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Ocean Life


Why are emperor penguins an indicator of climate change?

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced a proposal to list the emperor penguin as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), based on evidence that the animal’s sea ice habitat is shrinking and is likely to continue to do so over the next several decades. Research from penguin scientists is key to informing policy around much-needed protections for the emperor penguin. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s additional collaborative research efforts suggest how conservation actions can help to increase species’ resilience to climate stress, including protecting habitat, increasing habitat connectivity, and reducing non-climate stressors, such as overfishing and ocean pollution.

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Emperor Penguins

emperor penguin

Emperor Penguins are threatened by climate change, but steps are being taken to protect the species New details on the…

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What happens to marine life when oxygen is scarce?

A new study co-led by WHOI postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson looks closely at the changes occurring in both coral reef and microbial communities near Bocas del Toro during sudden hypoxic events, which occur when there is little to no oxygen in a given area of water.

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Sharks and the ocean’s twilight zone: Some female great white sharks can deep dive for hours

Boston Herald

Much of the shark focus around the Cape is on great whites roaming close to the shoreline as they prowl for seals, but researchers are finding out that several sharks are actually diving deep into the twilight zone out in the middle of the ocean. Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod are researching the sharks’ deep diving behavior and how sharks’ bodies have evolved to handle these deeper conditions. They’re learning that deep diving is far more frequent and extensive across species than previously thought, said Simon Thorrold, a senior scientist in the biology department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Study Shows that Lobsters Can Detect Sound

A new study demonstrates that lobsters can detect low-frequency sound and suggests that anthropogenic noise could affect lobsters. The study comes out at a time when the construction of more offshore wind farms, with their associated underwater pile driving noise, is being considered in New England.

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New Ocean Buoy Monitors Whales Off MD.’s Atlantic Coast

Chesapeake Bay Magazine

The buoy is equipped with a hydrophone to record marine mammal calls, and thanks to an algorithm, researchers will be able to determine whether they belong to a humpback, fin, sei, or a critically-endangered North Atlantic Right whale.