By Emily ElertPosted 08.17.2012 at 11:58 am 8 Comments
At the Florida Museum of Natural History, filling up two five-drawer file cabinets are 2700 detailed accounts of shark attacks that collectively make up what's called the International Shark Attack File. The name of the database might be somewhat misleading—two recentstories suggest that shark-human interactions should be referred to as "incidents" rather than "attacks." But whether we think of them as vicious, violent killers or big, curious fish navigating cloudy waters, one thing is clear from the Shark Attack File: Sharks bite more people in U.S. waters than anywhere else in the world.
By Emily ElertPosted 06.08.2012 at 1:34 pm 5 Comments
Last August, while diving to conduct a fish census on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, marine ecologist Daniela Ceccarelli spotted the ghostly white skin of a brown-banded bamboo shark. When she swam in for a closer look, she saw that the fish’s head had disappeared—into the mouth of another shark.
By Stephanie WarrenPosted 05.24.2012 at 10:08 am 4 Comments
The problem: Although scientists have been studying deep-sea animals since the 1860s, they still don't know much about them. That's in large part because the fish, octopuses and other creatures that thrive at the bottom of the ocean die quickly at the surface. In some cases, the lower pressure and higher temperature melt the lipids in their cell membranes. Even hardier animals, such as crabs, can survive at sea level for no more than a few weeks.
When Popular Science was acquired by Sweden's Bonnier Corporation in 2007, some people thought we'd be eating surströmming, the legendary Scandinavian delicacy of fish left to ferment in cans till the cans almost burst, every day. But in fact, the famously putrid herring has been utterly absent from these shores -- until today, when Dave Arnold invited me to come crack open a (ominously bulging) can of it that he'd smuggled back from Sweden. Scientific curiosity demanded that I investigate.
It's pretty difficult to track the movements of millions of salmon. Here's how
By Katharine GammonPosted 04.09.2012 at 2:15 pm 0 Comments
At the turn of the 19th century, up to 16 million salmon and steelhead trout migrated up the waterways of the Columbia River Basin to spawn. Today, about one million salmon and an equal number of steelhead return, in large part because the rivers have been dammed. When fish swim from their hatching grounds to the ocean, they learn the route and return by the same course years later. If a dam blocks it, the run discontinues. Read more about delicious salmon here.
Fish specials at your local restaurant may soon come with an extra guarantee of quality and sustainability, as fishmongers start checking the DNA of their wares. The Food and Drug Administration approved DNA barcoding last month, and restaurants are planning to start using it to prove the provenance of their pricey fish, the AP reports.
Biologists have just discovered two new species of freshwater stingray in the Amazon rainforest, informally christening them "pancake stingrays" for their distinct IHOPian appearance (see below). Naturally, one of their first orders of business was to x-ray one of the specimens, the unearthly result you see above.