Welcome to the Memorial Day weekend edition of the Friday Smorgasbord. With summer right around the corner, here is your friendly reminder to check your chiller and cooling fans to help keep your tank nice and cool. No on to the Smorgasbord! Scientists studying the DNA of the Latimeria chalumnae, AKA “Living Fossil”, have found its genes have evolved more slowly that genes of other fish and vertebrates. In the paper, published April 18 in the journal Nature, the researchers speculate that the coelacanth’s relatively unchanged deep-sea habitat, and an apparent lack of predation over thousands to millions of years, means this ancient fish didn’t need to change much to survive.
Volcanoes and shifting tectonic plates play a heavy hand in the coral diversity in reefs across the Indian and Pacific oceans according to a new report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. The coral triangle is home to some of the most diverse coral reefs in the world, yet similar conditions in other areas lack the diversity fo species. This study found corals used the volcanically made island as stepping stones to colonize across the region, but saw wholesale groups of corals failing to make the jump. The discovery also has serious implications for coral reefs in the face of climate change noting how long it takes for corals to create the rich reefs that are being decimated by warming.
[via ABC Science]
Who remembers their first time seeing the ocean? Besides when I was a toddler, it was during a family vacation to Florida in the seventh grade and that time was magical and memorable. This video showcases a baby elephant’s joy as it gets its first glimpse of the ocean in Phuket, Thailand, before participating in a wedding ceremony. If this doesn’t put a smile on your face, we don’t know what will.
Summer is almost here and as hundreds of thousands of tourists flock towards the ocean for fun in the sun, we thought this story would be fitting. Even before the summer blockbuster Jaws hit the theaters in 1976 we had a fear of sharks. This fear has propelled great movies like Jaws as well as terrible movies like Sharktopus. Over at HamptonRoads.com, they have compiled a list of the “Best of the Worst” shark movies ever…enjoy!