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Americas Newswire

Researcher: How ancient whales lost their legs, got sleek and conquered the oceans
Gainesville, Florida - May 22, 2006 22:08 EST

When ancient whales finally parted company with the last remnants of their legs about 35 million years ago, a relatively sudden genetic event may have crowned an eons-long shrinking process. An international group of scientists led by Hans Thewissen, Ph.D., a...
 
Ecologists Home in on How Sperm Whales Find Their Prey: Echolocation
Woods Hhole, Massachusetts - May 22, 2006 22:03 EST

Ecologists have at last got a view of sperm whales' behaviour during their long, deep dives, thanks to the use of recently developed electronic "dtags". According to new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Animal Ecology, sperm...
 
Brazil Creates Buffer Zone Around Coral Reefs Off Atlantic Coast
Washington, D.C. - May 22, 2006 21:01 EST

The Brazilian government has created an official buffer zone around the Abrolhos National Marine Park to protect the biologically richest coral reefs in the South Atlantic. The buffer zone, created by Brazil’s Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA), encompasses nearly...
 
Study: Great Lakes' Salmon Failing To Thrive Because of 'Junk Food' Diet
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan - May 21, 2006 18:57 EST

A Lake Superior State University study on Atlantic salmon conducted by researchers in the LSSU Aquatic Research Laboratory has shed some light on why the fish are not reproducing naturally in the Great Lakes. The findings, conducted by Marshall Werner Ph.D.,...
 
Researchers: Giant deep-sea tubeworm's meal ticket comes in as a skin infection
University Park, Pennsylvania - May 19, 2006 15:33 EST

Giant tubeworms found near hydrothermal vents more than a mile below the ocean surface do not bother to eat: lacking mouth and stomach, they stand rooted to one spot. For nourishment, they rely completely on symbiotic bacteria that live within...
 
How Healthy is that Marsh? Biologists Count Parasites to Find Out
San Diego, California - May 19, 2006 15:27 EST

Is that salt marsh healthy? To answer this, Sea Grant biologists are cracking open common marsh snails and counting parasitic worms. Their claim: the more parasites, the healthier the marsh. While the parasite hypothesis may conflict with conventional ideas about infectious...
 
A Story in Pictures: The Sinking of the Mighty Oriskany Off Pensacola Florida
Pensacola, Florida - May 18, 2006 20:44 EST

The ex-Oriskany, a decommissioned aircraft carrier, became the largest ship intentionally sunk as an artificial reef May 17 when it was sunk approximately 24 miles off the coast of Pensacola, Fla. After 25 years of service to the Navy in operations...
 
Drug Discovery Team to Explore Newly Discovered Deep-Sea Reefs
Fort Pierce, Florida - May 17, 2006 22:17 EST

Last December, University of Miami researchers using advanced sonar techniques discovered new deepwater reef sites 2,000 to 2,900 feet deep in the Straits of Florida between Miami and Bimini. From May 22-30, Harbor Branch scientists will work with Miami colleagues...
 
Study: Coral reef reveals history of fickle weather in the central Pacific
Chicago, Illinois - May 16, 2006 23:02 EST

Close examination of coral reef reveals that when the rest of the world was experiencing warm weather, the Pacific was cold. And during a period of cold weather elsewhere in the world, the Pacific was warm and stormy For more than...
 
Study: Exxon Valdez oil found in tidal feeding grounds of ducks, sea otters
Prince William Sound, Alaska - May 16, 2006 22:45 EST

Seventeen years after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, compelling new evidence suggests that remnants of the worst oil spill in U.S. history extend farther into tidal waters than previously thought, increasing the probability that the...
 
Report: Salton Sea May Become Environmental Hazard without Restoration
Oakland, California - May 16, 2006 21:49 EST

The Salton Sea is shrinking, and without a restoration project it will transform from California's largest lake into an economic, health, and environmental hazard. The Sea's 75-year crash-course is detailed in a report released today by the Oakland-based Pacific Institute,...
 
President Bush Urged to Create World's Largest Marine Sanctuary; 'Marine Equivalent of Yellowstone National Park'
Washington, D.C. - May 15, 2006 22:10 EST

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in a letter to President Bush called attention to "a marvelous opportunity to leave a historic mark on U.S. and world conservation history." In the letter sent earlier this year, Gingrich urged the...
 
Precision Biochemistry Tracks DNA Damage in Fish; 'Very Sensitive Biomarkers'
Seattle, Washington - May 12, 2006 16:43 EST

Like coal-mine canaries, fish DNA can serve as a measure of the biological impact of water and sediment pollution--or pollution clean-up. That's one of the conclusions of a new study by researchers from the Pacific Northwest Research Institute (PNRI), Woods...
 
750-lb Hammerhead Shark Caught Off Florida Coast May Be World Record
Fort Myers, Florida - May 12, 2006 16:18 EST

A potential world record hammerhead shark was caught on Wednesday in Boca Grande Pass. Capt. Andy Whitbread of Fort Myers captured a 13 foot, 4 inch, 750-pound hammerhead. Whitbread used an estimated 12- to 15-pound live crevalle jack as bait and...
 
Shark-Saving Magnets Pull in $25,000 Prize for American from International Smart Gear Competition
Washington, D.C. - May 11, 2006 21:43 EST

A New Jersey inventor today was awarded the grand prize in the International Smart Gear Competition for a fishing gear innovation that could save thousands of sharks a year from dying accidentally on fishing lines, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and...
 
Diverse Sea 'Bugs' Revealed on Landmark Atlantic Cruise to Census Zooplankton
Charleston, South Carolina - May 4, 2006 17:27 EST

Census of Marine Life scientists trawled rarely explored tropical ocean depths between the southeast US coast and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to inventory and photograph the variety and abundance of zooplankton – small sea "bugs" that form a vital link in...
 
The Secret Life of the Not So Sluggish Sea Slug; 'Nature's Gift to Neurobiologists'
Woods Hole, Massachusetts - May 3, 2006 18:08 EST

It turns out that the sea slug isn't really that sluggish after all. So says the first broad field study of this charismatic orange creature's behavior in the wild, which was just published in the April 2006 issue of The...
 
Historic Schooner Shipwrecks Added to National Register of Historic Places
Scituate, Massachusetts - May 2, 2006 10:39 EST

The wrecks of the coal schooners Frank A. Palmer and Louise B. Crary, which rest on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary seafloor, have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's official list of cultural resources...
 
DAN America, Chamber Operator Reach Settlement; Insurance Again Accepted at All SSS Chambers
Durham, North Carolina - Apr 27, 2006 12:28 EST

In a news release dated April 26, 2006, Divers Alert Network (DAN America) and clinic members of the SSS Network of Recompression Chambers (SSS) announce that they have reached a settlement in the recent legal action over billing practices. Representatives of...
 
Research: Tiny Polyps Gorge Themselves to Survive Coral Bleaching
Columbus, Ohio - Apr 26, 2006 17:23 EST

Certain species of coral have surprised researchers by showing an unexpectedly successful approach towards survival when seriously bleached. Their innovative strategy is gluttony. The discovery, derived from experiments on coral reefs in Hawaii, provides new insights into how these tiny animals face...
 
Experts: 'No Fishing Zones', Marine Reserves Needed to Protect Gulf of Mexico Turtles
Houston, Texas - Apr 24, 2006 18:29 EST

The world’s top sea turtle experts are calling on both the United States and Mexico to provide more protection for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. A resolution passed in Crete earlier this month at the...
 
Research: Cuttlefish are Masters of Disguise Despite Colorblindness
Woods Hole, Massachusetts - Apr 20, 2006 17:29 EST

Cuttlefish are wizards of camouflage. Adept at blending in with their surroundings, cuttlefish are known to have a diverse range of body patterns and can switch between them almost instantaneously. New research from MBL Marine Resources scientists, to appear in...
 
Geologists: Ancient Fish Teeth Provide Clues to Beginning of Antarctic Cooling
Gainsville, Florida - Apr 20, 2006 15:42 EST

Ancient fish teeth are yielding clues about when Antarctica became the icy continent it is today, highlighting how ocean currents affect climate change. University of Florida geologists have used a rare element found in tiny fish teeth gathered from miles below...
 
For some young fish, early gene expression is a clear harbinger of fated lifestyle
Bern, Switzerland - Apr 17, 2006 19:47 EST

Large swaths of the genome are controlled by the choice of a sedentary versus migratory future As juveniles, individuals of many fish species face a developmental choice that will profoundly affect their future: whether to adopt a sedentary or migratory lifestyle....
 
Colombian Biologist Claims World's Largest Shrimp: Almost 16 Inches
Cartagena, Colombia - Apr 17, 2006 19:28 EST

Colombian biologist Edilberto Flechas has bought what he claims to be the largest shrimp ever seen. He bought the massive shrimp from a fisherman for the equivalent of $800. "This is the biggest species ever known here or even in literature," said...
 
Study: Some Undersea Worms Like It Really, Really Hot
Cambridge, Massachusetts - Apr 13, 2006 18:09 EST

Scientists have found that worms dwelling at deep-sea hydrothermal vents opt for temperatures of 45-55 degrees Celsius (113-131 degrees Fahrenheit) when given a choice of conditions, giving them the highest thermal preference of any animal studied to date. This unique...
 
Scientists: Harmless River Bacteria Creates World's Strongest Superglue
Bloomington, Indiana - Apr 12, 2006 18:33 EST

The glue one species of water-loving bacteria uses to grip its surroundings may be the strongest natural adhesive known to science. If engineers can find a way to mass-produce the material, it could have uses in medicine, marine technology and...
 
Technology that measures sea level, helps predict EL Nino events, improved by new modeling
Durham, New Hampshire - Apr 11, 2006 18:50 EST

A paper published today in the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans shows a method to recover valuable data from the primary tool used for measuring global sea level -- satellite radar altimetry. Altimeter data are used, among other...
 
Group: Farm Subsidy Reform Key to Restoring Gulf of Mexico "Dead Zone"; Programs Said to Subsidize Pollution
Washington, D.C. - Apr 11, 2006 17:17 EST

Each year, an average of $270 million worth of wasted fertilizer flows down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico, creating a "Dead Zone" of more than 5,000 square miles that is completely devoid of marine life. Now, a...
 
Study: Shellfish Back on the “Good” List; Actually Low in Cholesterol, High in Omega-3's
- Apr 11, 2006 17:10 EST

If you enjoy shellfish but are reluctant to eat it because of worries about cholesterol, take heart. Blue mussels, broiled scallops or a fine Maine lobster are actually heart-healthy protein sources. Most shellfish are not only low in cholesterol, but...
 
Divers find gold near sunken treasure ship off Florida Keys
Key West, Florida - Apr 11, 2006 12:25 EST

Divers have found two gold bars and 15 silver coins, which had been buried beneath the ocean floor off this island city for almost 400 years. The objects are believed to be from the shipwreck of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha,...
 
Endangered Species in a Can? 'Lions and Tigers of the Sea' Being Fed to Children
Forest Knolls, California - Apr 10, 2006 18:10 EST

It's common knowledge that we are running out of oil. What's not so well known is that we are also running out of big fish, argues Robert Ovetz. The harsh realization that catches of big fish—marlin, sharks, swordfish and tuna—are declining...
 
Researchers: Contaminants May Play Role in Apparent Decline of White Sturgeon in Columbia River
Corvallis, Oregon - Apr 6, 2006 21:35 EST

White sturgeon populations in the Columbia River may be declining due to the presence of elevated amounts of foreign chemicals including DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls in their bodies, according to new studies by researchers at Oregon State University. The research by...
 
Study: Albatrosses Show Regional Differences in Ocean Contamination; 'These Contaminants have Long-term Effects'
Santa Cruz, California - Apr 6, 2006 21:19 EST

As long-lived predators at the top of the marine food chain, albatrosses accumulate toxic contaminants such as PCBs, DDT, and mercury in their bodies. A new study has found dramatic differences in contaminant levels between two closely related albatross species...
 
Scientists: Anti-freeze Gene in Fish Evolved from 'Junk' DNA
Springfield, Illinois - Apr 4, 2006 19:33 EST

Scientists at the University of Illinois have discovered an antifreeze-protein gene in cod that has evolved from non-coding or 'junk' DNA. Since the creation of these antifreeze proteins is directly driven by polar glaciation, by studying their evolutionary history the...
 
Research: Salmon OK After Going Veggie; Canola Oil Viable Alternative for Feed
Lancaster, U.K. - Apr 4, 2006 19:07 EST

Salmon, like humans, require omega-3 fatty acids in their diet to function healthily. But as the fish farming industry expands, feeding salmon and other aquatic species with pellets containing fishmeal and oil derived from processing wild-caught marine fish is unsustainable...
 
Study: Alaska seal pup diet may hold key to decline of population
Fairbanks, Alaska - Apr 4, 2006 17:32 EST

Female harbor seal pups whose blubber falls below average levels may be at higher risk of delayed sexual maturation or death, even if they get enough fat in their diets later on, according to a new study sponsored by The...
 
Scientist: Jesus Walked on a Isolated Patch of Floating Ice; 'Springs Ice'
Tallahassee, Florida - Apr 4, 2006 17:26 EST

The New Testament story describes Jesus walking on water in the Sea of Galilee but according to a study led by Florida State University Professor of Oceanography Doron Nof, it's more likely that he walked on an isolated patch of...
 
Scientists: Lack of Oxygen in Ocean 'Dead Zones' Trigger Sex Changes in Fish, Posing Extinction Threat
Washington, D.C. - Mar 29, 2006 14:33 EST

Oxygen depletion in the world’s oceans, primarily caused by agricultural run-off and pollution, could spark the development of far more male fish than female, thereby threatening some species with extinction, according to a study published today on the Web site...
 
Study: Ultrasound, Algae Team Up to Clean Up Mercury from Contaminated Sediment
Columbus, Ohio - Mar 28, 2006 18:59 EST

Ultrasound and algae can be used together as tools to clean mercury from contaminated sediment, according to an Ohio State University study. This research could one day lead to a ship-borne device that cleans toxic metals from waterways without harming fish...
 

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