team of scientists has returned to the North Atlantic to gather more data on the Icelandic volcanic eruption that took place earlier this year. The researchers are studying whether iron within the vast volcanic ash cloud entered the ocean, causing an extended bloom of tiny organisms known as phytoplankton. The scientists have recorded "enhanced levels" of iron in samples they have collected. The most recent project follows an earlier cruise, which was carried out in the spring. The...

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2010-07-16 09:57:23

Jellyfish moved into the oceans off the coast of southwest Africa when the sardine population crashed. Now another small fish is living in the oxygen-depleted zone part-time and turning the once ecologically dead-end jellyfish into dinner, according to an international team of scientists. "Originally there were sardines in the area but over fishing caused the sardine population to collapse in the 1960s and 1970s," said Victoria A. Braithwaite, professor of fisheries and biology, Penn State....

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2010-07-08 07:41:19

Onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Healy, June 29 -- "I think there are quite a lot of particles in the water today." That's the analysis from Dariusz Stramski, a scientist onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy for NASA's ICESCAPE mission in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea. The five-week mission, NASA's first oceanographic field campaign, is studying the physics, chemistry and biology of the ocean and ice within a changing Arctic. Stramski, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, stirred a flask...


Latest Plankton Reference Libraries

Mediterranean feather star, Antedon mediterranea
2013-05-18 06:26:42

The Mediterranean feather star is a filter feeder that obtains food by straining suspended matter and food particles from water. The star has a stalk that has up to forty tendrils, (threadlike organs) which help the star cling to hard surfaces. The “body” of the star is called a calyx and is shaped like a small cup. This calyx is surrounded by feathery pinnules bearing arms. These arms are quite unique in the fact that they can regenerate if one should get broken off; these arms extend to...

Chilean Sea Urchin, Loxechinus albus
2013-01-28 14:52:23

Image Caption: Chilean Sea Urchin, Loxechinus albus. Credit: Dentren/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) The Chilean sea urchin (Loxechinus albus) is a species that can be found along the coastlines of Chile and Peru. It is typically found in shallow waters at or below the tide level, buried in sand or lying just on top of it. This species is often associated with Macrocystis pyrifera, a type of kelp. It is most often found in more open spaces. The Chilean sea urchin can reach an average width of...

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2009-06-19 13:00:04

The White-spotted jellyfish is also known as the Australian spotted jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata). The jellyfish feeds primarily on assorted snail species and thrives in the southwestern Pacific. The bell of the White-spotted jellyfish averages 17-19 inches in diameter but there had been a maximum reported size of 24 inches. However, on Sunset Beach in North Carolina in October, 2007, a White-spotted jellyfish was found on the shore measuring in at 28 inches, perhaps the largest to...

39_68ab5781f79103bd6c23c27f59baafb3
2007-03-26 13:57:44

The Tarakihi or Jackass morwong, Nemadactylus macropterus, is a morwong of the genus Nemadactylus found off the coast of southern Australia, the Atlantic coast of South America, and all around New Zealand to depths of about 1312.34 ft (400 m). Its length is between 11.81 and 23.62 in (30 and 60 cm). The Tarakihi is similar to the Porae but with a silver body color and a distinctive black saddle immediately behind the head. Their diet is similar to that of the Porae but also with a wide...

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