Orca grandmothers who were post-menopausal (meaning unable to reproduce) improved the chances of survival for the calves because they, like human grandmothers, have time to tend to the younger ones. They also assisted in finding food when it was scarce. For instance, the research showed that post-reproductive female orcas were knowledgeable at finding salmon when it was it was in low supply. Because salmon populations are declining, the role of the grandmother killer whale will become more important.
Chemists from the Slovenia National Institute of Biology are studying barrel jellyfish. They are especially interested in the mucus they secrete. The secretions are a reaction to stress, as a way for the body to protect itself. The institute is working on a prototype filter for treatment plants that’s made partly of jellyfish mucus. They feel that the mucus, which is a viscous liquid, can trap microplastic particles.
The pygmy seahorses are about the size of a single grain of rice, which is only about 15 millimeters in length. They have a flat shape and kaleidoscopic coloring, which helps them disguise themselves as bits of seaweed. The coloring is beautiful if you can get close enough to see it. Some have described it as a paisley pattern.
Researchers identified four of the great whites that they previously caught and tagged. The largest of them was Luna, who was 15 feet long and weighed 2,137 pounds. She is the largest great white shark that OCEARCH has ever caught and tagged since they were founded in 2007.
Like Heidi, all cephalopods have sacs of pigment within their skin, which are called chromatophores. They can expand or contract, each making a pixel of color. Octopuses change color to blend in with their environments. They also use color to communicate with one another. That means they change colors intentionally. When they do, hundreds of thousands of those chromatophores flicker under the skin.
Dolphins face an ever-increasing threat of plastic in their habitat. Amid this sobering crisis, there is hope that motivates us to defend these beautiful creatures. One such example is a pink dolphin named, of course, Pinky. Pinky is a celebrated, rare pink dolphin in the wild who recently gave birth to a pink calf.
One brewery in Florida has found an ingenious way to combat one small piece of this global epidemic. They have developed six-pack rings for their beer that are not made of plastic. Further, they claim to feed turtles instead of killing them.
Since its inception in 2017, 4Ocean has pulled almost 9 million pounds of trash from the ocean. Cleanup efforts remain in full swing in Florida, Bali, and Haiti. In 2020, 4Ocean is expanding operations to Central America, another area suffering such extreme marine pollution that it's been dubbed the “trash islands.”