Bile Salts — Sea Lampreys’ Newest Scent of Seduction
New research reveals that bile salts, secreted from the liver and typically associated with digestive functions, are now being used as pheromones by sea lampreys. The researchers explain that the evolution of bile salts, from digestive aid to pheromone, is similar to the way perfume evolved in our society. Researchers hope to use this new information to better control sea lampreys which have caused problems for native silver lampreys in some areas.
Building a Better Fish Trap: WCS Reduces Fish Bycatch With Escape Gaps in Africa
Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Kenyan Marine and Fisheries Research Institute have collaborated to successfully create a selective fish trap that will greatly reduce fish bycatch. They added escape gaps to traditional African basket traps that allow smaller fish and non-target species to escape, while holding the target fish. The researchers say these new traps will help fishing communities increase profits while protecting vital marine resources.
Sponges Recycle Food for Reefs
Coral reefs thrive in clear, nutrient-free waters. Without nutrients, where does the food come from? According to researchers from the Netherlands, the answer is sponges. Sponges take organic matter and small particles that are released by coral and algae and recycle them into food that can be consumed by larger organisms. The discovery of the “sponge loop” could help better protect and conserve endangered coral reefs.
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.