Baby Manta Ray
the world's first to be born in captivity was pronounced dead Thursday morning. Picture credit: AP Photo.
a very common coral found in Hawaii, with an invasive sponge. Picture credit: Mark Hatay, San Diego State University
A baby giant manta ray -- claimed to be the first in the world to be born in captivity --
died at a Japanese aquarium Thursday after being abused by its father, its Japanese keepers said. The female baby manta
was born Saturday at southern Japan's Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, more than a year after its parents mated. Aquarium
officials said it was the first giant manta born in captivity. The baby manta, which was 1.9 meters (just over 6 feet)
wide, was pronounced dead Thursday morning, the aquarium said in a statement. "To our greatest regret, (the baby) didn't
last very long, despite our meticulous care," it said. Keepers believe the baby died of bruises and cuts apparently
caused by its abusive father, which constantly chased after the baby and often slammed into it, the aquarium said. The
reason for the father's violence was not immediately known, and the cause of the baby's death was still being
investigated, the aquarium said. It said the baby left behind valuable scientific information about its parents' mating,
the mother's pregnancy and its birth, revealing some previously unknown facts about manta rays. Okinawa is about 1,600
kilometers (1,000 miles) southwest of Tokyo. Click
WHEN playing the game of love, it is a given that any amorous male is going to show off his
best side to get the girl. But new research suggests that even the humble guppy fish puts its best fin forward when it
comes to winning a mate. A study published yesterday by researchers at the University of Toronto has revealed that the
male guppy - Poecilia reticulata - is able to recognise its best side and display it to female fish. While animals,
birds and fish are known to have courtship rituals - often quite involved ones - the finding is significant as it
suggests even fish have the ability to manipulate what was previously thought to be instinctive behaviour. Click
here to read the original story. Special
thanks to Ben from Oregon for the link to this story.
Only, for corals, a herpes virus infection isn’t just annoying. It can be lethal,
and it and other diseases are possibly a big factor in the deaths of coral reefs that humans are causing throughout the
world’s oceans, new research shows. Scientists have known for years that humans are killing corals indirectly and
directly through global warming, overfishing and pollution. Many reefs off populous coasts have been decimated, while
those near uninhabited areas are often thriving. “For some reason, when you put people next to reefs, they die,” said
microbiologist Forest Rohwer of San Diego State University at a recent symposium at the American Museum of
Natural History here. Click here
The Seattle Aquarium offers visitors a whole new way to see Puget Sound beginning Friday, as it opens its
newly remodeled Pier 59 entrance and the spectacular Window on Washington Waters.
Window on Washington is a
120,000-gallon seawater tank designed to mimic what divers see in Neah Bay. In fact, interpretive divers will take
visitors on an underwater exploration of the tank three times daily. The 17-feet-high by 39-feet-long acrylic window
gives viewers a peek into waters most never see. Hundreds of local fish -- including coho salmon, several species of
rockfish, Red Irish Lords, sea stars, sea cucumbers, anemones and many other underwater creatures -- already have taken
up residence in the tank behind the 55,000-pound acrylic window. Seawater is piped straight in from Puget Sound at the
rate of 1,600 gallons a minute, keeping the tank at about 50 degrees. "It'll be exciting and entertaining to everybody,
but also allow us to connect them better to Puget Sound, which is our mission," says aquarium director John Braden. "I
think they'll like it because it's an accurate representation of Neah Bay." Click
New technology makes aquarium viewing a reality in the hospital emergency waiting room. In a
collaborative effort between the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, a video camera has
been installed in the Passages of the Deep exhibit. It's feeding live images of the Aquarium to the hospital's emergency
department waiting room. The camera uses new technology to produce real-time video images using an embedded Mpeg4
encoder. Aquariums are known to have a calming effect on people, which is important in an emergency waiting room of a
hospital, where people may be in crisis. Fish aquariums have proven relaxation effects on people who are in stressful
waiting situations, whereas televisions have been proven to have the opposite effect. Click
You may know them as ili mane'o, blue bubbles or even blue sails but their common name is Portuguese
man-of-war. They're small, but Waikiki Aquarium Director Andrew Rossiter said they can pack quite a punch. "The sting is
extraordinarily painful," he said. "The toxin is about 75 percent as strong as a cobra so it packs a big punch, but
luckily it comes in a small dose." Andrew Espinda learned about the creatures firsthand Monday. The Seattle native was
stung while skim boarding. "I came up here to where our lounge chair was and it really started to hurt a couple of
minutes into it," he said. Common reactions to the stings include burning, redness and long welt lines. But those
particularly allergic to the venom may have difficulty breathing and could even go into cardiac arrest. "If you feel
shivery, if you have a fever, if you feel nausea, get to a hospital," said Rossiter. Click
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