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Newly Discovered Juvenile Whale Shark Aggregation in Red Sea

Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus)—which grow more than 30 feet long—are the largest fish in the world’s ocean, but little is known about their movements on a daily basis or over years. A newly discovered juvenile whale shark aggregation off Saudi Arabia is giving researchers a rare glimpse into the lives of these gentle giants.

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Tags Reveal Chilean Devil Rays Are Among Ocean’s Deepest Divers

Mainly thought to be surface dwellers, Chilean devil rays (Mobula tarapacana) are most often seen gliding through shallow, warm waters. But a new study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and international colleagues reveals that these large and majestic creatures are actually among the deepest-diving ocean animals.

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Caswell Selected for Mindel C. Sheps Award

Caswell

The Population Association of America (PAA) selected biologist Hal Caswell of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to receive the 2014 Mindel C. Sheps Award for his contributions to mathematical demography. The PAA is the major professional society devoted to the study of human populations. The prestigious honor is awarded to one scientist biennially on the basis of important contributions to knowledge either in the form of a single piece of work or a continuing record of high achievement.

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Robotic Deep-sea Vehicle Lost on Dive to 6-Mile Depth

On Saturday, May 10, 2014, at 2 p.m. local time (10 pm Friday EDT), the hybrid remotely operated vehicle Nereus was confirmed lost at 9,990 meters (6.2 miles) depth in the Kermadec Trench northeast of New Zealand. The unmanned vehicle was working as part of a mission to explore the ocean’s hadal region from 6,000 to nearly 11,000 meters when a portion of it likely imploded.

 

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Scientific Mission Will Explore One of the Deepest Ocean Trenches

An international team of researchers led by deep-sea biologist Tim Shank of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will use the world’s only full-ocean depth, hybrid remotely operated vehicle, Nereus, and other advanced technology to explore life in the depths of the Kermadec Trench.

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Study Tests Theory that Life Originated at Deep Sea Vents

One of the greatest mysteries facing humans is how life originated on Earth. Scientists have determined approximately when life began (roughly 3.8 billion years ago), but there is still intense debate about exactly how life began. One possibility – that simple metabolic reactions emerged near ancient seafloor hot springs, enabling the leap from a non-living to a living world – has grown in popularity in the last two decades.

 

Recent research by geochemists Eoghan Reeves, Jeff Seewald, and Jill McDermott at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is the first to test a fundamental assumption of this ‘metabolism first’ hypothesis, and finds that it may not have been as easy as previously assumed. Instead, their findings could provide a focus for the search for life on other planets. The work is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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