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Small changes in oxygen levels have big implications for ocean life

 Oceanographers at the University of Rhode Island have found that even slight levels of ocean oxygen loss, or deoxygenation, have big consequences for tiny marine organisms called zooplankton, according to Science Daily .

Zooplankton are important components of the food web in the expanse of deep, open ocean called the midwater. Within this slice of ocean below the surface and above the seafloor are oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), large regions of very low oxygen. Unlike coastal "dead zones" where oxygen levels can suddenly plummet and kill marine life not acclimated to the conditions, zooplankton in OMZs are specially adapted to live where other organisms -- especially predators -- cannot. But OMZs are expanding due to climate change, and even slight changes to the low oxygen levels can push zooplankton beyond their extraordinary physiological limits.

Why deep oceans gave rise to the first complex organisms on Earth: Stable temperatures let early life forms make the best of limited oxygen supplies

For billions of years life on Earth was microscopic.

However, around 570 million years ago that all changed as complex organisms including animals with soft, sponge-like bodies sprang to life deep in the ocean.

Scientists have long been baffled as to why organisms first appeared deep in the ocean where light and food are scarce, according to Daily Mail.

A new study has found that stable temperatures were key to survival as these early lifeforms were unable to deal with fluctuations in temperature.

Meet the fastest animal on Earth - and it is not a cheetah.

Meet the fastest animal on Earth: Dracula ants snap their jaws shut at an incredible 200mph - 5,000 times faster than the blink of an eye

Meet the fastest animal on Earth - and it is not a cheetah.

The Dracula ant can snap its jaws at an incredible 200mph (320kph), which is 5,000 times faster than the blink of an eye, according to Daily Mail.

The tiny creature, just a few millimetres in size, has been officially named the fastest moving living animal, beating the cheetah, whose record running speed is 60mph (96kph).

Parrot genome analysis reveals insights into longevity, cognition

Parrots are famously talkative, and a blue-fronted Amazon parrot named Moises -- or at least its genome -- is telling scientists volumes about the longevity and highly developed cognitive abilities that give parrots so much in common with humans. Perhaps someday, it will also provide clues about how parrots learn to vocalize so well, according to Science Daily.

Morgan Wirthlin, a BrainHub post-doctoral fellow in Carnegie Mellon University's Computational Biology Department, said she and her colleagues sequenced the genome of the blue-fronted Amazon and used it to perform the first comparative study of parrot genomes.

By comparing the blue-fronted Amazon with 30 other long- and short-lived birds -- including four additional parrot species

In death, Lonesome George reveals why giant tortoises live so long

Lonesome George's species may have died with him in 2012, but he and other giant tortoises of the Galapagos are still providing genetic clues to individual longevity through a new study by researchers at Yale University, the University of Oviedo in Spain, according to Science Daily .

Genetic analysis of DNA from Lonesome George and samples from other giant tortoises of the Galapagos -- which can live more than 100 years in captivity -- found they possessed a number of gene variants linked to DNA repair, immune response, and cancer suppression not possessed by shorter-lived vertebrates.

"Lonesome George is still teaching us lessons," said Adalgisa "Gisella" Caccone, senior researcher in Yale's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and co-senior author of the paper.