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Latest Plankton Stories

f58707dd0c2ac65ac66894d2897daae91
2011-02-22 09:34:26

By Pam Frost Gorder, Ohio State University Researchers studying the origin of Earth's first breathable atmosphere have zeroed in on the major role played by some very unassuming creatures: plankton. In a paper to appear in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Ohio State University researcher Matthew Saltzman and his colleagues show how plankton provided a critical link between the atmosphere and chemical isotopes stored in rocks 500 million...

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2011-02-21 15:23:19

For the first time, researchers have sequenced the genome of a harmful algal bloom species. Researchers found that Aureococcus' unique gene complement allows it to outcompete other marine phytoplankton and thrive in human-modified ecosystems, which could help explain the global increases in harmful algal blooms. The brown tides caused by Aureococcus do not produce toxins that poison humans, but the long-lasting blooms are toxic to bivalves and have decimated sea grass beds leading to...

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2011-02-09 10:29:42

Analysis of a comprehensive database has revealed strong links between biological productivity in the surface oceans and patterns of biomass and abundance at the seafloor, helping to explain large regional differences. The research was conducted by an international, multi-institutional research team including scientists from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), and incorporated data from the Census of Marine Life (CoML). The vast majority of the biological production in the world's oceans...

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2011-01-22 09:25:11

Some fish are made out of maple leaves A distant relative of shrimp, zooplankton are an important food source for fish and other aquatic animals. Long characterized as algae feeders, a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that nearly a third of zooplankton diets are supported by material that originates on land in lake watersheds. The study brings scientists one step closer to clarifying the role that watershed inputs play in aquatic...

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2010-12-13 11:09:10

A study carried out over 50 years by an international team, with the participation of the Balearic Oceanography Centre of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) has confirmed an increase in the size and intensity of proliferations of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca. There are several complex reasons for this - over-fishing and the current increase in sea water temperatures. "Since 2002, these organisms have become increasingly frequently found in the north east Atlantic in winter, since...

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2010-12-10 09:53:10

Despite a 30-year warming trend, the last three years in the Bering Sea have been the coldest on record. A University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist says that the cold temperatures have helped produce larger zooplankton in the Bering Sea, which may be changing the way Walleye pollock are feeding. Alexei Pinchuk, research professional at the UAF Seward Marine Center, has spent the last three years gathering zooplankton samples in the Bering Sea. He and his colleagues have been looking at how...

2010-11-30 14:05:58

Australian marine scientists have expressed disquiet over the continued worldwide spread of large, dead zones in the ocean. Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Professor Mark McCormick of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have recently published scientific articles which raise concern about the impact of large areas of ocean emerging which are so low in oxygen that fish and other sea life cannot survive. Hundreds of dead zones are being reported around the world in areas that...

2010-11-11 22:17:03

Findings, which contradict a commonly-proposed approach to reducing global climate change, are published in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences LSU's Sibel Bargu, along with her former graduate student Ana Garcia, from the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences in LSU's School of the Coast & Environment, has discovered toxic algae in vast, remote regions of the open ocean for the first time. The recent findings were published in the Nov. 8 edition of one of the most...

2010-11-09 11:31:04

A team of marine scientists has found that toxin-producing algae once thought to be limited to coastal waters are also common in the open ocean, where the addition of iron from natural or artificial sources can stimulate rapid growth of the harmful algae. The new findings, reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to concerns about proposals to use iron fertilization of the oceans as a way to combat global warming. Blooms of diatoms in the genus...

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2010-11-08 12:15:00

Scientists have tracked how certain nontoxic elements of oil from the BP spill quickly entered the food web in the Gulf of Mexico. The new study suggests the 172 million-gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf in April have become food for plankton. "Everybody is making a huge deal of where did the oil go," chief study author William "Monty" Graham, a plankton expert at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, told the Associated Press (AP). "It just became food." The study didn't specifically...


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...

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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
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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