While sunscreen is essential in protecting South Florida beach goers' skin, a new study from the Spanish National Research Council shows the skin protectant might also be killing off life in the ocean.
The study focuses on an aspect of sunscreens rarely looked at for its environmental impact: the nano-particles that block ultraviolet rays from baking our skin, including titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Those chemicals can be found in sunscreens available at any corner drugstore.
If they weren't such a pest you could almost pity the lionfish.
The creature, after all, is simply doing what it is biologically programmed to do: eat and reproduce. Unfortunately, it has made its way to the reefs off South Florida where it doesn't have natural predators.
So the lovely lionfish has become a menace.
They eat juvenile saltwater species that are commercially and biologically important, like lobster, crab, snapper and grouper. And they eat herbivores like wrasse that help limit algae growth on reefs.
Marine biologists are diving deep for two weeks in August to examine the deepwater coral reefs of Pulley Ridge in the Gulf of Mexico. The aim is to determine how that area connects with the shallower reefs of the Dry Tortugas and Florida Keys.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:17 pm
Of all the creatures in the sea, one of the most majestic and mysterious is the whale shark. It's the biggest shark there is, 30 feet or more in length and weighing in at around 10 tons.
Among the mysteries is where this mighty fish migrates and where it gives birth. Now scientists have completed the biggest study ever of whale sharks, and they think they have some answers to those questions.