Shark Flash Mobs, Big Old Fat Fecund Female Fish & Other Trending News Reads

The second-largest fish (after whale sharks) basking sharks are filter feeders and not a threat to humans.

SWARMS OF HUGE SHARKS DISCOVERED, BAFFLING EXPERTS   National Geographic   Scientists studying aerial photos to look for endangered whales have discovered massive aggregations of basking sharks, normally solitary filter feeders, off North America’s Atlantic coast. In an article published in the Journal of Fish Biology, NOAA researchers documented 10 sightings of large aggregations of basking sharks, including one of some 1,400 gathered off the coast of southern New England.

“MINI-ANTIBODIES DISCOVERED IN SHARKS AND CAMELS COULD LEAD TO DRUGS FOR CANCER AND OTHER DISEASES”  Science Online News  “Miniature antibodies” contained in the blood of sharks, camels and other animals have proven to be valuable tools for both medical research and patient care. And, the sharks aren’t hurt.

 “LARGE FEMALE FISH PLAY A BIG ROLE IN REPLENISHING POPULATIONS: STUDY The Scientist Magazine  Scientists studying eggs laid by females from 342 fish species found that, for example, in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), a 30-kilogram female fish spawned more eggs than two 28-kilogram counterparts did combined. And, their eggs were larger and packed with more calories.  They even have a name for them: “BOFFF, or Big Old Fat Fecund Female Fish”

“THE LAST DAYS OF THE BLUE BLOOD HARVEST”  The Atlantic  Horseshoe crabs’ unique blue blood has proved to be essential to a myriad of medical devices, vaccines and human lives. Most horseshoes are returned to the wild but many die and they face encroachment on their habitats and other threats. Scientists have developed a synthetic substitute that can change that.

“ILLUMINATING THE OCEAN’S TEEMING TWILIGHT ZONE, BEFORE IT DISAPPEARS”  Smithsonian  Because of their inaccessibility, deep sea corals – that is, those in “The Twilight Zone” – haven’t received the attention that shallower coral reefs have. That’s changing.

“INDONESIA’S CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL FISHING IS PAYING OFF, STUDY FINDS”  Mongabay  A report finds that illegal fishing (mostly by foreign fleets) has drastically declined since it instituted drastic measures beginning in 2014. Those measures:  Blowing up illegal fishing boats, more than 300 of them, foreign and domestic.

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