- Study Suggests Caribbean Fish Can’t See Lionfish
- Rare Saber-Toothed Whale Washes Up On Venice Beach
- World’s Largest Dolphin Slaughter Taking Place in Peru
A new study conducted by scientists from the James Cook University in Queensland, Australia indicates that one of the key reasons the invasive lionfish is taking over Caribbean reefs is because smaller prey fish simply cannot see them.
The lionfish’s invisibility is facilitated by its spectacular camouflage, concealing it perfectly among the shadows and light beams of the reef. An experiment with small prey fish and three different predator fish, including lionfish, found that the response toward the other two predators enabled them to evade capture most of the time. However, the prey fish were unable to learn that lionfish presented a threat, thus allowing the lionfish to catch its meal every time.
Marine biologists in Southern California got an unexpected surprise when the carcass of a very rare saber-toothed whale, also known as the Stejneger’s beaked whale, washed ashore on Venice Beach Tuesday night. It was loaded onto a truck Wednesday morning and taken to a lab for a necropsy.
Saber-toothed whales typically inhabit subarctic waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, diving to deep water to hunt for squid and small deepwater fish. The males have large, saber-like teeth, lending to their name, and both males and females commonly display scars from the bites of cookie cutter sharks, which the Venice Beach specimen also displayed.
There is no population estimate for this species of beaked whale, but they are occasionally hunted by Japanese whalers and caught as bycatch in other fisheries. Scientists are eager to learn more information about the diet and lives of these creatures from the examination.
The global conscious is gradually becoming more aware of the slaughter of cetaceans that happens around the world every year, whether it’s for meat, scientific research, or culling animals from the wild for display. But the ongoing dolphin slaughter taking place in the waters off of Peru accounts for the highest number of dolphins killed, where 3-4 dolphins per boat (out of roughly 500 fishing vessels) are being harpooned, pulled from the sea, and chopped up for shark bait, their carcasses thrown overboard when the meat has been culled.
The act of killing a dolphin for use as shark bait is illegal in Peru, but it is an “open secret” among Peruvian fishing communities, particularly those that fish for sharks. No evidence has previously existed to contradict the denial of fishing communities and local officials, until an undercover investigation revealed the gory truth. Here’s a clip: