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Latest Plankton Stories

d37acf7df504cd24b228757997a7eec8
2008-07-14 18:35:00

It's summertime and people are flocking to the coasts around the country. But when summer storms arrive, it's not only beach-goers who are affected; the rains can also have an impact on living creatures far below the ocean surface. Summer storms sweep fertilizers into the rivers and streams and carry them to the shoreline. Once the plumes of storm and river runoff reach the coast, the nutrients in fertilizers can feed tiny ocean plants, called phytoplankton, which can bloom and create "dead...

2008-06-14 06:00:13

By Anonymous OCEANOGRAPHY An ocean odor that affects global climate also gathers reef fish to feed as they "eavesdrop" on events that might lead them to food, according to a study by the University of California, Davis. Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is given off by algae and phytoplankton, microscopic one-celled plants that float in the ocean. Release of DMSP usually indicates that tiny animals in the plankton are feeding on the algae, or a massive growth of algae- an algal bloom-has...

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2008-05-23 10:00:00

An international team of scientists surveying the waters of the continental shelf off the West Coast of North America has discovered for the first time high levels of acidified ocean water within 20 miles of the shoreline, raising concern for marine ecosystems from Canada to Mexico.Researchers aboard the Wecoma, an Oregon State University research vessel, also discovered that this corrosive, acidified water that is being "upwelled" seasonally from the deeper ocean is probably 50 years old,...

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2008-05-20 08:57:22

First identified in 1899, y-larvae have been one of the greatest zoological mysteries for over a century. No one has ever found an adult of these puzzling crustaceans, despite the plethora of these larvae in plankton, leading generations of marine zoologists to wonder just what y-larvae grow up to be. A study published in BioMed Central's open access journal, BMC Biology, reports the transformation of the larvae into a previously unseen, wholly un-crustacean-like, parasitic form.Y larvae, or...

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2008-05-07 12:55:00

The growth of algal blooms in the Baltic Sea could be linked to the dwindling cod population in the Baltic Sea, scientists said.Algal blooms, or water blooms, occur when the population of algae begins to grow. They are typically recognized by discoloration of surrounding waters, and are potentially poisonous to humans, fish and other creatures."In recent years, the frequency of intense blooms (in the Baltic Sea) seems to have increased, and the level in summer has also been increasing," said...

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2008-05-05 10:25:00

The Earth's oceans play a vital role in the carbon cycle, making it imperative that we understand marine biological activity enough to predict how our planet will react to the extra 25,000 million tons of carbon dioxide humans are pumping into the atmosphere annually.The color of oceanic seawater depends largely on the number of microscopic phytoplankton, marine plants that live in the well-lit surface layer. Just like land-based plants, phytoplankton accumulate carbon dioxide during...

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2008-03-19 16:40:00

Is the Dust-Storm Theory Overblown? Most oceanographers have assumed that, in the areas of the world's oceans known as High Nutrient, Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) regions, the iron needed to fertilize infrequent plankton blooms comes almost entirely from wind-blown dust. Phoebe Lam and James Bishop of the Earth Sciences Division at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have now shown that in the North Pacific, at least, it just isn't so. In a forthcoming issue of...

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2008-02-28 15:00:00

Each year, long-distance winds drop up to 900 million tons of dust from deserts and other parts of the land into the oceans. Scientists suspect this phenomenon connects to global climate - but exactly how, remains a question. Now a big piece of the puzzle has fallen into place, with a study showing that the amount of dust entering the equatorial Pacific peaks sharply during repeated ice ages, then declines when climate warms. The researchers say it cements the theory that atmospheric...

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2008-02-05 12:50:00

Federal research minister aboard the research icebreaker PolarsternIn the Southern Ocean, large quantities of surface-drifting plankton algae are able to significantly reduce the carbon dioxide content of the surface waters, which can affect the global carbon dioxide cycle. This is one of the results from an Antarctic expedition which has just drawn to a close in Cape Town on February 4, and which was led by the Alfred Wegener Institute, part of the Helmholtz Association. On February 5, an...

2008-01-17 14:20:00

The changing climate is threatening the coast of Britain. Seven of the ten warmest years ever recorded for Britain's waters have been in the last decade, the governments "Marine Climate Change Impacts" report shows. This climate change is wreaking havoc on the marine wildlife off the coast of Britain, destroying the coastline, heating the water, and increasing the chances of flooding and major storms, the government reports. The warmth of the water is killing both micro-organisms and...


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...

0_36648507753f8c7e3c33d3c137060fc4
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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