National Geographic

Tag archives for algae

Bad Weather, Weird Parrot Fish Fact, and More

Bad weather puts the pressure on the team to get the day’s underwater surveys done, but there’s still time to relate a weird-but-true fact about where sand comes from.

Mystery of Sloths’ Tri-Weekly Poop Trips Solved?

Pooping can be a deadly activity for three-toed sloths. But there are benefits, aside from the obvious. New research shows that going to the bathroom actually results in more food for these tree-dwelling animals.

New Caledonia Expedition: Green Umbrellas in the Reef

Written by Kike Ballesteros Imagine you’re on the first day of vacation, arriving in the Florida Keys, Cozumel, Cabo Pulmo, the Bahamas or another beautiful beach destination. Now it’s time to go swimming and sunbathing on the beach, but you have to be careful. To protect against a sunburn you may need the help of…

Assessing Barbuda’s Ecosystems – What’s Under the Water?

Before making changes to ocean management, it helps to know something about the status of living creatures and ecosystems you’re trying to use sustainably. So, nine marine biologists* (plus me makes ten) descended on Barbuda in May to conduct an ecological assessment of the fish, coral, lobster, conch, and water quality within 3 miles of…

Harmful Algae Blooms Plague Lake Erie Again

Seeing the photos from the record-breaking algal bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 was like déjà vu for me. I grew up in the Great Lakes region in the 1960s and 1970s and remember the days when Lake Erie was declared “dead.” I later learned that the green scum that plagued the lake during summer…

“Lazy” Algae Freeload Off Toxic Kin

Meet the microscopic moocher Prymnesium parvum, a strain of algae that freeloads on its kin without putting in any effort, a new study says.

Pitcairn Islands Expedition Photos: Strange and Beautiful Algae

From feeding fish to building up coral reefs, see why humble algae are actually the unsung heroes of the undersea world.

Black Reefs–When the Ship Hits the Reef

The first time I dived at the remote Kingman Reef, in 2005, I thought I found paradise. When I returned in 2007, I thought I had entered the dark land of Mordor.

Lake Superior water warms faster than usual

The summer of 2010 is shaping up as one with some of the warmest water temperatures ever for the world’s largest lake, according to researchers at the Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) of the University of Minnesota Duluth. “As always, changing water temperatures in Lake Superior have a wide range of implications, from the productivity of…

Vanilla Algae Cone With Sprinkles, Please

Laurencia algae—manatee and turtle grass If you like ice cream, well, you probably like algae. Substances called carrageenans extracted from several types of seaweed (a subset of the world’s algae) thicken and stabilize some popular ice creams and give them their gelatinous texture. Who knew? Algal extracts are also mainstay ingredients in toothpastes, in shampoos…

Bioblitz finds species thriving at the bottom of food web

Biscayne National Park–While many of us have been gawking at the crabs, anoles, and sea birds–and others have been paddling their way over coral reefs admiring the fish–some scientists at the bioblitz are quite animated by the algae. At last count, about 20 species of algae may have been been identified, many of them new to the park’s list of…