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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fishes don't like it hot

When seas get hot, fish get lost - March 07, 2008
Researchers examining Australian damselfish have found small fry with asymmetrical ear bones are less likely to make it back to their reef homes after a stint out at sea (research paper, press release). This could be because fish at sea listen for the sounds of home in order to navigate (see the BBC coverage for more on this angle).

Stress factors such as temperature and acidity will probably increase the number of fish with funny ears, they say. Increased acidity reduces the amount of calcium around for making ear bones, and having to regulate internal pH against changing water pH will also have a negative impact (Reuters, New Scientist).

As warmer and more acidic oceans are likely to result from global warming, more fish are going to be swimming around lost.

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