Friday, April 21, 2017

Why Just Kill Marine Life When You Can Make it Dissolve - Science

The title tells you straight up there is no good vibe in this one but the science brings what it will.  It's either this or some new metal which turns light into sausages and, man, I just don't care; Pink Floyd can do it with music.

Science Daily:  Canary in the kelp forest: Sea creature dissolves in today's warming, acidic waters

When raised in warm water and exposed to acidic water, bryozoans, honeycomb-shaped sea creatures, dissolved within two months, researchers observed.

Credit: Eric Sanford/UC Davis

- SD

Hat tip to one of my ex-hometowns for getting itself into the science news again.  UCD was the first stop in America for those Frasers.

The one-two punch of warming waters and ocean acidification is predisposing some marine animals to dissolving quickly under conditions already occurring off the Northern California coast, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

In the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, researchers at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory raised bryozoans, also known as "moss animals," in seawater tanks and exposed them to various levels of water temperature, food and acidity.

The scientists found that when grown in warmer waters and then exposed to acidity, the bryozoans quickly began to dissolve. Large portions of their skeletons disappeared in as little as two months.

"We thought there would be some thinning or reduced mass," said lead author Dan Swezey, a recent Ph.D. graduate in professor Eric Sanford's lab at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory. "But whole features just dissolved practically before our eyes."

- SD

At one time I fancied the idea of marine biology as a lifetime discipline and it reveals now it would have been as much science as a horror movie.  If you have the cojones to be the interested student, the article awaits.

Put yourself back to being a starry-eyed kid who wants to be a marine biologist so those young 'uns took out of UCD and found their marine biology dissolving before them.  What is this kid to think?

Usually when we heard someone express a dream for marine biology, the response would be something like suggestions to join the Peace Corps or, oh, I bet you want to be an astronaut too.  It wasn't typically taken as a serious pursuit in the early Sixties except for the ones who were really determined.

I wasn't; I just liked looking at them.  Studying them is interesting to me as well but once I learned of a guppy's gonopodium, the science diminished somewhat in interest.

Note:  the gonopodium is the guppy's penis and its size relative to the guppy's body size would make a horse fall down in tears.  (WIKI:  Guppy)

Mystery Lady, recently we talked and I couldn't remember something cool from within, say, twenty years.  It amused me to see I still remember the Guppy is Lebistes reticulatus so why does this stay in my head instead?  (larfs)

The Discus we were raising to the great envy of those who couldn't do it were genus Symphyosodon, I believe.  I can still remember every step of the breeding cycle almost minute-by-minute and it wouldn't surprise me if you can do it too.

Note:  that was just a little treat so these words can plague you as well (larfs).

A segue into The Story of Wilson and Aretha and the Blues Brothers brings a bit more of a cheerful end to this since Wilson and Aretha were the turquoise discus Mystery Lady and I were breeding.  This was high art or wizardry back at that time since not many could do it.  We succeeded by dumb luck since this was only our first try and we found a breeding pair immediately.  (WIKI:  Discus (fish))

The breeding process is charming and this ain't no disco; this ain't no party; those Discus don't do it downtown.  Noooo, those Discus do it on a rock ... one at a time.  They find just the right spot, usually on a rock or the glass of the aquarium, where the female will lay her eggs.  Then the male will make passes over them to fertilize them and the two of them will fan the eggs to keep them clean or whatever since they're highly-susceptible to infection.

Or they may eat them.  Sometimes that happens.

After a time, the fry hatch out and they're almost microscopic.   They immediately swim to the nearest parent and stay extremely close because they feed from a coating on their scales.

Or the parents eat them.

The parents alternate duty with feeding the chill'uns and the one who is tired of it will swim close to the other then swim quickly away.  The chill'uns have no idea what to do but spot the other then latch onto that one instead.

Or they get eaten.  It can happen at any time.

Assuming some miracle prevails and they do not die or get eaten then they will grow to independency and I think there were six which grew to a good size from that.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Blues Brothers.

In time it became clear that getting any more serious about breeding Discus would mean turning the house into a giant fish tank and that was a wee bit more than suburban living required.

There was a non-blog I wrote at the time called "SUGGEST" which ran on the UC mainframe in the Eighties and it couldn't have been a blog since they wouldn't be invented for another ten or fifteen years.  The story of Wilson and Aretha and the Blues Brothers played out in real-time and they had a huge fan club.  When one of them would get sick, there would be people rooting for recovery.  Come on, fish; you can make it.

Ed:  you have lived a wild life

I can't help myself.  Blogs and fish ... it's risky but someone has to do it.

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