The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service announced on Friday that sea turtles are nesting in record numbers along the southeast Atlantic coast this summer. There are about 2,500 turtle nests in the three-mile refuge nesting area on Jupiter Island. Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge in Florida had about 1,150 green sea turtle nests which is more than double the previous record set two years ago. Turtles in Guatemala’s Pacific coast haven’t been so lucky lately. About 80 dead sea turtles have been recorded since the first week of July. Learn more here.
Whales get a tan too
Just like tan humans, whales have been shown to increase the pigment in their skin in response to sunshine. New research shows that some whales get darker with sun exposure (which can lead to DNA damage in the skin) and some actually accumulate damage in their skin cells as they age. By testing skin samples from the backs of blue whales during their annual migration, researchers found that the pigment in their skin and mitochondrial DNA increased as the migration continued. They found that the darkest whales were resistant to sun damage. For more interesting whale research, check out this article about the discovery of new right whale breeding grounds.
Where can coral reefs relocate to escape the heat?
New research suggests that as the oceans warm, coral reefs will leave the tropics. Global warming is has the strongest impact at the equator which will push corals towards higher latitudes. However, ocean acidification is stronger at the poles and will push corals back towards the equator. While this leave some space in the middle, the habitat for coral reefs will be very limited.
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.