Quality Status of the North-East Atlantic


The Quality Status Report 2023 assesses the status of the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Climate change and acidification have become drivers of change. Biodiversity and habitats remain at risk, but the chemical quality of the marine environment is improving again.


Conservation priority of stony reef habitats in the Belgian North Sea


Gravel beds in the Belgian North Sea are home to a unique fauna that is vulnerable to bottom-disturbing activities, but are also heavily fished. This paradox underlines the need for more effective protection.


Rediscovered in our collections: one of the oldest fossil insect assemblages from China


Paleontologists have rediscovered a rich collection of insects and other fossil arthropods from a Chinese coal mine. It includes numerous cockroach wings essentially of Moscovian age (about 310 million years ols). These fossils were thought to have been lost for decades.


Living Loggerhead turtle on Bredene beach


November 25, 2023, a live Loggerhead turtle washed up on the beach of Bredene. This species has never before been identified with certainty in Belgium. The animal is closely monitored in SEA LIFE Blankenberge.


More than 30 new sponge species discovered in Peru


A zoologist from the Institute of Natural Sciences, together with a Brazilian colleague, has documented the sponge diversity of Peru: 86 species, of which 31 were recently described by them, in all shapes and colors.


Orca stranding on the Belgian coast


On October 29, a male orca was spotted off the coast of Coxyde. A few hours later, the severely weakened animal washed up in De Panne, where it died almost immediately.


Dust played a major role in dinosaur demise


Fine dust from pulverized rock generated by the Chicxulub impact likely played a dominant role in global climate cooling and the disruption of photosynthesis following the event.


Kamasutra: a new genus of insects from Australia with a particularly acrobatic mating behavior


One of our entomologists has described a new genus of insects from Australia with a particularly acrobatic mating behavior.  


Sea change: new blueprint for Southern Ocean survival


More than 200 scientists from 19 countries published the first comprehensive assessment of trends in Southern Ocean ecosystems. They emphasize that climate change is the main driver of species and ecosystem change in the Southern Ocean and coastal Antarctica.


Knokke Leatherback Turtle died as a result of acute trauma


Until a dead leatherback turtle was found on the beach in Knokke on 7 October 2023, we knew of only three strandings of this species in Belgium. The autopsy shows that an acute but unknown trauma caused the animal's sudden death.