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Latest Plankton Stories

Scientists Create Global Atlas On Oceanic Plankton
2013-07-19 10:05:40

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international group of scientists has created a global atlas of oceanic plankton -- from bacteria to krill -- by recording times, places and concentrations of the organism's occurrences. Over 70 percent of the world's surface is covered by the oceans. Compared with terrestrial ecosystems, the animals and plant species of the oceans have been researched relatively little. Because of this, the knowledge base concerning the...

Ancient Algal Bloom Mystery Solved
2013-07-15 15:05:24

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An ancient bloom of life that occurred just after the last ice age isn't what it seemed at first, according to new research in the journal Nature Geoscience. Scientists had long believed that the bloom, which occurred around 14,000 years ago, was spurred by rising sea levels washing iron into the ocean. However, the new study suggested that a "perfect storm" of conditions allowed for the bloom to happen, and not simply the abundance of...

Phytoplankton Ocean Turbulence Social Mixers
2013-07-15 12:58:35

[Watch the video: Phytoplankton Social Mixers] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The motility of phytoplankton allows the tiny ocean plants to determine their fate in ocean turbulence, according to scientists at MIT and Oxford University. Researchers wrote in the journal Nature Communications that the individual vortices that make up ocean turbulence are like social mixers for phytoplankton. This social mixer brings similar cells into close proximity, helping to...

Protecting Spiny Lobster Larvae
2013-06-13 13:04:09

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science The commercial value of spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) in the Caribbean reaches $1 billion annually, thus making it one of the most valuable fisheries in the region. In a new study of this iconic species, Ph.D. candidate Andrew Kough and Dr. Claire Paris of the Biophysical Interactions Lab at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, in collaboration with Dr. Mark Butler from Old...

2013-06-13 10:54:29

A new study on the feeding habits of ocean microbes calls into question the potential use of algal blooms to trap carbon dioxide and offset rising global levels. These blooms contain iron-eating microscopic phytoplankton that absorb C02 from the air through the process of photosynthesis and provide nutrients for marine life. But one type of phytoplankton, a diatom, is using more iron that it needs for photosynthesis and storing the extra in its silica skeletons and shells, according to an...

Carbon Dioxide Absorption In Antarctic Seas Studied
2013-06-13 09:39:28

Georgia Institute of Technology The seas around Antarctica can, at times, resemble a garden. Large-scale experiments where scientists spray iron into the waters, literally fertilizing phytoplankton, have created huge man-made algal blooms. Such geoengineering experiments produce diatoms, which pull carbon dioxide out of the air. Experts argue that this practice can help offset Earth´s rising carbon dioxide levels. However, the experiments are controversial and, according to a new...

3 billion-year-old Rocks Contain Microfossils Of Plankton
2013-06-06 21:18:25

Penn State Spindle-shaped inclusions in 3 billion-year-old rocks are microfossils of plankton that probably inhabited the oceans around the globe during that time, according to an international team of researchers. "It is surprising to have large, potentially complex fossils that far back," said Christopher H. House, professor of geosciences, Penn State, and lead author. However, the researchers not only showed that these inclusions in the rocks were biological in origin, but also...

Dead Jellyfish Help Absorb Carbon Dioxide
2013-05-29 09:55:33

Rebekah Eliason for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Humans constantly produce carbon dioxide (CO2), both naturally and as a byproduct of industrial processes. The ocean absorbs about 25 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity. Tiny organisms called plankton live in the ocean and break down this natural greenhouse gas by converting itinto sugars and carbohydrates through photosynthesis. In order to understand the efficiency of the ocean´s carbon...

Organisms In 33.6 Million Year Old Ice Pack Evolved To Survive
2013-05-28 09:17:24

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers publishing a paper in the latest issue of the journal Science have found through Antarctic planktonic ice core examinations that the continental ice cap formed more than 33 million years ago. Scientists from the Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences (IACT), a joint collaboration between the University of Granada and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), said the seasonal primary productivity of planktonic...

Researchers Uncover Genetic Payload Of Ancient Plankton In Black Sea Sediments
2013-05-07 10:23:32

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Sorting through the vast amounts of genetic data from the Black Sea sediment record, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine paleoecologist Marco Coolen was astounded by the variety of past plankton species that left behind their genetic makeup. This vast amount of data is called the plankton paleome. The Black Sea is semi-isolated from other bodies of water, and highly sensitive to climate driven environmental changes....


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...

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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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Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.