Celebrating the end of the week we have a wonderful Friday variety post for you. First off is an incredible video of a baby great white shark that was rescued by a group of surfers at Venice Beach in California. It appears the 3-4 foot shark was caught on a fishing line and brought to shore. We’re not sure what the intentions were at the beginning of the video but as the crowd grew, a group of surfers removed the hook and finally helped it get back out into the water safely.
Looks like the Dead Sea isn’t quite dead afterall. Most organisms cannot survive in the harsh salt environment of 33% salinity but recently microbiologists surprisingly found thick biofilms on its sea floor. The mats of microbes were discovered growing on craters with jets of fresh water from undersea springs that fed the lake. According to the team, the amount of the organisms were so diverse, it was more representative of what you’d find in a lake and not the harsh, salty environment.
[via Gizmodo; Image from Christian Lott, Hydra Institute]
A team of researchers in Australia have created an environment that serves as an artificial uterus for sharks. The uterus, a series of tanks, tubes and fluid-exchange systems, is a proof-of-concept for now. But one day it could boost the dwindling numbers of the grey nurse shark. Nick Otway, a fisheries biologist in Australia, is working on a plan to help breed grey nurse sharks. Regionally endangered and listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, the shark is facing challenges. The female shark produces as many as 40 fertilized embryos and take a year to develop. After two months, their own yolk sacs go dry and in order to survive, they start eating each other until just one shark survives. A system like this would allow for larger numbers of this shark to be reared and then released back into the wild to help bolster the population. We can’t link directly to a video showing this system but you can view it over at WIRED