Animal Behavior

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a marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus

Marine Iguanas: One Species at a Time

No iguana wants to be cooked alive on a hot rock and then served up as dinner for a Galapagos hawk. But it turns out the marine iguanas ( Amblyrhynchus cristatus ) have a...
Three Killer whales (Orca) swim along side researchers.

Listening for Clues About Sonar’s Effects on Marine Mammals

Researchers study the behavior of killer whales and how they react to sonar. Credit: C. Kyburg; Obtained under NMFS permit #14534 Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and...
Phoenix swimming with her calf.

Scientists Use Bioacoustics to Protect Marine Mammals

John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the FLIP platform. Marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and seals have an amazing ability to hold their breaths—sometimes for up to...

The Great Hermit Crab Migration

A Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clypeatus) crawls on the forest floor. Credit: Flickr user Island Conservation Over the last few days, a video of hermit crabs stampeding across the rocky shores of St. John...

Humpback Whales in Antarctica: What Are the Whales Doing?

A humpback whale breaching in Antarctic waters. Credit: Ari Friedlaender Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions...

The Design of a Beautiful Weapon

Video of Claws Out: Fiddler Crabs Do Battle This summer, many of you have likely enjoyed feasting on crabs, be they blue, stone, or Dungeness, and a special treat will have been the big,...

Claws Out: Fiddler Crabs Do Battle

Male fiddler crabs each have a single super-sized claw that they use as a weapon to threaten and fight other males and as beautiful adornment to attract females. Here, see a video of two...

Masters of Disguise

Octopuses are colorblind, but manage to blend into the background seamlessly—or stand out in bright color to startle their enemies. So how do they do it? That's the question Roger Hanlon of the Marine...
A blue-ringed octopus

How Octopuses and Squids Change Color

Video of Where's The Octopus? by Fox Meyer Squids, octopuses, and cuttlefishes are among the few animals in the world that can change the color of their skin in the blink of an eye...
A juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle emerges from the nest

Taking the Temperature of the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) often emerge from their nests during the day, which is a rare (and dangerous) thing for sea turtle hatchlings! Credit: Terry Ross ( Flickr ) The...
Small red hyperiid.

The Hyper Eyes of Hyperiids: How Some Shrimp-Like Creatures See Light in the Deep Sea

Hyperiid amphipods are small crustaceans related to sand fleas and distantly related to shrimp. They range in size from very tiny to more than 7 inches long, and are found at all depths of...
Santa Claws is Coming to Town

Here Comes Santa Claws

Santa isn’t the only long-distance traveler in a red suit—at the beginning of their wet season, the Christmas Island red crab ( Gecarcoidea natalis ) makes an impressive annual migration across Christmas Island, an...
A female and male Photerus annecohenae

You Light Up My World!

A female (top left) and male Photerus annecohenae. Note that females are larger than males (sexual dimorphism) and that males have bigger eyes. Credit: Jim G. Morin While people may give chocolates to the...
Ocean Portal Logo

From Larvae to Adults – Finding Impacts of an Oil Spill on Mahi Mahi

A school of mahi mahi (or dolphinfish). Credit: © Tony Ludovico By Emily Frost For a month during the summer of 2016, Lela Schlenker spent several hours in the dead of night watching mahi...

The Weird, Wonderful World of Bioluminescence

“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light,” says Edie Widder, biologist and deep sea explorer at ORCA. In this TED talk, she shows incredible film and...
A narwhal breaches the surface, its tusk pointed to the sky

Why a Tusk? The real-life unicorns of the sea and the tusks that make them famous

A narwhal breaching the water's surface, his tusk points to the sky. Male narwhals will sometimes cross their tusks, a behavior called "tusking". Credit: Glenn Williams In the frigid Arctic Ocean , a mysterious...
Black Axil Chromis on a Coral Reef

Fish Get Risky Around Oil

On coral reefs fish are important links in the food chain that sustains higher-order predators (including humans) and keeps everything in balance. Credit: Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble, Flickr By Kalila Morsink Whether you...
A school of bluefin tuna

The Great Pacific Migration of Bluefin Tuna

The Pacific bluefin tuna are one of three bluefin species, including the Atlantic bluefin ( Thunnus thynnus) and the Southern bluefin ( Thunnus maccoyii) . Credit: NOAA Shortly after their first birthday, Pacific bluefin...

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