Latest Tagging of Pacific Predators Stories
The white shark may be the ultimate loner of the ocean, cruising thousands of miles in a solitary trek, but a team of researchers has discovered that the sharks have maintained such a consistent pattern of migration that over tens of thousands of years the white sharks in the northeastern Pacific Ocean have separated themselves into a population genetically distinct from sharks elsewhere in the world.
With a name like "Leatherback Turtle" you might think the sea turtles could stand up to just about anything the ocean can throw at them, and for more than a hundred million years, they have. But tough, long-lived critters though they are, the population of leatherbacks in the eastern Pacific Ocean has plummeted by over 90 percent in the last 20 years.
It's hard to study a creature when you only catch fleeting glimpses of it. Up until recently, that was one of the big stumbling blocks for marine biologists and ecologists, but advances in electronic tracking technology have allowed them to peer farther across, and deeper under, the surface of the oceans than ever before.
Satellite tracking systems and acoustic sensors are giving researchers insights into the behavior and lifestyles of some very elusive animals in the ocean, including the fabled white shark.
The best oceanographers in the world never studied at a university. Yet they know how to navigate expertly along oceanic fronts, the invisible boundaries between waters of different temperatures and densities.
Electronic tags broadcasting from the dorsal fins of salmon sharks reveal that these top predators migrate from the glacial waters of Alaska to the warm seas off Hawaii, according to a new study in the journal Science. The salmon shark's ability to survive such a broad range of thermal conditions is attributed to high levels of specialized proteins that keep its heart muscle cells beating at very low temperatures, say the study's authors.
The Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is one of two species of elephant seal (the other is the Southern Elephant Seal). It is a member of the Phocidae ("true seals") family. Elephant seals get their name from their great size (the Southern Elephant Seal is the larger of the two species) and the fact that the adult males have a large proboscis, which is used in making extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating season. There is a great sexual dimorphism...