Snap, Crackle, Pop: Healthy Coral Reefs Brimming with Noise #ASA182

Altogether, the hundreds of thousands of animals living in the reef sound like static on the radio, or the snap, crackle, and pop of a bowl of Rice Krispies as you pour milk on the cereal, when the coral reef is healthy. The sound changes for reefs that are not healthy, becoming quieter and less diverse.

Scientists Find Sea Corals are Source of Sought After “Anti-Cancer” Compound

The bottom of the ocean is full of mysteries but scientists have recently uncovered one of its best-kept secrets. For 25 years, drug hunters have been searching for the source of a natural chemical that had shown promise in initial studies for treating cancer. Now, researchers at University of Utah Health report that easy-to-find soft corals make the elusive compound.

Study Finds Why Baby Leatherback Marine Turtles Can’t ‘See the Sea’

For most sea turtles, the journey to find the ocean from their nests is pretty straightforward. However, leatherback hatchlings more often crawl around in circles trying to find the ocean. Circling delays their entry into the ocean, wastes energy, and places them at greater danger from natural predators. Under different moon phases: bright light during full moon and only starlight under new moon, researchers have a better understanding of why this circling behavior happens and why it is most commonly observed in leatherbacks.

‘Octo Girl’ Takes a Deep Dive to Discover How Diverse Octopus Species Coexist

A first in situ, long-term study explored how the common octopus, a medium-sized octopus widely distributed in tropical and temperate seas worldwide and the Atlantic longarm octopus, a small species of octopus found in the Atlantic Ocean and elsewhere, coexist by examining their foraging habits and tactics, diet, behaviors and when they are active or inactive. Results show that their very different behaviors and habits is exactly how these two species coexist in a shallow Florida lagoon- even at high densities.

Drifter or Homebody? Study First to Show Where Whitespotted Eagle Rays Roam

It’s made for long-distance travel, yet movement patterns of the whitespotted eagle ray remain a mystery. Between 2016 and 2018, scientists fitted 54 rays with acoustic transmitters and tracked them along both the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts of Florida, which differ in environmental characteristics. Results of the study reveal striking differences in travel patterns on the Atlantic coast compared to the Gulf coast. Findings have significant conservation and adaptive management implications for this protected species.

Marine animals live where ocean is most ‘breathable,’ but ranges could shrink with climate change

Research shows that many marine animals already inhabit the maximum range of breathable ocean that their physiology allows. The findings are a warning about climate change: Since warmer waters harbor less oxygen, stretches of ocean that are breathable today for a species may not be in the future.

FAU’s ‘Fantastic Four’ Researchers Receive Prestigious NSF CAREER Awards

Four FAU researchers have received the coveted NSF Early Career (CAREER) award for research to develop a low-cost, disposable point-of-care platform to detect current and emerging infectious diseases; for a cognitive screening tool for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease using wearables and a smartphone; for mathematical tools and new ways of coding to enhance cybersecurity; and to better understand how marine animals tune, or dynamically adjust their movements using their skin and skeletons.

Most Rehabilitating Sea Turtles with Infectious Tumors Don’t Survive

Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is the most significant infectious disease affecting sea turtle populations worldwide. FB leads to tumors on the turtles’ eyes, flippers and internal organs and is widespread in warmer climates like Florida. A large-scale study evaluated tumor score, removal and regrowth in rehabilitating green sea turtles with FP in the southeastern U.S. from 2009 to 2017, and found that 75 percent did not survive following admission into a rehabilitation facility, irrespective of whether or not tumor regrowth occurred after surgery.