Archive for the 'Fish' category

Salmon, scent and going home again

Dead salmon in spawning season, Oregon state (U.S. Pacific Northwest).

Image: Pete Forsyth, 9 November 2007.
This image is licensed under a creative commons license.

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.org

On a cool autumn afternoon, I stepped out of my friend's house and witnessed a phenomenon of nature I had never seen before. In a stream flowing through the back yard, I saw the bodies of spawning coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, gleaming blood-red in the bright sunlight. These fish battered themselves mercilessly against the stream bed, digging shallow nests in the gravel where they were depositing their eggs. Against enormous odds, they had survived the rigors of ocean life, and had returned to their birthplace to spawn.

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TEDTalks: Carl Safina: The Oil Spill's Unseen Culprits, Victims

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The Gulf oil spill dwarfs comprehension, but we know this much: it's bad. Carl Safina scrapes out the facts in this blood-boiling cross-examination, arguing that the consequences will stretch far beyond the Gulf -- and many so-called solutions are making the situation worse.

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Close Encounter with a Whale Shark in the Gulf of Mexico

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Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus, feeding in the Gulf of Mexico.
Image: Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Whale Shark Research.

Despite being the largest fish species in the world, measuring over 40 feet in length and 35 tons in weight, whale sharks are quite mysterious. We know they are plankton filter feeders, and we recently learned that we can identify individuals by the pattern of dots and bars on their bodies, but otherwise, we know very little about these animals. For example, in just 1996, we learned that these sharks are ovoviviparous (their young grow in egg sacs inside the body but are born live) after capturing a female pregnant with 300 pups. But we still know almost nothing about them, including their population size. So to learn more about them, researchers are attaching satellite tags to whale sharks and taking a tiny tissue sample for DNA work. This video shows this process as it occurred with one whale shark feeding at the surface of the water in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Evolution in Action by AMNH

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This video tells the story of speciation in Central Africa's roiling, rapid Lower Congo River. This river is home to an extraordinary assortment of fish -- many truly bizarre. This new video by Science Bulletins, the American Museum of Natural History's current-science video program, features Museum scientists on a quest to understand why so many species have evolved here. Follow Curator of Ichthyology Melanie Stiassny and her team as they search the Lower Congo River's mysterious depths for an evolutionary driver.

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Inside the Collections: Ichthyology at AMNH

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This video is the first of a new series of behind-the-scenes looks at the collections at the American Museum of Natural History. In this video, Melanie Stiassny, Axelrod Research Curator in the Department of Ichthyology, takes us through the Museum's vast collection of fishes.

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Gulf Oil Spill Disaster: Spawn of the Living Dead for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna?

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An adult Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus.

A recently published study, intended to provide data to commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico so they maximize their catch of Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares, whilst avoiding bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct.

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Care for Some Crude With Your Sushi?

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The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the worst environmental disaster the US has faced. Toxic oil from the Deepwater Horizon well threatens the region's sensitive shorelines and the nesting birds along the Louisiana coast. But there's another species at serious risk: the Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus. This disturbing video tells you more about their plight, and how this oil spill could be the last straw that pushes them over the edge ...

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TEDTalks: Brian Skerry Reveals Ocean's Glory -- and Horror

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Professional photographer Brian Skerry shoots life above and below the waves -- as he puts it, both the horror and the magic of the ocean. Sharing amazing, intimate shots of undersea creatures, he shows how powerful images can help make change.

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Bait Ball Feast

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In late summer, the plankton bloom is at its height. Vast shoals of herring gather to feed on it, diving birds round the fish up into a bait ball.

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Octopus versus Fish

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A scuba diver captured this interesting footage of a group of Chinaman Leatherjacket fish attacking and killing an Octopus, in Jeris Bay, Australia, in this is an amazing display of animal behavior.

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