edible beer topsA brewery created by fishermen, surfers and lovers of the sea have come up with a genius solution to end plastic 6-pack rings ending up in the ocean.

Their solution? Edible rings. (For the fish, of course)

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It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. (that's insane.) These brilliant thinkers decided they would help put an end to this by creating edible rings instead of plastic, the fish can therefore eat them instead of getting stuck in them.

This material is made entirely of barley and wheat remains from the brewing process, all of which is 100 percent biodegradable and safe for fish, turtles, birds and other marine life to eat, unlike the plastic ring-holders that are now killing them by the millions.

Article originally appeared in Niume
Published in Environment

glow-fish- A green biofluorescent chain catshark There is a light show in the ocean that you can't see, but many fish can. There's quite a display of neon greens, reds, and oranges going on underneath the surface.

Still, the discovery of what is hidden from human eyes -- biofluorescence in 180 species of fish -- brings up many questions for researchers.

Do fish use it to communicate with others? Do they use it to mate? What is its function? Bio fluorescence occurs when an organism absorbs blue light, transforms it and emits it as another color.

untitled Researchers discover a rich diversity of fluorescent patterns and colours in marine fishes as exemplified here B)ray C) sole, H) false moray eeI, I) chlopsidae, J) pipefish, K) sand gazer

A team of researchers from the American Museum of Natural History and other scientific organizations published a study Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE, reporting the findings of the first in-depth look at bio fluorescence in fish.

"We've long known about bio fluorescence underwater in organisms like corals, jellyfish, and even in land animals like butterflies and parrots," said the study's co-author, John Sparks, who is a curator in the Museum's Department of Ichthyology.

scorpionfish A red scorpion fish perched on red fluorescent algae at night in the Solomon Islands

He said the team stumbled on an eel that glowed green while he and a partner were studying a reef in the Cayman Islands. The discovery in a photograph of the eel lighting up underneath the blue lights they used led them to make four more trips in different parts of the world to get a closer look at the glow show.

The expeditions to the Bahamas in the Caribbean and Solomon Islands in the Pacific revealed a variety of fish living around coral reefs -- including sharks, rays, eels and lizerd fishes -- that exhibited bio flourescence. s

"Many shallow reef inhabitants and fish have the capabilities to detect fluorescent light and may be using biofluorescence in similar fashions to how animals use bioluminescence, such as to find mates and to camouflage," Sparks suggested, while adding the reasons will need further study.

So how do the fish recognize it? Many of them have yellow filters in their eyes, "possibly allowing them to see the otherwise hidden fluorescent displays taking place in the water," a news release from the museum of natural history said.

blenny A triplefin blenny under white light,above, and blue light, below.

"The cryptically patterned gobies, flatfishes, eels, and scorpion fishes -- these are animals that you'd never normally see during a dive," Sparks said. "To our eyes, they blend right into their environment. But to a fish that has a yellow intraocular filter, they must stick out like a sore thumb."

Some scientists cautioned that the bioflouresence might look neat in photos using special lights but also have no function.

Nico Michiels, a zoologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany, and Steven Haddock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, indicated to Science Now that the need for special technology to view what the website called weak fluorescence "casts doubt on the usefulness of the coloration in the fish's dimly lit natural environments."

Sparks said it will be interesting to see what the team finds next."This paper is the first to look at the wide distribution of biofluorescence across fishes, and it opens up a number of new research areas," he said.He added that there may be fluorescent proteins involved, ones that could be used in biomedical research.

 

 

Published in Marine Wildlife
Thursday, 28 February 2019 13:36

White Shark Facts

Did you know that....

  • White Sharks are also known as Great White Sharks, Carcharodon carcharias(Latin) and White Pointer Sharks.
  • 070507ali1 080812IMG_9024
  • Their bodies are counter-shaded with a charcoal to black, grey or even dark brown top (dorsal surface) and completely white underneath (ventral surface)
  • Counter-shading makes it difficult for their prey to see them
  • One of the most successful predators in the world
  • Live on a diverse diet of fish, other sharks, seals, dolphins and even scavenge on dead whales
  • They have many different ways to catch their food from chasing fish, to sneaking up on stingrays to attacking from below when trying to eat seal
  • Have taste buds inside their mouth and throat and are more fussy than other sharks like tiger sharks
  • Have a lateral line made of special hair-like cells which runs from their tail to their head and can detect small water vibrations and currents 090711DSC_0286
  • Use their electrosense to detect the electric field given off by all living animals and can even find prey hidden under the sand
  • They are sensitive to low frequency sounds as produced by struggling prey
  • They use body language and smell to communicate with one another

  • Deepest recorded dive was over 1200
  • Can breach out of the water over 2m into the air
  • One of the most widely distributed sharks found in all oceans, except the polar seas
  • Areas with the highest concentrations are Western Cape, South Africa, South Australia, West coast USA, Guadalupe Island Mexico and New Zealand
  • Found near the coast and in deep oceanic waters
  • Grow slowly only becoming mature after 10 years (males) and 15 years (females)
  • Live for more than 60 years
  • Reproduce slowly with litters of 2 - 10 baby sharks, called pups
  • Gestation is thought to be over 12 months
  • Give birth to live young (viviparous)Each pup is between 1.2 - 1.7 meters long when it is born
  • There is no parental care
  • World's largest predatory shark/fish growing up to 6.1 metres
  • Females grow bigger than male 09080224-03-09
  • They weigh over 2000 kgs
  • They have six senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing and electroreception
  • They can see in the day and at night and can see colour
  • They don't have eyelids, but instead roll their eyes back to protect them
  • Sometimes they will stick their heads out of the water which is called spyhopping
  • They have the strongest smell out of all sharks and can smell one drop of blood in a million parts water
  • Man kills over 100 million sharks a year,
  • Sharks cause less than five deaths worldwide per year.
  • Chairs and toasters kill more people than sharks
  • Great White Sharks are Vulnerable to Extinction

 

Published in Sharks

THE HATCHFISH

hatchetfish

Given the extreme depths to which scientists must go to find these frightful–and tiny–fish, little is known about the hatchetfish. Making top models around the world jealous, the morose-looking creatures derive their name from how razor-thin they are. Anatomically speaking, the hatchetfish’s thorax is supposed to resemble the blade of the hatchet, and its cold, silver glint the metal. Their name is somewhat deceiving, though; measuring in at a mere one to five inches in length, the hatchetfish is hardly deadly. It’s just, well, pretty terrifying.

THE BLOBFISH

blobfish

More gelatinous than your grandma’s pudding, the blobfish’s strikingly jiggly appearance has captivated the attention of millions for the past several years. So striking is the mass with fins that just this year it was deemed the world’s ugliest animal. Life isn’t all that bad for this Oceania-dwelling creature, though. As the blobfish’s den is primarily near the bottom of the ocean, the water pressure is understandably high, causing the blobfish’s skin to have the approximate density of water. You might think that lack of muscle tissue would prove disadvantageous, but you’d be wrong. All that means is that when it comes time to eat, the blobfish simply opens its mouth while floating merrily above the ocean’s floor. Its lack of density means that it doesn’t have to expend any energy in order to eat. Lazy chefs around the world, direct your ire to the blobfish.

THE FANGTOOTH

-fangtooth-fish-close

Consider the fangtooth fish to be the underwater equivalent of a menacing pitbull with a heart of gold. Despite their threatening appearance, the fangtooth is incredibly benign–especially as its poor eyesight means that if it wants to hunt, the fangtooth quite literally has to bump into its prey in order to find it. Its chompers certainly paint a different portrait, though: protruding from its mouth, in proportion to the fish the fangtooth has the largest teeth of any fish in the ocean. Good luck catching a glimpse of the sharp-mouthed animal: it resides as far as 16,400 feet beneath the sea.

THE SEA CUCUMBER

sea cucumber giant 300x260

These icky echinoderms certainly boggle the mind. Lacking a true brain and any semblance of sensory organs, the sea cucumber boasts about the same mental capacity as the food for which it is named. Nevertheless, the cuke serves as vital part of the oceanic ecosystem, as it recycles nutrients and breaks down detritus that comes its way. Unlike the actual cucumber, the sea cuke’s collagen levels allow it to make some pretty kooky maneuvers: if the sea cucumber needs to wedge itself into a tiny crevice, the collagen will loosen and the sea cucumber will effectively liquify itself to seep into its desired locale.

THE GOBLIN SHARK

goblin-shark

Deemed by some scientists as a “living fossil” and overshadowed by its flashy counterparts, the goblin shark leads a relatively mysterious existence deep below the ocean blue. The only extant survivor of a 125 million-year old family of sharks, the goblin is truly unique…and ugly. Apart from its most salient features (re: its long, flattened snout and protruding jaws), the goblin is relatively unremarkable. Given its flabbiness, most scientists speculate that the goblin shark is sluggish and relatively inactive. It’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see a goblin shark in your lifetime; when one was brought to an aquarium in Japan, it died soon after.

THE ANGLER FISH

angler-fish-bright

The angler fish is perhaps one of the most fascinating and bizarre sea creatures known to man. Not only known for their wily predation techniques (re: having a spine that grows its own fleshy mass that the angler can wiggle about so that it resembles prey, and then devouring its soon-to-be predators in one fell swoop) but also for its mating habits. When scientists first discovered the angler, they noticed that almost all of them were female…and that these specimens had what appeared to be some sort of parasitic growth attached to their lower parts. Turns out that those “parasites” were actually just greatly reduced male angler fish, whose puny size renders their sole objective in life to finding and mating with a female. Once they do find a female partner, the male anglers quickly bite into the female’s skin and thus fuses them together. From this point on, the male’s life literally depends on its female host, as they share a circulatory system. When the female is ready to mate, he pays his dues by providing her with sperm on the spot.

 

 

 

Published in Uncategorized

 

 

 

 

 

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