The wild Chinese sturgeon is at risk of extinction, state media reported, after none of the rare fish were detected reproducing naturally in the polluted and crowded Yangtze river last year.
One of the world’s oldest living species, the wild Chinese sturgeon are thought to have existed for more than 140 million years but have seen their numbers crash as China’s economic boom brings with it pollution, dams and boat traffic along the world’s third-longest river.
For the first time since researchers began keeping records 32 years ago, there was no natural reproduction of wild Chinese sturgeon in 2013, according to a report published by the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences.
No eggs were found to have been laid by wild sturgeons in an area in central China’s Hubei province, and no young sturgeons were found swimming along the Yangtze toward the sea in August, the month when they typically do so.
"No natural reproduction means that the sturgeons would not expand its population and without protection, they might risk extinction," Wei Qiwei, an investigator with the academy, told China’s official Xinhua news agency on Saturday.
The fish is classed as “critically endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s “Red List” of threatened species, just one level ahead of “extinct in the wild”.
Only around 100 of the sturgeon remain, Wei said, compared with several thousand in the 1980s.
Chinese authorities have built dozens of dams—including the world’s largest, the Three Gorges—along the Yangtze river, which campaigners say have led to environmental degradation and disrupted the habitats of a range of endangered species.
Many sturgeon have also been killed, injured by ship propellers or after becoming tangled in fishermen’s nets.
Animal populations in many of China’s ecosystems have plummeted during the country’s decades of development and urbanisation, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a 2012 study.
According to findings compiled by WWF from various sources, the Yangtze river dolphin population crashed by 99.4 percent from 1980 to 2006, while that of the Chinese alligator fell by 97 percent from 1955 to 2010.
Grüner See (Green Lake) is a lake in Styria, Austria. In the winter you’ll find crisp, tranquil grasslands and lake that is only about 3 to 6 feet deep. However, during the spring, when the temperature rises and the snow melts, the basin of land below the mountains fills with water. The lake reaches its maximum depth of around 40 feet from mid-May to June and is claimed to look the most beautiful at this time.
Here’s a test:
I’m holding a baby in one hand and a petri dish holding a fetus in the other.
I’m going to drop one. You chose which.
If you really truly believe a fetus is the same thing as a baby, it should be impossible for you to decide. You should have to flip a coin, that’s how impossible the decision should be.
Shot in the dark, you saved the baby.
Because you’re aware there’s a difference.
Now admit it
Irukandji jellyfish are small and extremely venomous jellyfish that inhabit marine waters of Australia. But according to a National Geographic documentary on jellyfish the species has been found in waters as far north as the British Isles, Japan, and the Floridacoast of the United States. They are able to fire their stingers into their victim, causing symptoms collectively known as Irukandji syndrome. The Irukandji syndrome is produced by a small amount of venom and induces excruciating muscle cramps in the arms and legs, severe pain in the back and kidneys, a burning sensation of the skin and face, headaches, nausea, restlessness, sweating, vomiting, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and psychological phenomena such as the feeling of impending doom. The symptoms last from hours to weeks, and victims usually require hospitalisation. The size of the Irukandji jellyfish is roughly a cubic centimetre (1 cm3). There are 4 known species of Irukandji. photo credits: wikipedia, deadlylist, life-sea
Our Stumpy Cuttlefish are Laying Eggs!
There’s a lot going on with the stumpy cuttlefish in our Tentacles exhibit. Males are putting on their formal wear, turning jet black and rippling their fins, trying to attract females. The courtship efforts have not been in vain—you can clearly see black clusters of eggs on exhibit, which “look like dark grapes,” according to Aquarist Bret Grasse. Scientists think that the eggs are black because the female wraps them in a bit of ink, making them less palatable to predators.
“They’re laying them on exhibit every day,” says Bret. The “stumpies”—like most cuttlefish on exhibit—are cultivated right here at the Aquarium, reducing the need to collect in the wild. We also occasionally donate babies to other accredited institutions.
Stumpy cuttlefish (Sepia bandensis) is a squat species that forages along the seafloor. It may be small, but it’s a mighty hunter. It hunkers down among rocks, coral, sand and algae, blending with its environment, then ambushes prey. Its native range is from Malaysia to the Philippines.