Tag archives for Oceans
Did you know that 71 percent of the Earth is covered by either seas or oceans and they help feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen that we breathe? This Friday, June 8, you can join aquariums and zoos around the world to celebrate World Oceans Day.
If you can’t visit your local aquarium or zoo in person, you can still participate by visiting the World Oceans Day website and pledge your commitment to keeping the oceans clean and healthy for the future.
How will you celebrate World Oceans Day?
Scientists have discovered a new species of giant amphipods, or shrimp-like animals, in one of the world’s deepest ocean trenches. The Kermadec Trench is found off of the northern coast of New Zealand. The largest of the amphipods is an amazing 11 inches (28 centimeters) long. “Amphipods are common to deep-sea trenches, but they’re usually 2 to 3 centimeters [about an inch] long. They turn up in a matter of minutes like a swarm of bees and simply devour all of the bait,” said Alan Jamieson, a marine biologist at the University of Aberdeen and co-leader of the expedition that found the animals.
Photograph courtesy Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen
Some snails surf across the ocean! Instead of using a surfboard, they hang upside down on rafts made with the snail’s mucus. There are fewer than ten species of these snails gliding across the oceans. Scientists have discovered that these snails are descendants of bottom-dwelling snails called wentletraps that use mucus to make egg masses.
Celia Churchill, a Ph.D. student a the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, described the bubble rafts as having a consistency similar to bubble wrap. “You can pop it if you get a fresh one,” she said.
Photograph courtesy Denis Riek
Who’s this octopus? He’s Marmo, the mascot for PUMA’s new ocean conservation campaign. He is a smart, strong sea creature. In this photo, he is standing with PUMA’s boat the Mar Mostro, which sails with the PUMA Volvo Ocean Racing team.
During the upcoming 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race, Marmo will share his experiences as well as information on marine creatures, habitats, and ocean issues. He will also make appearances at local aquariums and schools in stopover ports along the race’s route.
Marmo will share his experiences on PUMA’s website. Click here to visit!
Photograph courtesy of PUMA
Today, June 8, is World Oceans Day. It’s a global celebration of the ocean and its creatures. The ocean is important to all of us. Are you doing anything to celebrate World Oceans day? What does the ocean mean to you? Leave a comment and let us know!
Photograph by Gary Brennand, Your Shot
Studies suggest that sea urchins don’t have specialized eyes, the way people do. Instead, a sea urchin uses its entire body to see. A new study leads its research team to believe that sea urchins use their tube feet as retinas (the part of the eye that absorbs light), while pigmented cells in the rest of the animal’s body help block out extra light. Earlier studies had found that where and how many spines were on a sea urchin’s body affected how well it could see.
Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic
One year ago, on April 20, 2010, an oil rig called Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill that started with the explosion was the worst in U.S. history. A year after the disaster, the Gulf appears to be bouncing back–at least on the surface. Many animal populations were affected by the oil, and there is still oil in the depths of the Gulf, even if it cannot be seen on the surface. However, scientists warn that the true scope and lasting effects of the oil spill won’t be known for a long time.
Photograph courtesy Stephen Lehmann, U.S. Coast Guard
The 10-year Census of Marine Life wrapped up on Monday. The project launched more than 500 expeditions over the past decade and uncovered 6.000 new species, like the fathead sculpin fish pictured above, nicknamed “Mr. Blobby.”
See pictures of more newly discovered species on National Geographic News.
Learn more about the census on the Census of Marine Life website.
Explore a shipwreck and raft a raging river when you play Waterlogged!
Photograph courtesy Kerryn Parkingson, NORFANZ
You may think of the ocean as the big body of water you see at your favorite beach, but the ocean is much more than that. All animals, including humans, need water to live, and water passes from ocean to the air and back again through the water cycle. The world’s oceans also help us to breathe, giving us more than half of our oxygen.
I Am the Ocean is a call to raise awareness of this vital resource and the problems facing it. Learn more about I Am the Ocean on National Geographic.
Photograph by Enric Sala, National Geographic
Last year, a Dutch court ruled that Laura Dekker was too young to sail around the world by herself. Laura is now 14, and she is on her way to Portugal on her yacht, Guppy. In September, Laura will begin her official attempt to break the record for the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe sailing solo. The current record holder, Jessica Watson, broke the record in May at the age of 16.
Would you want to sail around the world alone?
Read more about Laura in the Associated Press article.
See a video of Laura on the the BBC.
Photograph by Bas Czerwinski, AP
This unusual-looking creature was recently brought to the surface by a submarine exploring the deep ocean. It’s a Bathynomus giganteus, more commonly known as a giant isopod. It looks more like a bug you would find on land, but it’s related to shrimp and crabs.
Bathynomus giganteus is believed to live in the deep, cold waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It’s a scavenger, feeding on dead sea creatures such as whales.
Read more about Bathynomus giganteus on the NatGeo News Watch blog.
Did you know that trapezoid crabs help keep coral reefs alive? Get the story on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph courtesy of NOAA/OER
Scientists have observed chimps using tools to get food, but scientists were surprised to see octopuses using tools–and not for food-gathering, either! As seen in the video above, octopuses near Indonesia were seen using the coconut shells as mobile shelters. Sometimes they would even fit two halves of a coconut together to make a hiding place. Even though the octopuses moved more slowly carrying coconut shells, they always have a place to hide from predators if they bring them along.
The sight of the octopuses moving across the ocean floor carrying the coconut shells wasn’t just surprising. It was also very funny! “It was hard not to laugh underwater and flood your [scuba] mask,” said biologist Mark Norman.
Findings published by the journal Current Biology
Video courtesy Museum Victoria
Photograph by Bart Muhl/AP
Laura Dekker is a girl with a dream–to be the youngest person to circumnavigate (sail around) the world alone in her yacht, Guppy. Laura isn’t new to sailing. She was born on a boat in New Zealand, and was sailing solo on lakes when she was six years old. She sailed across the English Channel to England and back at her father’s insistence that she prove herself before tackling the open ocean. Laura is 13 years old.
A Dutch court has ruled that Laura is too young to make the trip alone, and has placed her under state supervision for two months to make sure she stays on dry land.
Do you think 13 is too young to sail solo around the world? How old do you think someone should be before sailing such a huge distance alone?
Read more about Laura Dekker on the BBC.
Read about a man’s attempt to circumnavigate the world on his own power on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph from Kyodo via AP
Japan may be invaded by giant jellyfish again this year. Nomura’s jellyfish can be bigger than humans (up to 440 pounds, or 200 kilograms), and they’re big trouble for people fishing on the coasts. Nomura’s jellyfish breed in the waters off of the coast of China. From there they move to the coasts of Japan. The jellies clog nets and ruin potential catches with their toxic stings. This damage can cost the coastal fishers billions of yen.
Researchers at Hiroshima University have been monitoring sites where Nomura’s jellyfish breed, and they’ve found large numbers of the jellies, meaning that a new invasion may not be far away.
Read more about the jellyfish invasion on National Geographic News.
Learn more about Nomura’s jellyfish on National Geographic Kids.
Get the scoop on jellyfish in this Creature Feature.