17 May '12, 1pm

manta rays

The Vital Chain: Connecting The Ecosystems of Land and Sea A new study from a Pacific atoll reveals the links between native trees, bird guano, and the giant manta rays that live off the coast. In unraveling this intricate web, the researchers point to the often little-understood interconnectedness between terrestrial and marine ecosystems. by carl zimmer For the past few years, Douglas McCauley has been tracking Pacific manta rays that live around a chain of remote islands called Palmyra Atoll. McCauley, a marine biologist at the University of California at Berkeley, and his colleagues tag the giant fishes with “pingers” — acoustic devices that emit pulses — and then follow the sound. “You’re in a boat, following the animal night and day,” says McCauley. The scientists embarked on this study to learn more about the ecology of these majestic animals. “There’s remarkably li...

Full article: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_vital_chain_connecting_t...

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