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18 February 2020

Mating squid don’t stop for loud noises

Loud hammering noises like pile driving disrupt the mating behavior of longfin squid, but the cephalopods seem to get acclimated to the incessant noise, according to new research presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting this week. Hammering piles into the seafloor is a common technique used for building offshore structures like wind farms, but previous research shows the high-intensity noise can damage marine animals’ tissues when they are nearby or alter their behavior when the animals are further away.


17 February 2020

Deep-sea footage helps researchers understand octopod real estate

Biologists are using footage from remotely operated vehicles to better understand where deep-sea octopuses prefer to live. Understanding an animal’s choice of habitat is crucial to understanding its life history. Abigail Pratt, a biologist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has been crawling through undersea video footage from the North Atlantic Ocean to better understand where deep-sea octopuses prefer to settle down. Pratt is hoping to find out what seafloor features make the best real estate – whether octopuses prefer hard ground or soft, or whether they tend to settle on specific geographical features like submarine canyons or continental shelves.


26 December 2019

Llamas could help replenish plant life after glaciers retreat

The rapid retreat of glaciers from alpine regions around the world could result in widespread ecosystem losses, according to new research. Now, scientists are exploring a hairy solution to this hairy problem in the form of llamas.


11 December 2019

Scientists use night vision to help save bats’ lives

High-resolution radar and night vision cameras may help scientists protect bats from untimely deaths at wind farms, according to new research. Researchers are using these technologies to provide more specific details about the number of bats killed by wind turbines in Iowa.


9 January 2019

Scientists breathalyze cows to measure methane emissions

Cattle burps are the number two source of methane in the U.S., but it’s tricky to measure exactly how much methane one cow produces in a day. That’s why researchers at the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory in Bushland, Texas set out to use a number of different methane assessment methods — including a “breathalyzer for cows” — to determine the methane emissions of free-range cattle on Oklahoma grasslands.


19 December 2018

Researcher finds a cheap way to identify invasive coconuts from space

Conservation scientists can use free satellite imagery to track invasive plant species on remote Pacific islands, according to new research. Mary Engels, a PhD student at the University of Idaho, has found a way to use freely available imagery from NASA’s Landsat satellites to identify coconut trees in Pacific Islands, rather than using costly images from private satellite companies.


17 December 2018

Leafcutter ant colonies may be an overlooked source of carbon dioxide emissions, new study finds

Factories mass produce goods for society and many emit greenhouse gases in the process, but not all are run by humans. Some factories lie underground and are operated around the clock by tireless six-legged workers. A new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, shows leafcutter ant nests can emit carbon dioxide at a rate thousands of times higher than regular soil.


11 December 2018

Penguins! From space

Today at 2 pm EST, AGU is holding a press conference titled “Penguins! From space” at Fall Meeting 2018. New research will be discussed about how studying satellite images of penguin poop, or guano, in west Antarctica can give scientists an idea of how penguin diets changed over decades or centuries. To help you get a picture of the penguin research, check out this beautiful comic, created by JoAnna Wendel.


15 December 2017

Proteins in shark teeth could hint at what they eat

Certain molecules found in shark teeth proteins could tell scientists how the predators are connected to other animals in the food web, according to new research.