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Articles on Marine biology

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The sound of the marine environment has been underestimated, mainly because it is not audible to the human ear. (Shutterstock)

The ocean is not a quiet place

The ocean is often considered a silent universe. But many recent studies highlight the importance of the soundscape for many marine species, both large and small.
There are even more types of viruses in the ocean than researchers once thought. newannyart/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Researchers identified over 5,500 new viruses in the ocean, including a missing link in viral evolution

Viruses do more than just cause disease – they also influence ecosystems and the processes that shape the planet. Tracing their evolution could help researchers better understand how viruses work.
Southerly species like the giant owl limpet, seen here, started appearing on northern California shores. Jerry Kirkhart/Flickr

Five years after largest marine heatwave on record hit northern California coast, many warm–water species have stuck around

The Blob, a long-lasting mass of warm water, sat off the Pacific coast of North America for years, bringing new species to formerly cold waters. What allows some to survive while others fade away?
For centuries, sailors have told tales of milky seas – huge swaths of ocean glowing on dark nights, seen in blue in this false–color satellite image. Steven D. Miller/NOAA

Scientists are using new satellite tech to find glow-in-the-dark milky seas of maritime lore

When conditions are just right in some parts of the Indian Ocean, a type of bacteria will multiply and start to glow. Satellites are helping scientists study these milky seas for the first time.
David Clode/Unsplash

Curious kids: how do gills work?

Rather than breathing in and out through the mouth, fish use a one-way system, passing water in one direction over their gills.
Hurricane Harvey set up a rare natural experiment to study the effects of fishing. NOAA via Wikipedia

When hurricanes temporarily halt fishing, marine food webs recover quickly

Hurricane Harvey destroyed the fishing infrastructure of Aransas Bay and reduced fishing by 80% over the following year. This removed humans from the trophic cascade and whole food webs changed.
Manganese nodules on the Atlantic Ocean floor off the southeastern United States, discovered in 2019 during the Deep Sea Ventures pilot test. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

A rush is on to mine the deep seabed, with effects on ocean life that aren’t well understood

Companies are eager to mine the deep ocean for valuable mineral deposits. But scientists are concerned about impacts on sea life, including creatures that haven’t even been discovered yet.

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