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The ghost of Steve Irwin haunts reef?

Former Italian Navy diver Pino Termini of Naples claims to have seen the ghost of Steve Irwin while diving at Batt Reef in tropical North Queensland. Batt Reef is a coral reef off Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia and a part the Great Barrier Reef.

“As I started my dive I saw somebody and was surprised because I saw no other boats around”, Termini explains. “Then I noticed that the person had no oxygen tank or mask, the person swam towards me and I realised that it was

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Shark jumps into water slide

A 12+ year old female reef shark kept in an aquarium at the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas managed to jump out of its tank and onto a nearby water slide. She slid down the slide and into the swimming pool, where she was subjected to the chlorinated pool water. The aquarium staff immediately put her back in her own tank in an attempt to resuscitate her, but it was too late. The Atlantis Resort does not keep their sharks in chlorinated water; they use filtered water from the Atlantic Ocean since it is more similar to the natural environment of these animals.

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Three coral reefs discovered off the coast of Florida

A group of scientists from the Catalyst One expedition has discovered three previously unknown coral reefs 35 miles of the coast of Florida. The coral reefs consist mainly of Lophelia coral and are located at a depth of 450 metres (1475 feet).

Lophelia pertusa is a cold-water coral famous for its lack of zooxanthellae.

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Can fish feel pain?

Scientists from three different European countries – Norway, Belgium and the UK – are now launching a new research project where the aim is to find out if cods can feel pain or not.

“Most people agree that mammals and birds can feel pain, but people are less sure about fish,” says project leader Øyvind Aas-Hansen of NOFIMA, an aquaculture research institute whose headquarters are in Tromsø, Norway.

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New catfish, tetra and cichlid species

This post will introduce a number of new catfish species, a couple of tetras and an a few cichlid species.

Let’s start with the cichlid species. The species known as Apistogramma sp Mamore have been scientifically described by Wolfgang Staeck and Ingo Schindler and named A. erythrura. It is a small species and the largest speciemen that have been found so far was 30.8 mm SL. (just over 1.2 inch).

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Post Halloween catch-up

Sorry for the silence over Halloween. Posting will now hopefully return to normal with at least one post every or every other day. This first post will be somewhat of a link post catching up on some of the fishy news that happened last week.

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Seldom seen squid caught on tape by ROV

A ROV (remote operated vehicle) owned and operated by the oil company Shell have caught video of a very rare squid while filming a mile and a half (two and a half kilometers) underwater on the drilling site known as Perdido in the gulf of Mexico. The squid known as a Magnapinna squid has a unique look due to the fact that it has “elbows” on its arms. Little is known about these enigmatic squids that can grow to be between 5 to 23 feet (1.5 to 7 meters) long.

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Buy a fish, save a tree?

Wild-caught pets are often recommended against, since the harvest of wild caught specimen may deplete wild populations. In the Brazilian rainforest, the harvesting of popular aquarium species such as cardinal tetras have however helped prevent deforestation and made it possible for local residents to earn a living without resorting to logging, mining, cattle ranching, and slash-and-burn agriculture.

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Is hybridisation making corals less vulnerable to extinction?

Rare coral species may be saving themselves from extinction by hybridising with other coral species, says Australian scientist Zoe Richards. Richards and his colleagues have studied 14 rare[1] and eight common coral species of the genus Acropora in the Indo-Pacific.

In order to find out more about hybridisation among corals, the team did a phylogenetic analysis using the highly polymorphic single-copy nuclear Pax-C 46/47 intron and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region as markers.

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Oceanic ‘jelly balls’ may slow global warming

Vast amounts of creatures looking like jelly balls have begun to appear off the eastern coast of Australia, and researchers now suspect that these animals may help slow down global warming by moving carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the ocean floor.

The proper English name for this “jelly ball” being is salp. A salp is a barrel-shaped free-floating tunicate that moves around in the ocean by contracting and relaxing its gelatinous body….

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Multi-million dollar marine life contraband ring busted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

A six-month long investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) has led to the arrest of seven adults and one juvenile in Tampa. The arrested persons are believed to have been involved in various illegal activates concerning marine life, including catching protected sharks, sea horses, peppermint shrimp and bay scallops in Floridian waters, and exporting illegally obtained marine life to Europe. They are also suspected of having sold bait fish and bait shrimp as food for human consumption.

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Otothyrinae – New catfish subfamily created

A new subfamily has been created within the catfish family Loricariidae, the largest family of catfish and currently home to over 700 described species. The new subfamily has been named Otothyrinae and its members include the genera Corumbataia, Epactionotus, Eurycheilichthys, Hisonotus, Microlepidogaster, Otothyris, Otothyropsis, Parotocinclus, Pseudotothyris, and Schizolecis.

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Can bacteria be used to combat invasive mussels from Ukraine?

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is now carrying out tests in hope of finding out if bacteria can aid them in their struggle against invasive mussel species that are threatening to spread across the West’s waterways.

During the summer of 2008, a preliminary test was executed at Davis Dam on the Colorado River at Laughlin in Nevada.

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Local villager nurses damaged coral reef back to health on Sumatra

Thanks to the efforts of local resident Pak Dodent, coral destroyed around Sumatra by the 2004 tsunami is now making a remarkably recovery.

Dodent lives on the island of Pulau Wey off the north coast of Sumatra and the narrow channel between his small village Ibioh and a nearby island was particularly devastated by the enormous forces unleashed by the tsunami.

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Dams make no damn difference to salmon survival – or do they?

A study published in the online scientific journal PLoS Biology on October 27 with the provocative headline “Dams make no damn difference to salmon survival”[1] is now being questioned by a number of scientists, including several co-authors of the study.

According to the study, young fish running the gantlet of dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers did just as well as youngsters in an undammed river….

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