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Ocean Life


Cold Comfort for Barnacles

Cold Comfort for Barnacles

A WHOI research team reports that barnacle larvae can remain frozen up to seven weeks and still revive, settle, and grow to reproduce. The discovery offers a new understanding of barnacle larvae, which are abundant sources of food for larger animals in the coastal ocean. It also provides possible clues to how other intertidal marine invertebrates may settle and survive harsh winters.

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Building an Automated Underwater Microscope

Building an Automated Underwater Microscope

A conversation with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biologist Heidi Sosik about her work studying phytoplankton ecology in the coastal ocean and the new instrument, the Imaging FlowCytobot, that she and biologist Rob Olson developed. Sosik describes the importance of phytoplankton to the food web and ecology of the coastal ocean, and how this new instrument, which will be deployed this summer, represents a breakthrough in year-round monitoring of coastal phytoplankton communities.

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Ocean Life Institute

Ocean Life Institute

The oceans cover 70 percent of the planet?s surface and constitute 99 percent of its living space, and every drop of ocean water holds living things. Without its oceans, Earth would be a rock in space, and life may never have appeared on our planet.

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Voyages into the Antarctic Winter

Voyages into the Antarctic  Winter

At the extreme ends of the Earth, Antarctica is a vast, rocky continent, mostly ice-covered and barren. Surrounding Antarctica, the Southern Ocean is equally vast, cold, and ice-covered. But unlike the land, it teems with life, ranging from microscopic plankton to top predators: whales, seals, penguins, fish, and sea birds.

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Big Trouble from Little Squirts

Big Trouble from Little Squirts

Welcome to the online version of Oceanus, the magazine that explores Earth’s last frontier. Oceanus delivers news and commentary on the meaning and value of ocean research, engineering, and education at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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Even Sperm Whales Get the Bends

Even Sperm Whales Get the Bends

It seemed only natural for deep-diving sperm whales to be immune from decompression illness, or the bends?the painful, sometimes fatal condition that human divers suffer when they surface too rapidly. But the whales may be as susceptible as land mammals, according to a new study by WHOI biologists.

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Run Deep, But Not Silent

Run Deep, But Not Silent

For the first time in history, we can accompany a whale on its dive, hear what it hears, and observe its normal, natural, previously hidden behavior in the depths. Working closely together, scientists and engineers have created an innovative new device—the digital acoustic recording tag, or D-tag. It attaches to a living whale and records nearly everything that happens on its dives, without disturbing the animal.

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