We have a full slate of tidbits and morsels for this issue of the Friday smorgasbord so let’s get things rocking. First off is the fears that genetically modified Electric Green Tetras may pose a hazard to native species in parts of North and Latin America. Yorktown Technologies produced the GloFish in 2003 that used the genetic material in fluorescent coral to give it the strange, green glow and in February created the modified fish from the black tetra. So what, right? Well according to the FDA, the heat-loving zebra fish is from southern Asia and can’t survive long in cooler U.S. waters posing little risk on U.S. waterways. But the black tetra is native to South America and likely to be happy in the inland waterways of South Florida and Latin America. There are already 30 species of nonnative fish plaguing Florida and the shift in the genes from cross breeding in the wild could mean significant damage to the natural tetra populations.
Petco is getting on the infographic craze and has released a simple infographic showing the financial, physical and time commitment it takes to care for a clown fish vs. freshwater tropical fish. Most likely the national pet store chain is gearing up for the influx of parents and kids screaming for a “Nemo” after the 3D version of the PIXAR classic “Finding Nemo” hits the screens next weekend. Sure the information is basic but it is a good signal that Petco is trying to do a better job educating the public about making an informed decision about getting into a saltwater aquarium. I would rather have a surly LFS employee go on a rant against it but in a pinch, the infographic will work.
Now if I could have a super power, it might definitely be having the ability to vomit light just like this shrimp that lives on the ocean floor. Researchers recently did a study on bioluminescence in the Caribbean and found that in the open sea an estimated 90 percent of organisms have the capacity to glow, compared with a meager10-20 percent of seafloor dwellers. But along those that have bioluminescence included the world’s first identified glow-in-the-dark anemone along with a shrimp species that vomits light as a defense mechanism, glowing coral, starfish and sea cucumbers.
Researchers are using the earbone of fish to track where they live along their lives. How it works is they analyze isotopic signatures recorded in fish tissue from their otoliths, or ear bones, that record their lives similar to that of tree rings. These signatures, unique to each environment in which a fish lives and feeds, are yielding insightful clues about how juvenile coral reef fishes use coastal seagrass and mangrove habitats as nurseries, later moving as adults onto coral reefs.
First discovered in 1846, Triton is Neptune’s largest moon still holds plenty of intrigue and mystery. Recent indicators scientists have been tracking show that there just may be a liquid ocean that formed between the rocky core of the moon and its icy surface shell. Scientists are investigating whether or not this ocean could have survived until now. There are some pretty interesting and complex theories to this, so head on over to Space.com to read all about it.