Friday Smorgasbord: Coralbots, shark-stalking robots and a tongue-eating louse
We all made it through the first month of spring and have another fun edition of the Friday Smorgasbord to set your weekend off in a fun, entertaining way. First off, we have to say we do have a thing for robotic creatures of the sea and have two in this installation. To kick off today’s post — we have coralbots. These autonomous robots will work in teams to patrol coral reefs to identify damaged areas, then will transplant pieces of healthy corals along the way. This neat project is looking for your support on Kickstarter.
Sharks might want to take our a restraining order on this next invention — a robot that stalks sharks to spy on their mysterious moves. Although we have a huge fascination with this ultimate predator, there really is little information out there about sharks. Biologist Chris Lowe from California State University Long Beach and engineer Chris Clark from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., are looking to change that and have been developing a shark-tracking robot for the past three years to learn more about sharks’s habits.
A man in Belfast, Ireland, got quite the surprise with a recent fish purchase from a supermarket chain. After buying a sea bass and starting to prep the fish, he noticed this strange parasite in the mouth of the fish. Turns out it was a Cymothoa exigua, otherwise known as a tongue-eating louse. Seems this parasites enter the fish’s gills, attached itself to the tongue, then replacing it. Needless to say, the man’s dinner was ruined.
[via Huffington Post]
Ocean acidification has some physiological effects on marine life and one group of researchers has found that rising ocean acid levels is creating an increase in ear stone size in fish. When encountering even the most mild acidification conditions, larger otoliths are discovered. Could this have an effect on better fish hearing? Read more about the study published in Global Change Biology.