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Latest Plankton Stories

2012-05-23 17:08:34

Environmental change is the selective force that preserves adaptive traits in organisms and is a primary driver of evolution. However, it is less well known that evolutionary change in organisms also trigger fundamental changes in the environment. Yale University researchers found a prime example of this evolutionary feedback loop in a few lakes in Connecticut, where dams built 300 years ago in Colonial times trapped a fish called the alewife. In a study published May 23 in the journal...

Researchers Measure Carbon In The Arctic Ocean
2012-05-22 03:59:49

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have conducted a new study to measure levels of carbon at various depths in the Arctic Ocean. The study, recently published in the journal Biogeosciences, provides data that will help researchers better understand the Arctic Ocean´s carbon cycle–the pathway through which carbon enters and is used by the marine ecosystem. It will also offer an important point of reference for determining how those levels of carbon...

Prey Distribution, Not Biomass, Key To Marine Food Chain
2012-05-03 03:30:03

A new study has found that each step of the marine food chain is clearly controlled by the trophic level below it — and the driving factor influencing that relationship is not the abundance of prey, but how that prey is distributed. The importance of the spatial pattern of resources — sometimes called “patchiness” — is gaining new appreciation from ecologists, who are finding the overall abundance of food less important than its density and ease of access to...

Even In Winter, Life Persists In Arctic Seas
2012-02-23 04:59:29

Results of research cruise to Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas surprise scientists and may have implications for climate modeling Despite brutal cold and lingering darkness, life in the frigid waters off Alaska does not grind to a halt in the winter as scientists previously suspected. According to preliminary results from a National Science Foundation- (NSF) funded research cruise, microscopic creatures at the base of the Arctic food chain are not dormant as expected. After working...

2012-02-18 01:40:13

Phytoplankton Key to a Healthy Planet says Canada Research Chair at the Forefront of Phytoplankton Research Maria (Maite) Maldonado, Canada Research Chair in Phytoplankton Trace Metal Physiology at The University of British Columbia, has made understanding the intricacies of marine phytoplankton her life's work. These tiny, single-celled algae, which act as a natural sponge for carbon dioxide and are a critical part of the global carbon cycle, may play a key role in ensuring the health of...

2012-02-10 00:04:11

As oceans warm due to climate change, water layers will mix less and affect the microbes and plankton that pump carbon out of the atmosphere — but researchers say it's still unclear whether these processes will further increase global warming or decrease it. The forces at work are enormous and the stakes huge, said Oregon State University scientists in an article to be published Friday in the journal Science. But inadequate ocean monitoring and lack of agreement on how to assess...

Rise Of Land Plants Caused Planet's Temperature To Plummet
2012-02-01 12:50:33

Based on the results of a set of novel new experiments, scientists have theorized that the rise of terrestrial plants in Earth´s natural history may have initiated a series of ice ages that researchers have previously been at a loss to explain. According to the theory, as plants began to take root across the planet´s land masses, they extracted minerals from rocks and absorbed free atmospheric carbon, ultimately precipitating a significant drop in global temperatures....

2012-01-25 04:22:41

Ultraviolet radiation is the catalyst for cellular damage in phytoplankton The Bren School-based authors of a study published Jan. 20 in the journal PLoS ONE have observed toxicity to marine organisms resulting from exposure to a nanoparticle that had not previously been shown to be toxic under similar conditions. Lead author and assistant research biologist Robert Miller and co-authors Arturo Keller and Hunter Lenihan — both Bren School professors and lead scientists at the UC...

2012-01-05 16:39:24

In 1997, scientists at the Center for Neurodynamics at the University of Missouri - St. Louis demonstrated that special sensors covering the elongated snout of paddlefish are electroreceptors that help the fish detect prey by responding to the weak voltage gradients that swimming zooplankton create in the surrounding water. Now some of the same researchers have found that the electroreceptors contain oscillators, which generate rhythmical firing of electrosensory neurons. The oscillators...


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
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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