Researchers identify genes that help trout find their way home. Duke Today, April 26, 2017. In the spring when water temperatures start to rise, rainbow trout that have spent several years at sea traveling hundreds of miles from home manage, without maps or GPS, to find their way back to the rivers and streams where they were born for spawning. Researchers have identified genes that enable the fish to perform this extraordinary homing feat with help from Earth’s magnetic field. Picked up by the Daily Mail, Nature, The Herald-Sun, IFLScience and the News & Observer.
In the ocean, clever camouflage beats super sight. Duke Today, Aug. 23, 2016. Some fish blend seamlessly into their watery surroundings with help from their silvery reflective skin. Researchers have long assumed that squid, shrimp and other ocean animals could see through this disguise, thanks to an ability to detect a property of light — called polarization — that humans can’t see. But a new study finds that not even polarization vision helps animals spot silvery fish from afar. Picked up by Cosmos.
Synchronized swimming: patrolling for pollution with robotic fish. Scientific American Guest Blog, September 19, 2011. In landlocked East Lansing, Michigan, you’re unlikely to swim with dolphins. But you can swim with robotic fish, thanks to a team of scientists who are developing underwater robots that swim in schools to monitor water quality.
Evolution drives many plants and animals to be bigger, faster. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, March 7, 2011. For the vast majority of plants and animals, the ‘bigger is better’ view of evolution may not be far off the mark, says a new study of natural selection.
Freshwater fish at the top of the food chain evolve more slowly. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, August 28, 2009. Once fish evolve the size and speed needed to become top predators, natural selection keeps them in an evolutionary holding pattern, a new study finds.
New fossil tells how piranhas got their teeth. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, June 25, 2009. How did piranhas — the legendary freshwater fish with the razor bite — get their telltale teeth? An international team of researchers uncover a jawbone that sheds some light on the bite. Picked up by Science Magazine, National Geographic News, Fox News, US News and World Report, MSNBC, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.