In the ocean's inky depths, crabs scavenge for meals by tracking vibrations from sound and movement. For one crab, that meant a stream of icy methane bubbles…Read More »
seemed like a potential meal — until the methane froze onto its claws and mouth.
Scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) watched the scene unfold in August 2011 on video shot by a remotely operated vehicle. The researchers were offshore of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, where naturally occurring methane seeps from the seafloor through cracks and faults, said Peter Walz, an MBARI research technician who was on the expedition.
Credit: D. Nidever et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF and A. Mellinger, Leiden-Argentine-Bonn (LAB) Survey, Parkes Observatory, Westerbork Observatory, and Arecibo Observatory
For decades, scientists were at a loss to explain the source of the so-called Magellanic Stream, a long ribbon of gas discovered in the early 1970s that…Read More »
extends nearly halfway around the Milky Way.
But new data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have helped astronomers crack the case. The observations show that the stream did not form all at once; instead, the ribbon is a combination of material stripped at different times from both the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud, two satellite galaxies that hover around the Milky Way less than 200,000 light years away.
It may not sound very appetizing, but crushing up a variety of creepy crawlies and sequencing the DNA of the resulting "insect soup" may be an efficient…Read More »
way to catalog biodiversity and track conservation efforts around the world, according to a new study.
The process of identifying species from a single bulk sample — mashed up insects, for instance — is known as "metabarcoding." Researchers from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom say metabarcoding is much faster and just as reliable as compiling standard biodiversity databases through traditional but more labor-intensive means, like taking samples from individual insects.
What do mako sharks eat? To find out, you have to look inside their stomachs.
Shark scientist Antonella Preti recently dissected the largest mako shark…Read More »
stomach she's ever encountered — and she's seen a lot of shark stomachs. To date, Preti has dissected more than 2,000 swordfish and shark stomachs, including 200 from makos, according to a statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where Preti works.
In one of London's most crowded areas, just a few feet beneath the surface, the buried remains of the residents from Europe's oldest insane asylum have…Read More »
recently been unearthed.
During the Middle Ages, Bethlem Hospital (often known by its popular nickname, "Bedlam") was located near the current site of the busy Liverpool Street train station. Bedlam was so notorious for its treatment of the mentally ill that the word "bedlam" eventually became synonymous with chaos or mayhem.
By implanting baby northern pine snakes with tracking devices, scientists are revealing previously unknown details about the little reptiles' lives. …Read More »
The snakes, which are classified as threatened in New Jersey, are one of the only large predators in New Jersey's Pine Barrens, so they play a critical role in the ecosystem. The Pine Barrens (a forested expanse of coastal plain in the southern portion of the state also known as the Pinelands) are jeopardized by habitat destruction and suburban expansion, with parts classified as "globally imperiled," in the same category as some rainforest areas, said Kevin P.W. Smith, a researcher and graduate student at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
The latest runway fashions aren't made with a sewing machine, but with a printer.
3D printing has been around for decades, but it has just started to weave its way into the world of fashion. A technology once used primarily for prototyping is now spitting out wearable items. Already, 3D printers are used to make jewelry and high-end apparel, and it may not be long before people can print out clothing from the comfort of their living rooms.
Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program/2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition
A teeny octopus hatchling still cradled in its egg, a bubblegum pink coral and a bug-eyed bobtail squid are among the darling creatures spied by a deep-ocean…Read More »
explorer plying canyons off the northeastern coast of the United States.
The canyons carved into the continental slope near Nantucket, Mass., range from about 1,800 to 7,000 feet deep (550 to 2,100 meters). Currents carry sediments and nutrients into the clefts, supporting a higher diversity of marine life than the surrounding habitats, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) statement. The continental slope marks the steep break between the shallow shelf near the shore and the deep ocean.
Credit: YouTube screen grab from EagleHawkDive.com.au.
Marine biologists sometimes refer to pyrosomes as the unicorns of the sea — creatures so mysterious and elusive that they're almost mythical.
Pyrosomes…Read More »
are actually not individual creatures, but colonies made up of thousands of individual pyrosome clones. These clonal colonies can be as small as a pencil eraser, but larger colonies may grow up to 60 feet (18 meters) in length.