January 2013

Pocillopora damicornis coral in the Maldives

Reef corals utilize pink and purple hues as sunscreen

New research by the University of Southampton has revealed corals utilize pink and purple hues as protective sunscreen from damaging sunlight. Many reef corals require light to survive, benefiting from sugars and lipids produced by their light-dependent symbiotic algae. However, in the shallow water of coral reefs, light levels are often higher than required. Ironically, the very sunlight they need can also be their downfall.

European eel in aquarium.
European eel in aquarium.

95% population decline in European eels spurs tracking research

Thanks to an EU-funded research project called Eeliad, biologists now have a better understanding of the biology and migration route of the European eel. All eels living from Northern Africa to Iceland are believed to migrate thousands of kilometers to spawn in the Sargasso Sea, in the middle of the North Atlantic. Newly hatched eel larvae discovered in the Sargasso Sea support this hypothesis, although the eggs and adult eels have yet to be caught in the area.

Why is Scientific Diving Safer?

Scientific diving appears to be one of the safer forms of diving, a recent study of incidences of decompression illness over ten years has found. This safety seems to be facilitated by a combination of relatively high levels of training and oversight, the predominance of shallow, no-decompression diving and, possibly, low peer or institutional pressure to complete dives under less than optimal circumstances.

Test call back