like the ones shown to the left, form schools to avoid predators. Photo by Reuters.
A Pink Dolphin
swims along side a normal Dolphin in Calcasieu Lake, Louisiana.
Photo by Capt. Erik Rue, Calcasieu Charter Service.
like the one shown,
have been observed stalking fish species with similar color patterns to surprise their prey. Photo by Commander William Harrigan, NOAA Corps.
Despite their fearsome reputation, piranhas are wimps that gather in large shoals to protect themselves
from predators, scientists said on Monday.
Rather than aggressive
killers, research shows piranhas are omnivorous scavengers, eating mainly fish, plants and insects, Anne Magurran of
Scotland's University of St Andrews said. "Previously it was thought piranhas shoaled as it enabled them to form a
cooperative hunting group. However, we have found that it is primarily a defensive behavior," she said. Piranhas face
constant attack from predators including river dolphins, caiman -- a relative of the crocodile -- and bigger fish, such
as the Giant Piracucu. "Their cautious behavior is crucial to avoid being eaten," Magurran said. Click
Special thanks to Craig from Brisbane, Australia, for the link to this story.
A charter-boat captain from Lake Charles, La., photographed a rare pink dolphin a couple of
weeks ago in Calcasieu Lake, an estuary just north of the Gulf of Mexico in southwestern Louisiana. According to
Calcasieu Charter Service's Web site, Capt. Erik Rue was on the lake June 24 with fishing customers when five dolphins
came into view — four normal-looking gray ones, and a bright pink one that appeared to be an adolescent. "It appears to
be an uncanny freak of nature, an albino dolphin, with reddish eyes and glossy pink skin," the Web site reads. "It is
small in comparison to the others it is traveling with and appears to be a youngster traveling with mama." Click
Cornell researchers have discovered that in the battle of the sexes, African electric fish couples not
only use specific electrical signals to court but also engage in a sort of dueling "electric duet."
The discovery of interconnected lakes beneath kilometers of ice in Antarctica could be one of the most
important scientific finds in recent years, but proper procedures need to be established before investigation begins,
says a Texas A&M University scientist who is a leader in the research efforts. Click
Recent research provides evidence that the shape and size of cichlid brains is strongly
influenced by environmental complexity and social interactions among conspecifics.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation, Great
Basin Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club filed a petition today to protect the least chub,
a rare fish species found only in Utah, as a threatened or endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The least chub has been reduced to just six fragile wild populations, three of which occur in the Snake Valley, where
planned pumping of water for runaway growth in Las Vegas is a serious threat to the tiny fish’s survival. Click
A team of researchers from McGill University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
(STRI) has provided the first example of how colour patterns on a coral reef fish species can drive its evolution into
many distinct species. The researchers looked at feeding and mating behaviours based on colour patterns to explain
the emergence of several species of hamlet fish (genus Hypoplectrus). Predatory Hypoplectrus fish were observed tracking
other non-predatory fish species with similar colour patterns to surprise their prey, which are usually not afraid of
non-predatory fish species. Click
Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have discovered a population of the
endangered desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius)in constructed ponds along the southeastern shore of the
Salton Sea, in south-central California.
Preliminary estimates of more than 1,000 pupfish will need to be evaluated by a detailed survey that will be conducted
as soon as the appropriate permits are obtained. Dr. Douglas Barnum, scientist with the USGS Salton Sea Science Office,
called the discovery a "scientific windfall" that will provide a unique opportunity to learn more about this endangered
species. Dr. Michael Saiki, fisheries biologist with the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center's Dixon Duty Station
noted, "What's significant about this discovery is the large number of pupfish we are seeing!" Click
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