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Seal Catches Ride on Whale. Why Does This Keep Happening?

A bizarre photo from Australia in September shows a seal surfing on the back of a humpback whale. Scientists aren’t sure what’s behind the unusual behavior.

Portuguese Man-O-War (Physalia physalis).jpg    Not a nice guy -- got stung by one when I was 9 or 10 years old in the ocean off Long Island

Portuguese Man-O-War (Physalia physalis).jpg Not a nice guy -- got stung by one when I was 9 or 10 years old in the ocean off Long Island

This small jellyfish is called Oceania amata. Its closely related cousin, Turritopsis dohrnii, was recently featured in the media as an example of an organism that may achieve immortality.  For now, Turritopsis dohrnii is the only known animal that can develop in reverse, transforming from a medusa back to a polyp.

This small jellyfish is called Oceania amata. Its closely related cousin, Turritopsis dohrnii, was recently featured in the media as an example of an organism that may achieve immortality. For now, Turritopsis dohrnii is the only known animal that can develop in reverse, transforming from a medusa back to a polyp.

Researchers have discovered a chemical compound produced by the giant Triton snail (Charoniatritonis), that repels the Crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) and could help protect the Great Barrier Reef. Photo credit: Dr. Scott Cummins.

Researchers have discovered a chemical compound produced by the giant Triton snail (Charoniatritonis), that repels the Crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) and could help protect the Great Barrier Reef. Photo credit: Dr. Scott Cummins.

Lifeform of the week: Horseshoe crabs have something for everyone | Earth | EarthSky - Fisherman, doctors and bird lovers all rely on the Atlantic horseshoe crab. Can this ancient arthropod please all the people all the time?

Lifeform of the week: Horseshoe crabs have something for everyone | Earth | EarthSky - Fisherman, doctors and bird lovers all rely on the Atlantic horseshoe crab. Can this ancient arthropod please all the people all the time?

Parrotfish munch on rocky coral and excrete sand. That sand, a new study finds, is important for building reef islands.  ~~ Chris Perry/Univ. of Exeter

An island in the Maldives is made of parrotfish poop

Parrotfish munch on rocky coral and excrete sand. That sand, a new study finds, is important for building reef islands. ~~ Chris Perry/Univ. of Exeter

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