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Science

New Data on Dragonfly Migration

"Each spring and fall, large dragonflies called green darners fly across North America. A green darner can travel as far as 900 miles on its two-inch wings, fluttering from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. They are some of the most abundant dragonflies on the continent — but few people notice this mass migration." Washington Post reporter Ben Guarino covers...

Autumn Migrations

Two great migrations happen every autumn in Nova Scotia: “The first consists of hundreds of Atlantic salmon, returning to their natal river to spawn after a year, or sometimes longer, spent in the ocean. […] The other is made up of legions of anglers from all over the world who flock to the Margaree in the hopes of connecting with one of those Atlantic...

Feelings of Fish

Fish lack the required brain structure to feel pain, reasons a recent article in the journal Animal Sentience by Brian Key, developmental neurobiology professor at the University of Queensland. However, the blow-back to Key’s research has been immense. “The broad consensus from the scientific community is that fish most likely feel pain,” says Culum...

NPR Interviews Jonathan Balcombe: "What Fish Know"

Jonathan Balcombe argues fish have a conscious awareness, also called “sentience,” and new research reveals some species can even recognize individual humans. Balcombe, author of the recently released book “What a Fish Knows,” talks with Terry Gross on Fresh Air. Listen to the interview via NPR.

Ice Fish

An amazing discovery was recently made off the Ross Ice Shelf near the coast of Antarctica: a species of fish living beneath 740 meters of ice. The expedition funded by the National Science Foundation was investigating the history and long-term stability of the glacier the Whillans Ice Stream when they noticed the fish. Via Scientific American.

Recovering from "The Bends"

Known to divers as “the bends,” a condition called barotrauma also affects deepwater fish, occurring when the fish is brought from deep water to the surface too quickly. Chris Lowe, a marine scientist at California State, Long Beach, discovered that the mortality rate of fish with barotrauma is drastically lowered when they are released with descending...

New Trout in Turkey

Researchers at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University have discovered a new trout species in Turkey. The newly described Salmo kottelati is distinct in its parr marks and mouth gape. The research methods and discovery can be read in a recent paper published in the journal ZooKeys. Via ScienceDaily.

How Otoliths Are Used In Fish Aging

To determine the age of a fish, biologists use a part of the inner ear called otoliths, which develop rings in similar manner to a tree. A recent article on The Fishing Wire explains how the data is collected and used to manage fisheries.

When Fish Shout

The Lombard effect, which correlates a rise in vocal level to the proximity of surroundings, translates to other species as well. A recent paper published in Behavioral Ecology, examines how different fish species are coping with and communicating above human-caused noise. Via The New Yorker.

Birds Placed in Drunk Tanks

In one of the most unusual nature stories of the year, the National Post reports that "after thousands of years of eating an ethanol-heavy diet, evolution long-ago killed off all the lightweights in the waxwing population, resulting in a bird with an unusually robust ability to hold its liquor."  Turns out that birds and other mammals are commonly...