Related topics: whales · gulf of mexico · plos one · species · dolphins

Divers fight Senegal's plastic tide

When the sight of plastic bags, bottles and other debris littering the seabed becomes too much, there's just one thing to do: don your diving suit, strap on an air tank and fish out the stuff yourself.

Bacteria bullets target toxic algae

Communities across the United States and around the world, along salty bays to freshwater lakes, increasingly are grappling with the dangerous effects of microscopic algae that suddenly grow out of control in these waters. ...

Madagascar's unique dugongs in danger

Scientists have used historic DNA to discover some of the highest-risk populations of the endangered dugong are so genetically distinct, losing them would be the equivalent of losing a species of elephant.

Chilean Patagonia: an open-air lab to study climate change

In one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, the southernmost part of Chile's Patagonia region, scientists are studying whales, dolphins and algae in order to help predict how climate change will affect the world's oceans.

San Francisco airport bans sale of plastic bottles

San Francisco International Airport is banning the sale of single-use plastic bottles and will require fliers to buy refillable bottles if they're not already carrying their own, US media reported on Friday.

New Zealand bans single-use plastic bags

New Zealand officially banned single-use plastic shopping bags Monday, introducing hefty fines for businesses that continue to provide them.

Wearable device reveals how seals prepare for diving

A wearable non-invasive device based on near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) can be used to investigate blood volume and oxygenation patterns in freely diving marine mammals, according to a study publishing June 18 in the open-access ...

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Marine mammal

Marine mammals are a diverse group of roughly 120 species of mammal that are primarily ocean-dwelling or depend on the ocean for food. They include the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), the sirenians (manatees and dugong), the pinnipeds (true seals, eared seals and walrus), and several otters (the sea otter and marine otter). The polar bear, while not aquatic, is also usually considered a marine mammal because it lives on sea ice for most or all of the year.

Marine mammals evolved from land dwelling ancestors and share several adaptive features for life at sea such as generally large size, hydrodynamic body shapes, modified appendages and various thermoregulatory adaptations. Different species are, however, adapted to marine life to varying degrees. The most fully adapted are the cetaceans and the sirenians, which cannot live on land.

Despite the fact that marine mammals are highly recognizable charismatic megafauna, many populations are vulnerable or endangered due to a history of commercial exploitation for blubber, meat, ivory and fur. Most species are currently protected from commercial exploitation.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA