Friday Smorgasbord: Hobbyists save the wild reefs, bisexual fish and more
Can we get a “hellz yeah” for hobbyists doing their part to help save the wild reefs? We’ve known this for a while, but finally there is some scientific evidence that the hobby is helping to preserve reef ecosystems. A team of Roger Williams University (RWU), Boston University (BU), Conservation International (CI), and the New England Aquarium (NEAq) published a paper, “Long-term trends of coral imports into the United States indicate future opportunities for ecosystem and societal benefits,” in the December issue of the journal Conservation Letters. Studying 21 years of coral-importing data, the team is finding the numbers are decreasing giving evidence to the fact that recent changes in the trade of live corals for the reef aquarium hobby are resulting in new opportunities for conservation.
[via Science Blog]
Seems like Mexican molly fish have to resort to some pretty crazy tactics. The female Poecilia Mexicana appear to be attracted to larger, flashier males, leaving the smaller males eating dust. But apparently, these smaller males have resulted to homosexual behaviors that apparently seem to catch new attention of the females. The team, citing a quote by film director Woody Allen, who once said “bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night,” state this might be true for male mollies.
[via Fox News Latino]
So you go out for a Friday night dinner with your friends and make conscious decisions based on what kinds of fish are available to ensure you are making sustainable choices. What if we told you things aren’t what they appear. A recent sleuthing of New York restaurants found three in five retail outlets it visited, including 100 percent of sushi restaurants, were selling mislabeled fish. The researchers, from the group Oceana, collected 142 fish samples earlier this year from 81 retail outlets, including large grocery stores, corner bodegas, high-end restaurants, and sushi bars. They analyzed the samples using DNA barcoding, and found that 39 percent of the fish were labeled as other species.
This is not a bloody sea you see in the image above, but rather an abundance of dinoflagellates. Seems these lifeforms have swarmed the waters of Sydney. Although it appears to be rather intimidating, the dinoflagellates are non-toxic but can cause skin irritation or irrational fears of the end of the world. The end of the Mayan Calendar might be looming ahead and we think we’ll still be here on December 22, but there some pretty strange things happening with the seas lately.
[via Guardian UK]
The box jellyfish is known for its extremely toxic sting, but University of Hawaii at Manoa researcher Angel Yanagihara has developed a medicine that effectively treats the sting of a box jellyfish. Although the sting of the box jellyfish varies — from being a minor irritant in Hawaii but is deadly in places like Australia, Thailand and Indonesia — the research has led to identifying compounds that blocks the toxin’s effect on human blood cells. Her work was published in the December 2012 edition of PLOS ONE, or you can read all about it here on the University of Hawaii website.