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Sharks & Other Fish


Robotic Vehicles Offer a New Tool in Study of Shark Behavior

Robotic Vehicles Offer a New Tool in Study of Shark Behavior

The dramatic video footage of a great white shark attacking the “REMUS SharkCam” autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) brought some of the highest ratings to Discover Channel’s Shark Week 2014 and went viral on the Internet.  

But while the footage was unprecedented, the scientific understanding enabled by the REMUS SharkCam is just as groundbreaking.  The AUV was used during a science expedition in 2013 to better understand white shark behavior and represents the first successful efforts to autonomously track and image any animal in the marine environment. The research provides critical data to efforts to conserve these animals.

“We wanted to test the REMUS SharkCam technology to prove that is was a viable tool for observing marine animals – sharks in this case – and to collect substantial data about the animals’s behavior and habitat,” said WHOI engineer Amy Kukulya, one of REMUS SharkCam’s principal investigators.

The research results were recently published in the Journal of Fish Biology.  The paper’s lead author is Greg Skomal, a biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. In addition to Kukulya, co-authors include biologist E. M. Hoyos-Padilla of Pelagios-Kakunjá, a Mexican marine conservation organization, and WHOI engineer and REMUS SharkCam software developer Roger Stokey.  

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Forecasting the Future of Fish

Forecasting the Future of Fish

How can we weigh all the interrelated factors involved in managing a critical ocean resource? Oceanus magazine experiments with a graphic article to help explain a complex issue.

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WHOI, NEAQ Embark on Expedition to the Phoenix Islands

A research team led by the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are heading out on a 6,000-mile expedition to one of the most remote places on Earth—the Phoenix Islands in the central Pacific Ocean. Throughout the month of September and in the midst of a strengthening Pacific El Nino, researchers will investigate the combined effects of climate change and human activity on the these vast coral reef ecosystems and the diversity of life they sustain. 

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It’s Hard to Kill a Killifish

It's Hard to Kill a Killifish

Summer Student Fellow Lily Helfrich is using a new molecular tool, microRNA analysis, to explore why some killifish are able to thrive in waters heavily contaminated with PCBs.

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A Haven for Whale Sharks

A Haven for Whale Sharks

Scientists discovered an aggregation of juvenile whale sharks in the Red Sea and used satellite tags to track the elusive migrations of this endangered species.

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Alvin‘s Animals

Alvin's Animals

From orange octopi and furry yeti crabs to the largest known anemone, pilots and scientists diving in the Alvin submersible continue to find amazing marine creatures.

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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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New Study Finds Extreme Longevity in White Sharks

Great white sharks—top predators throughout the world’s ocean—grow much slower and live significantly longer than previously thought, according to a new study led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). In the first successful radiocarbon age validation study for adult white sharks, researchers analyzed vertebrae from four females and four males from the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Age estimates were up to 73 years old for the largest male and 40 years old for the largest female.

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