Tag Archives: science

Latest Posts

Reef Threads Podcast #197

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #197

It’s a new week and time for a new podcast. This week we talk about Sanjay’s notification trick, Reefs.com, blogs, the MACNA banquet, Archerfish skill, and skeptical animal selection. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine More: Reef Threads Podcast #197

More:

Posted in Corals, Equipment, Fish, MACNA, Opinion, Photography, Podcast, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Endangered Bumphead Gets Much Needed Attention

Ever wonder where that vividly white sand on the beach comes from? Underwater giants produce the sand themselves through biological methods of metabolism. Yep thats right its technically fish poop. One of the largest producers of sand is the Parrotfish which ingests calcium carbonate skeletons of coral (sometimes with living polyps) and excretes them back out in the form of tiny sand grains that wash up onto beaches. These fish are the topic of a recent study highlighting how the both the positive and negative influences of such endangered species can be key factors in the success of an ecosystem. Bumphead Stiefel Endangered Bumphead Gets Much Needed Attention

Douglas McCauly of the University at Santa Barbara explains his time in the field for this study: “We actually swam alongside Bumphead Parrotfish for close to six hours at a time, taking detailed data on what they ate and where they went. These large parrotfish crunch off entire pieces of reef and audibly grind them up into sand in their pharyngeal mill — specialized teeth in the back of their throat. You know Bumpheads are near when you begin noticing branches lopped off stony corals and golf-like divot scars marking the reef.

bite ENH Endangered Bumphead Gets Much Needed Attention“Most species do things to ecosystems that we would construe as both positive and negative. This viewpoint is ecologically misleading,” he states. “Endangered species are no different from their more abundant counterparts.” This dichotomy of influence is why McCauly and his team are pushing for a higher level of protection for endangered and threatened species adding: “We can, in fact, strengthen the integrity of the field of conservation biology by being rigidly objective about the observations we make in nature — even if this means reporting occasionally that rare species can damage ecosystems,” he added. “If anything, better understanding the full complement of ways that at-risk species use and affect their environment empowers us to more effectively protect them.” Read more here.… More:

Posted in Conservation, Corals, Fish, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Survival of the Fattest and Most Flexible Corals Amidst Climate Change

O faveolata polyps.3624d4b5 Survival of the Fattest and Most Flexible Corals Amidst Climate Change
Coral reefs are theorized to annual undergo a “bleaching” event in where corals die off as a result of ecological changes. As climate change rears its ugly head those impacts are slowly becoming a human issue. Researchers from Ohio State University have found that while some corals are whipped clean in a bleaching event others are adapting, along with their symbiotic partners, to the changes and becoming less susceptible to environmental extremes. “We found that some coral are able to acclimatize to annual bleaching, while others actually become more susceptible to it over time,” said 
Andréa Grottoli, professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Ohio State. She and her team found that by keeping a large fat/energy reserve in the cells of zooxanthellae, corals can acclimatize, and thus recover, from a bleaching even much more easily than those that do not.

Grottoli concludes stating: “We found that the research on single bleaching events is misleading. Species that we think are resilient to temperature stress are actually susceptible and vice versa when stressed annually. We’re actually a bit optimistic, because we showed that there’s acclimation in a one-year window, that it’s possible. In two of our three coral species, we have recovery in six weeks. The paths they took to recovery are different, but they both got there.” Read more here!… More:

Posted in Conservation, Corals, Opinion, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Boat Noise a Culprit for Decline of Sea Hare

Scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter and the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) CRIOBE in France have long understood that artificial marine noise can affect the ecology of marine life, but they now understand that propeller noise from boats can also affect change in the life cycle of one of the most important reef inhabitants. Lead author Sophie Nedelec, a PhD researcher at the University of Bristol and EPHE had this to offer: “Traffic noise is now one of the most widespread global pollutants. If the reproductive output of vulnerable species is reduced, we could be changing communities and losing vital ecological functions. This species is particularly important because it eats a toxic alga that affects recruitment of fish to coral reefs.” 

seahare article Boat Noise a Culprit for Decline of Sea Hare

Researchers found that when exposed to anthropogenic noises throughout gestation, some of the Stylocheilus striates eggs studied for this experiment were found to be underdeveloped and in some cases actually perished as a result. Co-author, Dr Steve Simpson, a marine biologist and senior lecturer at the University of Exeter, said: “Boat noise may cause stress or physically disrupt cells during development, affecting chances of survival. Since one in five people in the world rely on marine animals as a major source of protein, regulating traffic noise in important fisheries areas could help marine communities and the people that depend on them.” Read more here.More:

Posted in Conservation, Invertebrates, Science, Too Cute, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And This, Ladies and Gents, Is Why You Must Properly Chew Your Sea Lion Snacks

BsxvLA4IUAE pza 300x225 And This, Ladies and Gents, Is Why You Must Properly Chew Your Sea Lion SnacksA hungry, hungry Great White off the coast of Australia had the (last) meal of a lifetime when he failed to fully chew his catch and instead attempted to swallow the large aquatic mammal. Stunned beachgoers watched in horror as the 13-foot apex predator washed ashore after hours of struggling trying to dislodge the obstruction. Well, I’m adding this to my list of “Ways I Hope I Never Die”. I suggest you all do the same – and CHEW, people! Article via NBC News can be found here.… More:

Posted in Science | Leave a comment

“Shocking” Not So Shocking Findings About The Lion

 145467176 custom 6bb2c4618245b95a3606be8b2aa5e916c5824b7b s3 c851 Shocking Not So Shocking Findings About The Lion
Today’s story comes to us courtesy of Charles Smith! Thanks for your submission, sir, I hope we see more of you in the future.

“National Public Radio recently published the following article to their website, about a young scientist’s experiment exposing lionfish to decreasing levels of salinity:

Sixth Grader’s Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists

Shocked! Just shocked!

Meanwhile, aquarium fish keepers have known about this for decades. It’s called hypo-salinity, and it’s an important part of the quarantine procedure. Fish can survive at low salinity; invertebrates cannot. Putting marine fish in low salinity rids them of … More:

Posted in Fish, Science | Leave a comment

How Ocean Rider Is Fighting to Save Seahorses

seahorse in hand Otávio Nogueira cc 1200x694 How Ocean Rider Is Fighting to Save Seahorses
Ocean Rider, as part of their Seahorse Hawaii Foundation efforts, announced late last year that it was going to be reintroducing seahorses back into the wild in a few locations. On the surface, this sounds like a great step towards conservation. Reintroduction programs are very popular with the public, and who wouldn’t want seahorses reestablished in the wild? Unfortunately, these types of reintroduction programs have limited success, and can actually do more harm than good. It is true that seahorses are at risk from overfishing. But they haven’t disappeared from the wild, making programs to reestablish them moot. Reintroduction programs are generally only beneficial in places that a species has been wiped out completely, and only when the conditions that caused their decline are reversed. Seahorses are still found all over the world, no single species lost from it’s native range. Nor are any critically endangered, for that matter. The sad truth is that the Seahorse Hawaii Foundation’s reintroduction program is ill-advised and unnecessary, and potentially harmful. More: How Ocean Rider Is Fighting to Save Seahorses, and Why That Might Be A Terrible IdeaMore:

Posted in Conservation, Fish, Science, Seahorses | Leave a comment

Abandoned Mall Overrun with Fish

a43fFish Abandoned Shopping Mall Abandoned Mall Overrun with Fish
Have you ever watched one of those shows on one of the “science” channels that shows how the Earth would look if humans vanished? More often than not, the shows dictate how nature would take back the concrete jungles, with buildings becoming overgrown with plant life and eventually disappearing into the ever growing greenery. Most of these programs are sensationalized beyond belief, but if you want a glimpse at a real life example, there’s a mall in Thailand that has become flooded and is now home to thousands of fish. According to The Verge, the New World shopping mall in Bangkok was abandoned in 1999 after a fire tore through its facilities. It flooded with several feet if water, inviting all sorts of aquatic wildlife into its domain. Since the fire, and subsequent floods, thousands of koi and catfish have taken up residence in the mall, making for some gaining sights. According to rumor, the fish were intentionally introduced, which comes as no surprise seeing as how people seem to do that quite often. MORE: Abandoned Mall Overrun with FishMore:

Posted in Fish, Science | Leave a comment

Reefs.com is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.