Warning to All Seafood Eaters!

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I thought this article was intriguing. I knew that some seafood weren’t safe to eat, but dangerous enough to cause ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases? Now that’s crazy.

A neurologist, Elijah Stommel, was doing a research project about ALS (a disease that kills motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord, paralyzing the body until swallowing/breathing becomes impossible), and found out that the homes of ALS patients lived near lakes and other water bodies.He suspected that it had to do with something in the water.

That “something” was suspected to be a toxin called BMAA, which is produced by cyanobacteria eaten by fishes and other sea creatures. It can also kill motor nerve cells in the spinal cord. I thought it was horrifying when they did a study of monkeys where they had been fed high doses of BMAA. It showed that the monkeys trembled, moved slower, and their faces froze in masked expressions. It had definitely killed their motor neurons.

How will this affect restaurants and food businesses?

Should there be stricter regulations concerning seafood?

SUPER CROC!

This could well possibly be the biggest croc every caught. It was 21-foot-long (6.4-meter-long) saltwater crocodile, It was the biggest croc ever caught in the Philippines, and may be the world record. The 2,369-pound croc is suspected of killing two people and attacking more then 7. The former world record is 17.9 feet and if this is correct then the one caught in the Philippines is 21 feet long, That breaks the record by almost 4 feet.

1.Why do you think it was able to get so big?

2.How old do you think this could be?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/09/pictures/110906-giant-crocodile-philippines-biggest-ever-caught-captured/#/giant-saltwater-crocodile-found-philippines-cart_39952_600x450.jpg

Black Reefs

From: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/09/01/black-reefs-when-the-ship-hits-the-reef/

From: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/09/01/black-reefs-when-the-ship-hits-the-reef/

When ocean diver Enric Sala visited Kingman reef (part of a group islands 2,000 km south of Hawaii) for the first time in 2005, he thought he found “Paradise”. The reef was lush with corals in every color of the rainbow, giant clams, and all other sorts of eccentric wildlife. When he returned for another adventure in 2007, all that was left was a desolate eyesore. He mentioned he thought he had “entered the dark land of Mordor”.

Confused and horrified, Sala gazed upon the sinister, murky colors, dead corals, and total lack of life. A “carpet of dark slime—filamentous algae and microbes” had consumed the former clear, pristine waters. The once prosperous and flourishing reef was dubbed the “Black Reef”.

Why? What could have possibly happened to cause such a dramatic change in such a short amount of time? Sala and his crew found the answer right away: a teak-hulled fishing vessel filled with iron-rich compressors, engines and other unidentifiable machinery had wrecked right in the heart of the reef. The intense overdose of iron in the originally iron-poor waters resulted in the death of 1 km of reef in less than three years. No one knows who or what the boat belonged to or what happened to the crew, but the wreck was recent. No one took the blame for it. No one tried to remove the harmful machinery or chemicals. No one tried to do much of anything.

Sala’s team found similar destroyed reefs in the central Pacific. What’s worse, many of these ships sank on reefs protected by the United States as Marine National Monuments, and many wrecked within 12 miles of a (US Fish and Wildlife Service) Wildlife Refuge. “The difference between the surrounding reefs and the black reefs are truly amazing. The former are some of the most beautiful in the world, whereas the black reefs areas some of the most dead and dark reefs we have ever seen” said professor and director of the marine microbiology lab at SDSU, Forest Rohwer.

Why don’t skippers report their harmful wrecks? What can we do to protect these reefs from careless tragedies such as these? And, what can we do to reverse the harmful effects of iron and other harsh chemicals on these fragile ecosystems?

NAKED!!!

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I was reading this article and I thought it was quite sad. penguins are loosing their feathers somehow exposing them to the cold. The people call it “feather-loss disorder” has been seen in penguin chicks in both sides of the Atlantic ocean. Scientists do not know what could have caused this crazy thing where the penguins go naked but they think it could have been from culprits include genetics, nutrient imbalances, thyroid disorders or pathogens. They need to conduct further into this to find a answer to this and see if it will spread to the other penguin races. The illness does not appear to be fatal but the birds follow the sun instead of trying to avoid the mid day heat.

What do you think could have caused this to happen?

Do you think that we will be able to find out what has happened to the penguins?

“See” Urchins

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There has been a study that shows that sea urchins can see with their entire body. I chose to read this article because it caught my attention. They have opsin (a protein that is in our eyes) all over their body. Opsin is what makes our eyes sensitive to light, which helps us see. Since sea urchins have this stuff all over their body, it is all sensitive to the light. Which basically means they can see with their entire body. I don’t know if this means they can look up and down at the same time, but it’s really cool.

I think this is really cool. I wonder how clear their vision is. Can they see far, or close, color or black and white? I wonder if there are any other animals that can see without eyes. I guess I never really thought about it. What do you think? If there are others do you think they’re just in the water or on land as well?

Japan’s Seafloor Shift Due To Earthquake ):

From: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/332/cache/japan-earthquake-tsunami-nuclear-unforgettable-pictures-wave_33291_600x450.jpg

From: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/332/cache/japan-earthquake-tsunami-nuclear-unforgettable-pictures-wave_33291_600x450.jpg

Scientists say that the March 11′ earthquake in Japan, literally moved the Japanese seafloor by 79feet, shaking it from east to west. The earthquake was the first time scientists have accurately measured such a outstanding movement of feet underwater.  Scientists placed transponders on the seabed, using very careful sonar techniques to record the transponder’s locations, and also used research boats, whose locations were tracked by GPS satellites. A few weeks or so after the earthquake, the scientists returned to record the measurements.

“This is the first time a great subduction earthquake has been directly observed in the submarine part of the fault, which is where most of the action takes place,” noted Oregon State’s Goldfinger. “We normally have to infer slips from onshore GPS.” Goldfinger said.

Do you think this would change their local economy for fishing?

Do you think it would affect a large amount of sea life on their seafloor?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/05/110519-japan-earthquake-tsunamis-science/

TREE KILLER!!!

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I was looking at this article and what I read I though was the most craziest thing ever. I didn’t know until now that under the sea there are crabs that eat dead sunken trees. As I read more into this article it described that it eats any type of wood (including ships that were made out of wood) They looked at one of these crabs which are actually called squat lobster. In their stomach are bacteria and fungi that create enzymes that are helping digest the cellulose in the wood they also have little teeth called gastric-mill to help grind down the wood. You might find this odd but this is actually helping special underwater communities.

Do you think this is a good or bad thing?

Do you think this would effect underwater sea life?