Latest Plankton Stories
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.
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.
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.
Along with other sea organisms, jellyfish are part of the ocean’s natural carbon recycling process. Jellyfish eat microscopic plankton and consequently ingest broken down carbon dioxide. Dead jellyfish then sink to the bottom of the ocean taking a large amount of carbon with them. This carbon becomes trapped in the deep sea water, allowing room for more carbon dioxide to dissolve into the ocean.
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.
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.
According to the most recent Ecosystem Advisory issued by NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), sea surface temperatures (SSTs) for 2012 in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem were the highest recorded in 150 years.
The development of the sea-ice ecosystem in the circum-Antarctic Southern Ocean may have triggered further adaptation and evolution of larger organisms such as baleen whales and penguins, according to a new study.
Carbon dioxide is the leading driver of disruptive climate change on a global scale. And without the help of some organisms in the natural world the global climate could be a lot worse than it is now. Now, new research shows that trillions of plankton near the surface of warm waters are more carbon-rich than previously believed.
To study the effects of ocean acidification, ten huge plastic containers called mesocosms are placed in the Gullmar Fjord in Sweden.
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...
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...
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...
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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