Each winter, a population of humpback whales migrates to its breeding grounds in the Hawaiian Islands. It is here that male humpbacks perform their elaborate and haunting song. Experts are studying the purpose of this song and what it might tell them about the animals' overall fitness.
California's north-central coast is famous for its natural splendor. Only fifty miles northwest of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge lies the Cordell Bank, a magical underwater island few people have ever heard of. Protected inside a National Marine Sanctuary, this oasis is an ecological hot spot for marine life - attracting birds, sea turtles and marine mammals from thousands of miles away.
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease is devastating Florida's fragile coral reef ecosystem. But all hope is not lost. Dedicated scientists are working hard to find the cause of the disease, treat the ill and restore these cities of the sea to their former glory.
For millennia, the exchange of CO2 between the oceans and atmosphere has been in balance. Now, with more anthropogenic carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere, the oceans are taking up more CO2 as well. This additional CO2 is negatively impacting sensitive ecosystems through a process called ocean acidification, and scientists worry how changes to the ocean environment will affect the way carbon is cycled through the seas.
Shows how recent DNA research has cast doubt on the theory that sponges were the first animals to branch off the "Animal Tree of Life, " a kind of family tree for all living and extinct animals on earth. Recently, some scientists are suggesting that ctenophores, also known as comb jellies, are an older lineage.
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