Questions tagged [marine-biology]

The study of organisms that dwell in the ocean or brackish waters.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
37
votes
1answer
3k views

Is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” beneficial for marine wildlife?

A study was just released by researchers at Scripps Institute of Oceanography revealing a drastic increase in the amount of plastic adrift in the Pacific Ocean. According to the paper, the amount of ...
32
votes
2answers
90k views

How long can an octopus survive out of the water?

I saw videos of octopuses crawling on the ground and I was wondering how long an octopus can survive when out of the water? Does it depend on either its size (i.e., does a big octopus from deep sea ...
29
votes
1answer
979 views

What strange jelly-like thing is shown in the photo?

What is shown in the pictures below? The photo was taken at the Australia's south coast (Queenscliff). The length of the thing is no longer than 50 cm... It doesn't move and has jelly-like consistency....
24
votes
2answers
3k views

What exactly is this small puffer fish doing and how did it manage to accomplish such a feat?

I recently saw a video on youtube where it shows a puffer fish making intricate designs in the sand: OZZY MAN VIDEO The puffer fish made this design on the sand: What exactly is the puffer ...
21
votes
2answers
31k views

How and why did mammals go back to the oceans?

If I understand evolutionary biology correctly, mammals first evolved on land as small, rodent-like creatures, in a time when reptiles were dominant on land. Eventually, they diversified into the ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Do marine deep sea life forms exhibit circadian rhythms? If so, what entrains them?

I've been reading a lot about circadian rhythms, when suddenly this question popped into my head: do circadian rhythms exist for deep sea organisms (3000 ft / 1000 meters+)? For land mammals, the ...
18
votes
4answers
683 views

What sea animal is this?

I am in a remote village and a young boy (second pic holding tail) says this thing is his friend. This creature is safe, we held it for pictures and released it after. None of us know what this is and ...
18
votes
2answers
6k views

Why are oceans said to have “low productivity” in terms of photosynthesis?

80% of the world's photosynthesis takes place in the ocean. Despite this, oceans are also said to have low productivity - they cover 75% of the earth's surface, but out of the annual 170 billion ...
17
votes
2answers
901 views

A weird-looking fish with a shield

I found this photo in a local news page. The page claims that this fish is a new species that was found by a Malaysian fisherman. Is this true or is it a known fish and already has a name?
17
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is there a difference in the rotation of the tail fin in fish compared to marine mammals?

I've been thinking about this one, but I can't seem to find what causes this difference. All fishes that I've seen have their tail fin positioned vertical: But all the marine mammals I know have ...
17
votes
3answers
332 views

Why are the bodies of the Risso's dolphin covered in scratches?

Risso's dolphin in wild population seem to obtain scratches with aging. What is causing them and what do they mean?
14
votes
1answer
711 views

Identification of colorful jelly-like marine creature

I'm on my trip to Gulangyu Island, Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. Today(4th February 2017), at 12:13 A.M., I saw a beach filled with huge rocks on which various dry shells reside. Among the shells, I ...
12
votes
1answer
355 views

Did the construction of the Panama Canal lead to a huge change in the local marine ecology?

Before the Panama Canal opened in 1914, its two ends were only 77 km apart over land, but the closest sea route was 32,000 km long (around the entirety of South America) and passed through much colder ...
11
votes
2answers
738 views

How do diving marine mammals avoid decompression sickness?

How do marine mammals, whose very survival depends on regular diving, manage to avoid decompression sickness or "the bends?" Do they, indeed, avoid it?
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Inexperienced divers damage coral, but parrot fish eating coral doesn't do damage?

I've been learning about life on coral reefs. Recently I've become aware of the damage to coral reefs caused by tourism and inexperienced divers: 1) Corals have a thin membrane which keeps them ...
10
votes
4answers
640 views

What are the frequency ranges of most marine mammal vocalizations?

I am trying to determine a list of frequency ranges into which marine mammal vocalizations fall. Ideally, I would like a list showing where the most popular marine mammal vocalizations fall, followed ...
10
votes
1answer
188 views

What happened to this seashell?

We found this seashell on a Mediterranean beach in the south of France. While most of the shells we found were quite intact, this one caught our attention. It is light and littered with tiny holes, ...
10
votes
1answer
116 views

Why are market squid attracted to fishing lights but also avoid naturally lit surface waters during daytime/full moons?

Squid fishermen use really bright lights (which can be seen from space!) to attract squid to the surface at night, but a lot of squid also naturally avoid surface waters that are lit during the day (...
9
votes
1answer
631 views

What is the convention for log notation in biology?

I'm reading through some oldish (1980s) papers on length-weight relationships in fish and crustaceans. Many report log-log relationships without specifying whether this is natural log, base 10, etc. ...
9
votes
1answer
137 views

What kind of fish is this white blue-stained fish?

This fish has been spotted at the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns (Queensland). I put a big effort to find it via Google but never could encounter anything similar. I have also made an attempt to find ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do stranded marine mammals die so quickly?

Mammals have lungs, so do marine mammals. Nevertheless some marine mammals seem to die rather quickly when they strand on a beach. As they have lungs and can breath while on land, why do they die so ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Modern Whales with Vestigial legs Myth?

Is it a myth that modern whales have been found with hind legs sticking out of their sides and full formed tibias, fibias, and toe bones? I keep finding assertions, but no citations. For example, the ...
8
votes
1answer
611 views

ID a shell from Puerto Rico

I recently found this in Rincon Puerto Rico on the beach. I assumed it was a baby sea turtle shell or some kind of turtle. Someone that frequents Puerto Rico said it was not. Does anybody know what ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Can jellyfish sting outside of water?

According to my understanding of the Wikipedia page on the stinging cells of the jellyfish, the mechanism of delivering the toxic missile is largely due to water pressure. Does that mean that a ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

What determines the colors and patterns of a clam shell?

Earlier this week I was looking at some bivalve shells that had ornate patterns which ranged in color from a light orange-pink to a deep orange-red. Here is an image I found online that seems to be of ...
8
votes
2answers
9k views

How do marine mammals control buoyancy?

Presumably, as a whale or seal dives, its lungs get compressed by the increasing water pressure, and it gets less buoyant. Under this model, for a given amount of air taken in at the surface, the ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

What would be the best dredging/trawling tools to collect macrofaunal priapulids?

Title says it all. I've been searching for the best way of collecting macrofaunal priapulids and would like advice on sampling methods and particularly sampling tools. Since large priapulids are ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Effect of extremely hard water on marine life?

When researching water quality standards, I found that a minimum and maximum was set for water hardness. Several sources also state that water can in fact be too hard. The question is how does hard ...
8
votes
1answer
187 views

Can jellyfish improve the Black Sea ecosystem?

According to this study, cited by many popular science magazines, jellyfish and other, smaller animals can contribute to the vertical ocean stir as much as currents do. Black Sea chemistry and ...
8
votes
0answers
166 views

What is this underwater creature?

West Bali, about 10 meters deep. Body is roughly 10 cm across. Does not move.
8
votes
2answers
200 views

ID a marine creature found on a beach on the US east Coast

While walking on a marshy beach, I found this creature. It has no eyes, no feet, no fin, no gills. The only thing I know is that the skin lightly contracts. I found at least three of these. It is ...
7
votes
1answer
204 views

Help identify these (two) fishes - Netherlands

Yesterday my kids caught these two fish. I tried to figure out what kind of fish (species and name, to tell my kids a bit more about them) they are but I was not successful. Today we made a trip to a ...
7
votes
1answer
92 views

Which poison makes seastars inedible to possible predators?

In the new citizen science project (see: Sea Floor Explorer), numbers of seastars, scallops, crustaceans and other animals are counted. Already one can see a heavy bias in favor of seastars, both the ...
7
votes
1answer
72 views

Where can I find comprehensive data on animal distribution?

I'm looking for vertical distribution or tidal height of several intertidal species, specifically from the Pacific Northwest. I considered looking for published research for each species however, my ...
7
votes
1answer
977 views

Is this a saltwater millipede?

I spotted this millipede-like creature in Hervey Bay, Australia at low tide, just kind of hanging out at the bottom of a small saltwater tidepool. It's several inches long, composed of a large ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the fastest marine mammal?

When I did a research, most of the sources say that orca is one of the fastest. But I could not find a source that says it is actually the fastest. Some sources say that Dall's porpoises rival orcas ...
6
votes
1answer
342 views

What is this strange horned, slug-like coral reef dwelling creature?

On the first episode of BBC's Blue Planet II they visited a coral reef and showed some odd reef-dwelling creatures as part of their establishing shots, but they did not identify the creatures. What ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

The colour of aquatic plants found deep under oceans

I have read that many aquatic plants found in deep oceans are red in colour, however, I do not understand why. As red is the color which gets the least scattered it should be the only light available ...
6
votes
1answer
383 views

What are the predators of Glaucus atlanticus?

I'm researching the Glaucus atlanticus, also known as the blue glaucus, among various other names, but after reading quite a few articles and searching on the Internet as many different ways as I can ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Could be an union/synergy between Math, Computer Science and Marine Biology?

I'm studing for my bachelor's degree in Natural Science and I have to chose the path for my future life. I have to chose the right kind of graduate studies. Since I love computer science, maths and ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

Are there known minimal marine ecosystems that are stable?

A more entertaining phrasing of the question would be "what would a marine ecologist put into a perfect aquarium?" I was reading about Prochlorococcus, among other photoautotrophs, and found that ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What percentage of fish are herbivorous vs. carnivorous?

It appears that the majority of fish we eat are carnivorous, such as salmon and tuna. This got me wondering how common herbivores and carnivores are among fish species. I couldn't find an answer to ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

help identify this fish

I came across this washed up fish in Panama City, Florida in November 2015. I'm guessing it's a puffer fish but I can't find anything like it online. Thanks.
6
votes
1answer
997 views

How do sharks and other fish conserve and gain water in marine environments?

With the osmolarity of the average vertebrate being around 300mOsml, and salt water having an osmolarity of 1000mOsml, why does the water from the shark not leave to the salt water around it? I ...
6
votes
1answer
581 views

Selection Pressure on Orca Whale Coloration

What is the proposed selection pressure that leads to the distinctive coloration of Orca whales? I can find nothing in the literature.
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Best tail for swimming?

I understand that the vertical tails of fish and the horizontal flukes of cetaceans evolved due to the spinal movements of their ancestors but I was just wondering if there has been any investigation ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Colourful aquatic animal identification

Of what species is the following creature? I expect it would be a Cephalopod living in not too deep water with a tropical climate (Brazil?). However, I can not find any information about what species ...
5
votes
2answers
312 views

Why are oceans carbon sinks?

Building on this question, I understand pretty clearly why forests are carbon sinks (trees grow, and there is carbon stored in soil and biomass). What about the oceans, though? Are underwater ...
5
votes
2answers
19k views

Age of shells on beach

As a child I watched tiny fiddler crabs living in conical shells, and many years later I find that people study fossil turritellids. So now I wonder: how old are shells, typically, that you see on ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Organic battery?

Similar to the Matrix movie where humans were used as a source of electricity but different by using electric eels. Farmed like tuna what would be the electricity exchange to the food they eat?