Megalodons, the Ocean’s Most Ferocious Prehistoric Predators, Raised Their Young in Nurseries | Smart News

Millions of years ago, monstrously sized sharks named megalodons dominated the ocean. These giants grew larger than modern day humpback whales, casually snacked on animals like dolphins and seals, had the strongest bite force of any creature to ever exist—yes, including T. rex. But despite being fierce predators, a new study published last week in the journal Biology Letters suggests that megalodons were pretty good parents and raised their young in nurseries, reports Mindy Weisberger for Live Science.

Nurseries provide a safe haven for baby sharks to grow before they depart to take on the great blue sea. They are typically found in warm, shallow waters, such as coral reefs and mangroves, that offer an abundance of food. Nurseries also shield baby sharks from predators and protect them as they learn to hunt, reports Melissa Cristina Márquez for Forbes. And this behavior didn’t die out with the

Read More

How underwater mapping could preserve the future of our oceans

Now playing:
Watch this:

How remotely operated vehicles are mapping the future…


We’re killing our oceans. That’s not hyperbole. For years, scientists have been telling us that climate change and our addiction to plastic are directly responsible for the decline in ocean health. That’s possibly most evident at Australia’s famed Great Barrier Reef.

A study published in October found that about half the reef has died since the 1990s, largely because of record-breaking temperatures. Key to the survival of the reef (and others like it) is data. That’s where the Schmidt Ocean Institute comes in, a nonprofit using advanced technology to map the ocean floors. We spoke with the Institute’s Dr. Carlie Wiener. You can watch the interview in the video above.

Diver swimming by coral and tropical fish.

A diver at the Great Barrier Reef, off the shore of Queensland, Australia.

Bob Halstead/Getty Images

“We’re able to characterize or understand environments.” says Wiener. “That information

Read More

U.S.-European mission launches to monitor the world’s oceans — ScienceDaily

A joint U.S.-European satellite built to monitor global sea levels lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Saturday, Nov. 21, at 9:17 a.m. PST (12:17 p.m. EST).

About the size of a small pickup truck, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will extend a nearly 30-year continuous dataset on sea level collected by an ongoing collaboration of U.S. and European satellites while enhancing weather forecasts and providing detailed information on large-scale ocean currents to support ship navigation near coastlines.

“The Earth is changing, and this satellite will help deepen our understanding of how,” said Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. “The changing Earth processes are affecting sea level globally, but the impact on local communities varies widely. International collaboration is critical to both understanding these changes and informing coastal communities around the world.”

After arriving in orbit,

Read More

Europe, US ‘climate guardian’ satellite to monitor oceans

BERLIN (AP) — A “climate guardian” satellite set for launching this weekend will greatly help scientists keep track of the rise in sea levels, one of the most daunting effects of global warming, a senior official at the European Space Agency said Friday.

The satellite, known as Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and jointly developed by Europe and the United States, contains cutting-edge instruments able to capture sea surface height with unprecedented accuracy, adding to space-based measurements going back almost 30 years.

“This is an extremely important parameter for climate monitoring,” said Josef Aschbacher, the European Space Agency’s director of Earth observation.

Billions of people living in coastal areas around the planet are at risk in the coming decades as melting polar ice and ocean expansion caused by warming push waters ever higher up the shore.

“We know that sea level is rising,” Aschbacher saud. The big question is, by how much,

Read More

The oceans contain vast mineral resources. Can the deep sea be mined without catastrophic results?

There is an adage among miners: if it can’t be grown, it must be mined. 

Almost everything we use relies on mining. Phones and computers contain elements like aluminum, nickel, and lithium. Plastic is made from petroleum products extracted from fossil fuels in the ground. Even your toothpaste is chock full of mined materials. 

The growing human population places an increasing demand on the non-renewable resources that come from Earth’s crust. Technological advances and the search for renewable energy sources could exacerbate the situation. As our terrestrial mineral resources diminish, governments, researchers, and corporations have proposed searching for resources in a new location: thousands of meters beneath the surface of the ocean. 

In the 1970s, researchers began exploring the potential of extracting minerals from the seafloor after discovering fields of potato-sized polymetallic nodulesand massive mineral-spewing underwater volcanoes, called hydrothermal vents. A seemingly endless supply of metal ores resided in the

Read More

We’ve Found Oceans Of Molten Lava And ‘Rocky Rain’ On The Most Extreme Planet Yet, Say Scientists

Scientists have found an exoplanet of molten lava oceans where they forecast supersonic winds and “rocky rain.”

A fiery hot world that orbits its star so closely that a year takes less than seven hours, K2-141b is among the most extreme planets discovered thus far beyond the Solar System.

According to a study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, scientists from McGill University, York University and the Indian Institute of Science Education, K2-141b has a surface, ocean and atmosphere all made up of the same thing—rock.

It’s thought that K2-141b is a place where rock is vaporized and falls as a mineral “rocky rain” that replenishes an ocean of molten lava.

MORE FROM FORBESThis Week Jupiter Aligns With Saturn. What Happens Next Will

Read More

The first duckbill dinosaur fossil from Africa hints at how dinosaurs once crossed oceans — ScienceDaily

The first fossils of a duckbilled dinosaur have been discovered in Africa, suggesting dinosaurs crossed hundreds of kilometres of open water to get there.

The study, published in Cretaceous Research, reports the new dinosaur, Ajnabia odysseus, from rocks in Morocco dating to the end of the Cretaceous, 66 million years ago. Ajnabia was a member of the duckbill dinosaurs, diverse plant-eating dinosaurs that grew up to 15 meters long. But the new dinosaur was tiny compared to its kin — at just 3 meters long, it was as big as a pony.

Duckbills evolved in North America and eventually spread to South America, Asia, and Europe. Because Africa was an island continent in the Late Cretaceous, isolated by deep seaways, it seemed impossible for duckbills to get there.

The discovery of the new fossil in a mine a few hours from Casablanca was “about the last thing in

Read More

Used masks and gloves are showing up on beaches and in oceans

The pandemic has not only upended millions of lives around the world, it’s now threatening the world’s oceans.

a rock sitting on top of a sandy beach: PPE on Jersey Shore.

© Maddie Black/Ocean Conservancy
PPE on Jersey Shore.

Pandemic-generated waste, such as discarded disposable masks, gloves and wipes are floating into waterways and oceans. The proof is in the waste that’s already washed ashore on beaches in the past several months.

As many as 62,210 PPE items, including single-use masks and gloves were collected during the annual International Coastal Cleanup event last month. It’s the world’s largest volunteer effort, held every September, involving participants from dozens of countries who remove and log a sample volume of plastics and marine waste from the ocean and waterways.

This year, 76 countries participated in the clean up and collected at least 1.6 million pounds of trash, including tens of thousands of PPE products.

It was the first time in the 35-year history of the

Read More