Thirty Years Of Unique Data Reveal What's Really Killing Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are considered one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet and are dying at alarming rates around the world. Scientists attribute coral bleaching and ultimately massive coral death to a number of environmental stressors, in particular, warming water temperatures due to climate change. A study published in the international journal Marine Biology, reveals what’s really killing coral reefs. With 30 years of unique data from Looe Key Reef in the lower Florida Keys, researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and collaborators have discovered that the problem of coral bleaching is not just due to a warming planet, but also a planet that is simultaneously being enriched with reactive nitrogen from multiple sources. [Read More]

Why Are So Many Farmed Salmon Partially Deaf?

Researchers have found out the reason that so many farm-raised salmon are partially deaf, pointing to a deformity in their ears caused by accelerated growth in aquaculture. The findings raise significant welfare issues and may also explain the poor survival of farmed hatchlings in conservation programs. University of Melbourne scientists looked at salmon farmed in Norway, Chile, Scotland, Canada, and Australia and found the deformity was widespread. The study’s lead author, Tormey Reimer, a master’s graduate from the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne, says when they went looking for the cause of the deformity they found that the fastest-growing fish were three times more likely to be afflicted than the slowest, even at the same age. [Read More]

Ability To Rewrite Their Own RNA May Be Behind Octopus Intelligence

Octopuses are alien life among us. They are able to use tools, have three hearts, their arms contain 2/3 of the neurons in an octopuses body and almost have minds of their own, their blood is based on copper rather than iron, and is blue, and are thought to be the most intelligent invertebrates and an important example of advanced cognitive evolution in animals. They also have a special way of using their genes. [Read More]