JUN 04, 2016 09:20 AM PDT

Cephalopod Populations Reportedly 'Booming' in the Ocean

The ocean is one of the places here on Earth where you can look to find some of the world’s most exotic life forms. Among some of those are cephalopods, which have a strange habit of seeing both positive and negative dramatic population fluctuations over periods of time.
 

Cephalopods are multiplying in our oceans, and human intervention on nature may be the root of the cause.

 Image Credit: S. Portelli


Cephalopods are a marine animal group that includes invertebrates like cuttlefish, octopus, and squid, and the chemical and biological changes that mankind has inflicted on our plant, not excluding our oceans, may be making things more favorable for them.
 
Since the 1950’s cephalopods have reportedly seen a ‘boom’ in population, not just in open waters, but even closer to the shorelines between New England and Japan.
 
More and more cephalopods have been getting entangled in fishing equipment since the 1990’s and although there are more factors to consider before you can assume cephalopod population is increasing, a recent scientific study performed by Zoe Doubleday of the University of Adelaide and others carefully pieced together information gathered from 32 scientific surveys over the course of 60 years.
 
"The consistency was the biggest surprise," says Zoë Doubleday of Australia's Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide. "Cephalopods are notoriously variable, and population abundance can fluctuate wildly, both within and among species. The fact that we observed consistent, long-term increases in three diverse groups of cephalopods, which inhabit everything from rock pools to open oceans, is remarkable."
 
It would seem that human intervention over our oceans just might be the leading factor for the population increases in cephalopods. A duo of factors that might be allowing the species to thrive include fishing, which rids the ocean of potential predators, and global warming, which makes the ocean more habitable for the species.
 
They already have short life spans, fast growth rates, and other differences from many marine species, but human intervention is acting as a catalyst to speed up factors, such as mating and egg-laying, and allowing cephalopods to multiply in great numbers.
 
The effects of cephalopod numbers increasing may have an effect on the population of other marine life, as they’ll eat just about anything. But that also comes with a double-whammy, because cephalopods will even eat each other if presented with the opportunity. This is nature’s way of dealing with itself.

It would appear that cephalopods are enjoying their glory days in their moment of triumph.
 
The findings of this study are published in Current Biology.
 
Source: EurekAlert, Science Magazine

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2018
Microbiology
JUL 23, 2018
Anglerfish Alert Researchers to a Third Type of Symbiosis
The light from inside the anglerfish bulb is made by bioluminescent bacteria, a symbiotic relationship we know little about....
JUL 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 24, 2018
These Animals Experience Harsher Childbirths Than Humans
You might be quick to think that humans have it hard during childbirth, but compared to a few other species in the animal kingdom, humans actually have it...
AUG 01, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 01, 2018
Is seagrass the answer to ocean acidification?
A new study published in Ecological Applications thinks that seagrass meadows could be the answer to alleviating ocean acidification throughout the ocean....
AUG 21, 2018
Plants & Animals
AUG 21, 2018
2018: An Unlucky Year for Manatees?
Concerned animal conservationists have taken the stage to warn about some somewhat unsettling news in the marine mammal world. As it would seem, there&rsqu...
AUG 24, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 24, 2018
What's the deal with Florida's red tide?
Have you ever seen a red tide? If you live in Florida near the coast, it’s unlikely that you’ve been able to avoid them. But do you really unde...
AUG 24, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
AUG 24, 2018
Bumblebees Under Threat From Inbreeding and Disease
Agriculture and habitat loss have put huge pressures on bee populations. Those aren't the only problems bees are facing....
Loading Comments...