Good morning pod!
How was your weekend? I was up against a deadline so I spent my Saturday & Sunday thinking, talking and writing about dead whales… intrigued? Article coming soon!
First of all, a big congratulations to all the finalists of the 2021 Ocean Awards (Blue Marine Foundation) and, with no further ado, let’s dive right in and find out what happened under our seas this week…
🌊 Ocean 🌊
Battle tactics: A new study reveals sperm whales not only learned how to avoid whalers’ harpoons but taught each other (Science Alert)
Quite the racket: This doggy was in for a surprise when an octopus stole its tennis ball… you’ve got to see the video! (The Dodo)
Don’t you know that you’re toxic: chemicals that entered the ocean decades ago may have caused a mysterious sea lion cancer (LA Times)
Free whaley: Did you see this humpback freed from fishing gear?
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Seafood fraud: Nearly 40% of fish products are mislabelled. Could you identify these common fakes… take the quiz to find out (Guardian)
Unlikely saviour: Could oil rigs help coral reefs? (WIRED)
Sad news: a teenage orca has died in captivity in Tenerife (WDC)
Baffling: Scientists are left scratching their heads as to why mysterious circling behaviour is observed in large marine animals (EcoWatch)
Need a ride? A new species of shrimp, not yet found in the wild, has been discovered in London’s Horniman museum after hitching a ride on a rock from the Caribbean (Independent)
Glow on… Doesn’t it amaze you that we’re STILL discovering things about our ocean? For the first time, researchers have documented biofluorescence in Arctic fish (Earther)
CFCs: Scientists now believe the process of the ocean absorbing CFCs will reverse and the ocean will start emitting detectable amounts of these gases into the atmosphere by 2130 (Phys.org)
Ice, ice, baby: Researchers find huge numbers of animals in an area of Antarctic seafloor exposed after being trapped under ice for 50 years
Feast your eyes on this: an awesome video of fin whales munching on krill off the Spanish coast:
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Can you hear that? Ireland’s first acoustic monitoring project will measure the impact of noise pollution on cetaceans (Irish Examiner)
First steps: Vertebrates may have walked in the ocean millions of years before they left the sea for land (Science Alert)
Weird manta shark: Paleontologists have described a fossilised shark with a manta-like six-foot wingspan - weird! (Gizmodo)
No excuses: Scientist Dr. Enric Sala says the UK needs to boost its marine conservation efforts following Brexit (Sky News)
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This week’s hot take
Thought I’d forgotten the hot take? No chance! With yet more stranding news this week, as a humpback whale beached in Northumberland (The Northern Echo), I asked Nick Davison from the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme what researchers can learn when an animal washes up:
“When we get an animal on shore, our main aim is to try to find out why it died and the reason for it coming ashore. But also we can look to see how it lived. We can look at contaminant burdens to see if it's been exposed to particular organic pollutants links like PCBs. We can also see what it's been feeding on if and it has been feeding recently. Stomach contents allows us to see what a certain species preys on … We can look to see whether the animal’s pregnant or not or if it’s got placental scars on the ovaries to see how many times it’s been pregnant over its lifetime. So, there's lots we can learn about its biology as well as the disease processes that may have actually put it on the shore.”
What do you want the experts to answer in a future edition?
The Deep Dive
And, with that, I’ll leave you to leap into the rest of your week like this fine fella (Space Coast Daily). See you soon!
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