Over the past few weeks, there have been lots of great news stories about aquariums, fish and the ocean – too many to each get their own blog! Some are funny, some amazing, some sad. Here is a run-down of some of my favorites from the aquatic sphere.
Beluga to Reunite with Mariachi Band
This is one of the older stories, from the ancient history of August, but I am in love with the video that sparked it. A mariachi band was playing for a wedding at the Mystic Aquarium back in July and had a jam session with the aquarium’s resident Beluga, Juno. The aquarium reunited the band with its new fan at a cocktail party. The party is long gone, but that adorable video is still around!
This article details an interesting study by the Georgia Institute of Technology and covers subject matter that we see evidence of in reef aquariums on a regular basic – algae and coral growth. The study identifying molecules in the cells of macroalgaes that inhabit the growth of corals. While grazing fish may have at one time controlled this algae, decreases in fish populations in some areas allow the algae to grow largely unchecked to the point that young coral colonies can’t become established. While this article focuses on the coral reefs themselves, reef aquariums may experience the same problem if there is more light and nutrients feeding algae than the grazers in the aquarium can keep up with.
Russian girl drowns in fish tank
This is a sobering story for any home with small children and a warning for aquarists everywhere. This tragedy is a result of an aquarium resting on the floor and an unattended 1-year-old girl who fell into the aquarium. A reminder for all of us to be mindful of the safety of the children in our lives.
Lost Super Bowl ring returned 40 years later
An amazing story of lost and found that stretches from a Hawaiian beach to New York City! John Schmitt, a center on the 1969 New York Jets champion team, lost his ring while surfing in Waikiki in 1971. A lifeguard found the ring at some point and took it home to his wife. Years later, after the couple had past away in the 90’s, relatives found the ring in the estate and verified its authenticity. They contacted Schmitt, who is said to be making arrangements with them to have the ring returned.
Shipwrecks credited to Sir Francis Drake found near Panama
“If Jimmy Hoffa were a pirate, Pat Croce would have found his body by now.” So begins just one of many articles about this discovery. Basketball fans may know the name Pat Croce as a former 76ers president. History buffs like myself still haven’t gotten past the name Sir Francis Drake. Drake was a privateer (essentially a pirate with a permission slip from the government) for Queen Elizabeth I of England in the late 16th and early 17th century. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and was a maritime hero (or villain, if you were a 16th century Spaniard!). After Drake died of dysentery, his ships were scuttled by the crew – everything of value was removed and the ships were sank so they didn’t fall into enemy hands. Now two of those ships have been rediscovered and Croce is hoping to find Drake’s lead coffin next!
Three-eyed fish caught near power plant
No, this isn’t a recap of an old Simpsons episode about Bart and his fish Blinky. This fish was caught in Argentina and appears to have a third eye on the top of its head. We occasionally offer wolf fish similar to this guy at our store, but never any with an extra eye like this one! Maybe this extra eye came off of that Cyclop shark that was floating around in the news this past summer….
A study from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has revealed something that many aquarists already know – fish kept in environments too small for them become mean. Likely a result of their increased need to defend what little territory they have, the researchers compared cichlids in increasingly smaller habitats and have found that fish in the smaller aquariums are meaner and more aggressive than those in their natural environment. Yet another reason to research your choices and make sure you are giving them the care and space they need.
Professor trains goldfish to recognize objects
Way back in 2004, the Mythbusters television program “busted” the myth that goldfish only have a three second memory, a theory that has been put to test ever since. We have even sold a training “school” for goldfish at our store. In this latest research project from the Rochester Institute of Technology, a professor has taught a goldfish named Poseidon to recognize and tap on a circle for a bit of food. The professor hopes to apply this research to more object recognition studies with dolphins and river otters to better understand how animals view the world around them.
Underwater pyramids discovered in Japan
This link has some fascinating video of structures found off of an island near Okinawa, Japan. Researchers believe that these structures may be from a city that was flooded by a tsunami or other event 5,000 years ago, while others say that the structures are natural and made by currents and erosion. Take a look and see what you think!
Beluga image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Carquinyol