Great white sharks and the ancient megashark, Carcharocles megalodon, were often linked as cousins and kin of sorts. Not a big leap in imagination to link the modern terror of the sea to the 50-ft. prehistoric monster, but it seems that the only link researchers had was comparing the teeth of the two. A more recent report has examined the alleged ancestry of the two and have figured the great white of today more closely resembles a broad-toothed mako shark. Seems the fossil of the species Carcharodon hastalis more on par with today’s great white sharks, with Carcharocles megalodon falling within a separate subgroup in the same shark family (called Lamniformes) that branched from the great white lineage sometime during the Cretaceous. Either way, they are still both rather terrifying.
[via WIRED Science]
We have always figured the oceans are mysterious and with the frequent discovery of new species, it really is no wonder that research is showing nearly two thirds of ocean life is still undiscovered. The largest study of ocean biodiversity was conducted and recently published in Current Biology suggests there may be as many as 1 million species of non-bacterial life in the world’s waterways, is based on research by 270 experts from around the world. The estimate is considered to be the most accurate yet, and is far lower than some previous estimates. The study estimates there are probably around 5,000 species of fish that are undiscovered, as many as eight undiscovered whale and dolphin species, 10 undescribed marine reptiles, and thousands of sponges, crustaceans, algae, plants, and other species still to be found.
[via US News]
When Hurricane Sandy neared the Northeast coast, many hobbyists and professional aquariums faced the storm and the potential damage it would bring. The story of the team at the Jenkinson’s Aquarium in New Jersey, including one brave 19-year-old staffer, show the lengths many of us in the hobby and industry went through to save sea life during the storm. The story of the coworkers huddled in a pump house because they were surrounded by floodwaters, stuck and left to wait it out is pretty impressive as they battled flooding water and no electricity while trying to keep the sensitive animals alive.
[via Times Reader]
The Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem eXperiment-II (SIPEX-II) has been studying the links betweenn sea ice and Southern Ocean ecosystems and recently deployed an underwater robot with four HD cameras to record what lay beneath the ocean’s ice. The robot captured more than 40 hours of giant ice blocks, sea ice algae and krill giving scientists a unique peek into a different world. The team will now examine the footage closer to understand the links between sea ice thickness and algal biomass.