New research shows that humpback whales pass on certain behaviors. This is exciting news because the data shows that the whales actually learn a particular kind of feeding behavior socially, rather than having a genetic predisposition to the behavior. Some suggest that these observations could be false, saying that it’s possible the whales just picked up this behavior without actually learning it, but others say there is very strong evidence for social learning.
Scientists recently found that when fighting over food, aggressive fish, rather than larger, stronger fish, will win. The research team is wondering if being aggressive would also contribute to reproductive success and if personality traits like aggression are heritable.
According to NOAA’s latest Ecosystem Advisory, sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem in 2012 were the highest recorded in 150 years. The Northeast Continental Shelf extends from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to the Gulf of Maine. The Advisory also notes that the temperature is affecting distributions of fish and shellfish in the area, showing that many key fishery species are slowly moving northeast, up the shelf.
A new system of cables and sensors is being set up in the northeast Pacific Ocean that will allow scientists to monitor the ocean and gather data in real-time. The Regional Cabled Observatory initiative will become the world’s largest underwater observatory and will start collecting data sometime this summer.
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.