The proliferation of pits and ponds created in recent years by miners digging for gold in Peru's Amazon has altered the landscape and amplified the risk of mercury poisoning, a new study shows. In some watersheds, there's been a 670% increase in land area covered by abandoned mining pits that have filled in with water. Low-oxygen conditions in these ponds accelerate the conversion of submerged mercury, a leftover from the mining, into highly toxic methylmercury.
A collaboration between researchers from Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that small, community-based reserves in Thailand's Salween River Basin are serving as critical refuges for fish diversity in a region whose subsistence fisheries have suffered from decades of overharvesting.
Freshwater fish reserves are extraordinarily successful at protecting multiple species of fish, a new study of a network of community-based reserves in Thailand has found. Aaron Koning, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Nevada, Reno's Global Water Center, spent seven years studying a network of freshwater protected areas (fish reserves) that communities established in one branch of the Salween River Basin in northern Thailand.
An international team of scientists, spanning 45 institutions in 17 countries, has called for a dedicated decade-long programme of research to greatly advance discovery in the deep ocean.
Waste fishing gear in the River Ganges poses a threat to wildlife including otters, turtles and dolphins, new research shows.
The Loricifera is a microscopic, sediment-dwelling marine invertebrate, with a head covered in over 200 spines and an abdomen with a protective shell - known as a lorica. Since it was first discovered in 1983, just under 40 species have been written about. Now, that number is one more thanks to a group of scientists who reported on a new genus and species of Loricifera.
Couinter-intuitively, small marine animals don't use their limbs or propulsors to push themselves through the water while swimming. Instead, their appendages create negative pressure behind them that pulls the animal through the water, scientists from the Marine Biological Laboratory report.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University embarked on an underwater journey to solve a mystery: Why did sponges of the Agelas oroides species, which used to be common in the shallow waters along the Mediterranean coast of Israel, disappear? The researchers believe that the main reason for the disappearance of the sponges was the rise in seawater temperatures during the summer months, which in the past 60 years have risen by about 3°C (37°F).
New evidence indicates that dolphins are able to consciously slow down their heart rates when preparing to dive, and can even adjust their heart rates according to the length of their intended dive. This allows them to conserve oxygen and adjust their body to the changing pressure as they dive, therefore avoiding issues such as "the bends".
The largest aggregation of fishes ever recorded in the abyssal deep sea was discovered by a team of oceanographers during an expedition in the Clarion Clipperton Zone. Their findings were published recently in Deep-Sea Research.