Ocean Life


Unless warming is slowed, emperor penguins will be marching towards extinction

Emperor penguins are some of the most striking and charismatic animals on Earth, but a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has found that a warming climate may render them extinct by the end of this century. The study, which was part of an international collaboration between scientists, published Nov. 7, 2019, in the journal Global Change Biology.

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How Interconnected Is Life in the Ocean?

The Scientist

To help create better conservation and management plans, researchers are measuring how marine organisms move between habitats and populations.

Falling in love with foraminifera

WHOI Senior Scientist Joan Bernhard holds a synthetic model of a foram species known as Astrammina

A marine geobiologist falls for the ‘brains’ and beauty of an ancient single-celled creature that can change its shell into a variety of geometric shapes.

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Mola mola parade

A formation of four mola mola (ocean sunfish) paraded through the water past the starboard side of #RVNeilArmstrong last week, while mooring operations continued on the Ocean Observatories Initiative Pioneer Array, 130 miles southeast of Martha’s Vineyard. These giant omnivores are the largest bony fish (Osteichthyes) in the ocean, measuring up to 11 feet in height and weighing up to 2.5 tons. They get their common name from the fact that they can be sometimes be found turned sideways on the ocean surface basking in the sun. Leo Fitz, who has crewed on WHOI ships for decades said he’s never been so fortunate to see so many at once: ‘Never, it’s always one! Never THIS many!”

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What Is a Sea Cucumber?

LiveScience.com

Sea cucumbers are marine invertebrates that live on the seafloor. Their tube-shaped feet serve mainly to anchor the limbless creatures to the seafloor, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

New Eyes in the Twilight Zone

Members of WHOI’s Ocean Twilight Zone team, particularly the lab led by marine biologist Annette Govindarajan, are pioneering the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling and analysis to provide a more finely tuned picture of what lives deep beneath the surface of the ocean.

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Extraordinary Footage of Octopus Garden

Need a break? Sit back, relax, and enjoy this stunning and calming underwater footage from Octopus Garden, two miles below the ocean’s surface in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), where thousands of mother octopuses were discovered nursing their eggs. Meditative soundtrack included.

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Diving to Octopus Garden in a Submarine

Check out this amazing footage taken from WHOI’s submersible Alvin in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), where thousands of mother octopuses were discovered nursing their eggs in a place known as Octopus Garden. WHOI principal engineer Andy Bowen talks with Chad King, a research specialist with MBNMS, about the animals and how federally-protected marine sanctuaries are critical to the health and protection of these incredible ecosystems.

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Discover Octopus Garden

Watch this amazing footage and learn some cool facts about octopus living two miles below the ocean’s surface, where thousands of mother octopuses were discovered nursing their eggs in a place known as Octopus Garden in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS).

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Drone technology could better measure effect on right whales of food shortages, entanglements

Cape Cod Times

Drone technology could better measure effect on right whales of food shortages, entanglements has been limited to dead specimens. Researchers at WHOI and Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies devised a measurement method for these ocean giants that yields accurate data that can be used for tracking the changes in body mass over time, providing clues to their daily energy requirements and the impacts of outside stressors.

How Drones Are Helping Scientists Figure Out Whales’ Weight

Smithsonian.com

Michael J. Moore, a biologist and director of the Marine Mammal Center at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, tells Jessica Leigh Hester of Atlas Obscura, body mass “tells you about the health of the animal, and in the context of its environment, it gives you a sense of how it’s doing nutritionally.”

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

BYU Radio

Associate Scientist Joel Llopiz describes the vast, virtually unexplored ecosystem lurking beneath the surface of the ocean known as the twilight zone. It is deep enough that it hasn’t really been affected by humans yet. But commercial fishing companies are eyeing it now, so scientists who study the Twilight Zone are urging the UN to establish some rules for it soon. (segment begins at 23:08)