Tag: Fish and Other Marine Life

Australia’s Record Heat Means Another Blow to Great Barrier Reef

Record-breaking warm waters have bleached large parts of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef this year, as they did in 2016 and 2017, scientists reported on Thursday — the latest sign that global warming threatens the health of one of the world’s most important marine ecosystems. “We can confirm that the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its […]

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Neanderthals Feasted on Seafood, Seabirds, Perhaps Even Dolphins

Neanderthals are often portrayed chowing down on mammoth meals and woolly rhino ribs. But an analysis of their leftovers from a coastal cave in Portugal suggests fish and mollusks claimed a special place on their Paleolithic palates. “We all have that image of the primitive Neanderthal that eats lots of meat,” said Filipa Rodrigues, an […]

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This Parasite Doesn’t Need Oxygen to Survive

“Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell.” Repeated incessantly in high school biology textbooks, this slogan reminds students that these organelles, found in the cells of humans, plants, fungi and myriad other organisms, fuel vast swaths of biology, making use of abundant oxygen. But researchers in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences […]

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Sunspots and Stranded Whales: A Bizarre Correlation

As an astronomer at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, Lucianne Walkowicz usually has to stretch to connect the peculiarities of space physics with things that people experience on Earth. Then came the email about whales. Sönke Johnsen, a biologist at Duke University, told Dr. Walkowicz that his team had stumbled upon a bizarre correlation: When the surface […]

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Earth’s Deepest River Conceals an Evolutionary Mystery

In 2007, fishermen living along the lower Congo, the deepest river on Earth, brought Melanie Stiassny a fish. It was six inches long, ghostly white and eyeless. Like most fish held out of water, it was dying. What surprised her was what was killing it. “There were nitrogen bubbles forming under its skin and gills,” […]

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In Delaware, Dams Are Being Removed to Spur Fish Migration

WILMINGTON, Del. — When migratory fish follow their ancestral instinct to swim up Delaware’s Brandywine Creek during this spring’s spawning season, they will find, for the first time in more than 200 years, that their route is not blocked by a dam. The fish — American shad, hickory shad and striped bass — have been […]

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Microbes Point the Way to Shipwrecks

Off the coast of Mississippi, under 4,000 feet of water, a luxury yacht is slowly disintegrating. Marine creatures dart, cling and scuttle near the hull of the wreck, which has been lying undisturbed for 75 years. But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this shipwreck and others, researchers have now shown […]

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Damming the Lower Mekong, Devastating the Ways and Means of Life

NONG KHAI, Thailand — The water is so clear on the Mekong River in northeastern Thailand that the sunlight pierces through to the riverbed, transforming the waterway into a glinting, empty aquarium. It is beautiful but it means death. At this time of year in Thailand, this stretch of the world’s most productive river should […]

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You Didn’t Touch These Jellyfish, but They Can Sting You With Tiny Grenades

Jellyfish are very sneaky about stinging. Most are silent. Some have venom that kicks in on a time delay. Many species even manage to get in a few zingers after they’re dead. But according to research published Thursday in Communications Biology, the stealthiest stinging strategy belongs to Cassiopea xamachana, a species of upside-down jellyfish found […]

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Your Foam Coffee Cup Is Fighting for Its Life

MASON, Mich. — The Dart Container Corporation, by some measures, is an American success story. The family-owned business was co-founded in Michigan by a World War II veteran with a triple major in mathematics, engineering and metallurgy, and it developed products that, in no small way, helped fuel the modern economy. Dart makes, by the […]

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The Freshwater Giants Are Dying

Some of the most astonishing creatures on Earth hide deep in rivers and lakes: giant catfish weighing over 600 pounds, stingrays the length of Volkswagen Beetles, six-foot-long trout that can swallow a mouse whole. There are about 200 species of so-called freshwater megafauna, but compared to their terrestrial and marine counterparts, they are poorly studied […]

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It’s Fish vs. Dams, and the Dams Are Winning

NEWBURGH, N.Y. — For thousands of years, alewives and blueback herring have left the ocean to swim up the Hudson River to any one of scores of tributaries to lay their eggs. But in a more recent era, the fish have been literally hitting a wall as dams popped up all over the region, powering […]

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At the Bottom of the Sea, They Wait to Feast on Alligators

Early last year, a team of researchers dropped three alligator carcasses over a mile deep into the Gulf of Mexico. The goal was to see what would turn up to eat them. When dead whales and big logs fall to the bottom of the gulf, “there’s a whole host of species found on them that […]

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Neanderthals Could Swim. They Even Dived.

Neanderthals collected seashells by the seashore. They also may have swum underwater to retrieve live clams to later shape into sharp tools and scrapers, according to a new study. “Our findings enlarge our knowledge of the range of capacities Neanderthals had,” said Sylvain Soriano, an archaeologist from Paris Nanterre University and an author of the […]

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How a Fish Steals Its Ability to Glow

Bioluminescence might seem uncommon, even alien. But biologists think organisms evolved the ability to light up the dark as many as 50 different times, sending tendrils of self-powered luminosity coursing through the tree of life, from fireflies and vampire squids to lantern sharks and foxfire, a fungus found in rotting wood. Despite all this diversity, […]

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