Research reveals bottom feeding techniques of tagged humpback whales in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
New research reveals previously unknown feeding techniques used by humpback whales in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The whales have three distinct feeding approaches: simple side-rolls, side-roll inversions, and repetitive scooping. A side-roll is defined as a roll between 45 and 135 degrees from a normal orientation along the sea floor. A side-roll inversion continues past the 135 degree mark. The researchers note that the feeding behavior puts the whales at risk for entanglement in bottom set fishing gear. For more information on whale feeding behavior, check out this cool study: Researchers double depth at which technology can identify whale prey.
Sea horses in Maine? Warm-water ocean species growing more prevalent in New England (link no longer active)
Sunfish, sea horses, triggerfish and filefish, species that typically live in the off the southern U.S. coast, have all been spotted by fishermen in New England. Other mid-Atlantic species like croaker, cobia, spot, black sea bass and longfin squid have also been seen more and more often in the colder New England waters and the Gulf of Maine. Other species normally found in the Gulf have shifted northward. These changes indicate that the Gulf of Maine is warming rapidly.
Want to know state of the planet? Count penguins
Penguins act as an indicator of climate change, so scientists can use penguin populations to determine the effects of climate change on other parts of the world. Soon, scientists will begin counting Adelie penguins in the western Ross Sea region of Antarctica in an annual census. Previously, the counting was done by hand from photographs. Over the last three decades, the population has numbered around 240,000 breeding pairs in the three main colonies. That number represented about a quarter of all the Adelie penguins in the Ross Sea region and 10 percent of the global population. Now, counting will get easier with semi-automated software and satellite imagery. In addition to learning about climate change from Adelie penguin populations, researchers also hope to learn more about these penguins to better manage the delicate Antarctic ecosystem.
And a bonus because you have to see these pictures: Surfer goes to head-to-head with pod of dolphins as he takes on gigantic Australian waves… and loses.
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