Archive for December, 2011

I found this article:http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/hawaiian-monk-seal-finds-home-aquarium-15166121 It says that a Hawaiian monk seal, nearly blind, just got settled into his new home at the Waikiki Aquarium. This was cool because, we had a seal from the seal life center released back into the ocean recently. This seal was abandoned by his mother and is about 12 years old in human years. He was raised by humans, and then sent into the wild, but had to be taken to the aquarium because he held people underwater while doing tricks and playing with them and also his eyesight is poor so he’s back in an aquarium now, which will keep him safe from predators. This seal gets around by using sensors in his whiskers and hearing, since he is nearly blind.

Do you think that this seal should have stayed in the wild or is it better in your opinion to be at the aquarium?

 

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From: http://blog.sfgate.com/hawaii/files/2011/11/754650-jamie-o-039-brien.jpg

I read this article about the man riding a Sea Turtle in Hawaii. A North Shore pro surfer Jamie O’Brien harasses a turtle by riding on it. It is said that it is illegal to do such thing, so he violated the law against harassing sea turtles and he also violated the sensibilities of the Hawaiian. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources protect the sea green turtles from harassment. So he fines up to $14,000 for what he did. This guy also riding wave of controversy. The people and Hawaii, considered that this guy is threatened.

Why did he choose a turtle and not some other different sea creatures?

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This article I read is about the Immune System of the Cod, it is different from other fish. Scientist believed that higher animals such as fish, share the same immune system as human beings. Cod’s are lacking in that part of the immune system that normally combats infection from bacteria and parasites. One of the genes that the Cod is missing is known as MHC II, which is responsible for detecting microorganisms that are hostile and the immune response to fight of bacteria and parasites. Professor Kjetill S. Jakobsen says, “Conventional wisdom holds that cod should be dead. Yet it is very much alive — a very successful species, in fact, quite widespread in the northern seas. This article really interested me because I didn’t know that Cod or any other fishes have the same immune system as us human beings.

Question:

What is different about the immune system of the Cod compared to humans?

Do all Cods lack the gene MHC II?

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I read an article about researchers on the Sea of Cortez in Baja California learning about the mysterious Humboldt squid. They caught the squid where they are usually present in large numbers. However, this was not the case when they got there. Their sudden disappearance is affecting the local fishing industry. One of the researchers, William Gilly said:

“There were far fewer of them than normal, they were spread out over a huge area and they were very small. But they were also sexually mature and spawning at a ridiculously small size.”

The squids depend on lantern fish (a small, silvery fish that emits a small light on its sides). During an upwelling, phytoplankton begin to bloom and marine animals come together. But during an El Niño (a complex series of climatic changes during which the water becomes warm and nutrient-poor) the upwelling just recycles the warmer water, causing the phytoplankton population to crash and other creatures that depend on it (lantern fish). They found that the squids migrated to the north around the Midriff Islands where they can find more food, which in this case would be krill.

 

What are other marine related effects can El Niños cause?

Are there other temporary climate changes like the El Niño that affects phytoplanktons?

What other creatures do El Niños affect?

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Shrinking ice flow and global warming have deplete the seals and food source in the Arctic. This creates problems of starvation for polar bears. Polar bears are an extremely strong animal and to keep up this strength they have to feed on meat, generally seals. When it is not available they can and will feed on sea gulls and eggs but that is not enough to keep up their strength. Polar bears have increasingly been seen to feed on juvenile polar bears, becoming cannibals.  Seeing this in graphic detail, one will notice the strength and power the polar bear has. The ice depletion and lack of food will effect the polar bear population.  Add to that the cannibalism and the population will deplete even faster.

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16081214

 

Do you think that if humans were put in this situation that they had nothing to eat would become cannibalistic?

What can we do to slow this possibility of extinction?

Do you think that the female would eat the juveniles as well?

Do you think that they would resort to eating their own cubs?

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I found this article about this Crazy ancient shrimp called Anomalocaris which is Latin for “Weird Crustacean.” The article states that this so called shrimp that is about three feet long and had eyes about 2-3 centimeters long had an estimate of 30,000 lenses in each eye, which made it have very good vision. Scientists found this fossil of this shrimp on the Kangaroo Islands in Australia. During the Cambrian Period which was 542- 501 million years ago, this weird crustacean was the largest animal at the time. The creatures size and vision made it a super predator.

What do you think that this animal is closely related to?

How fast do you think they swam?

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I was looking at this article and I thought it was cool how this African Lungfish was using his fins to walk on the bottom of a fish tank. A team of scientists wanted to study this because this African Lungfish is very closely related to tetrapods (pretty much land animals with four limbs a backbone, including humans, birds, mammals and reptiles). Scientists are hoping to learn about the greater shifts of animal evolution. But these Lung fish are not able to walk on land because they have no sacrum. Which is the supportive bone at the base of the spine and no fingers or toes on their limbs.

What do you think of this new feet for fish?

Do you think that fish will eventually be able to walk on land in the far away future?

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So at http://news.discovery.com/animals/robotic-fish-lead-schools-of-fish-from-danger.html there is an interesting article about scientists creating robotic fish. They think that these robotic fish can help fish escape from danger. These robotic fish could lead schools of fish from dangers like predators and any man made problems. The idea is great but how are they going to figure out how the  robot take a leadership role? How could the robot communicate with the fish?

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Large jellyfish blooms are appearing around coastal areas around the world. The influx of blooms are not only annoying to tourists and fisherman alike, but they are also affecting the food chain. The jellyfish are eating in large amounts of plankton, but they “chain” stops there, because not many other animals prey on jellies. Fish would otherwise be eating this plankton. The jellies are “restricting the transfer of energy” resulting in lost carbon energy. If this continues, and the jellies keep consumer more zooplankton, phytoplankton, then the fish will not have enough to consume. What causes these blooms: increasing climate change, over fishing, fertilizer runoff and other factors.

“Marine bacteria typically play a key role in recycling carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and other by-products of organic decay back into the food web,” says Virginia Institute of Marine Science graduate, Rob Condon. “But in our study, we found that when bacteria consumed dissolved organic matter from jellyfish they shunted it toward respiration rather than growth.”

Is there any way we can prevent such large blooms?

information source: http://www.macroevolution.net/jellyfish-swarms.html

 

 

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I read this article about the decline in apex predators such as; sharks, tunas, swordfish, and marlins. Over time fishing has led to a 90-per-cent decrease in top predators since the 1950s. The scientists found that it first started in coastal areas of northern countries, then expanded to the open ocean and to the southern hemisphere. The decline in these predators is changing everything about marine ecosystems systems all over the world. There is a high market demand for these fish and with out stricter fishing regulations the problem will only get worse.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205170103.htm

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