Scientist at Stanford University have discovered that cichlids have the logical reasoning capacity of a 4- or 5-year-old child. This ability is used to figure out the pecking order of the group by simply watching other fish fight. This type of reasoning is called transitive inference and is something that develops at around 4 or 5 years of age in human children. To read more on this discovery, visit Science on NBCNews.com.
A new exhibit at the Oklahoma Aquarium creates a unique experience from visitors. Extreme Amazon lets you crawl into the tank so you can view the fish from a different perspective. On display are Amazon River fish and iguanas. Located in Jenks, OK (just south of Tulsa), the Oklahoma Aquarium is open year round (except on Christmas Day). For more information on the new exhibit, visit the Tulsa World article.
Dam construction continues as new species are being discovered
Construction continues on the Xingu River for what will become the world’s third largest dam. The Xingu River is a tributary of the Amazon River and also home to many cichlid species. Brazil obtains almost 80% of its electric power from hydroelectric dams and the country’s demand for electricity is expected to double in this decade. Despite Brazil’s need for electricity, criticism has come from environmentalists, indigenous people and land owners as the dam is expected to flood almost 200 square miles of jungle and farm land. Below the dam’s construction site, there has already been a report that water levels are dropping and so have fish populations. The Xingu River is home to various species of cichlids including Crenicichla, Cichlasoma and the newly discovered Krobia xinguensis (pictured above). More information can be found here: Dam Construction and Krobia xinguensis.
Lake Tanganyika fishermen. Worldtraveller/Wikipedia
The oil and exploration company, Beach Petroleum (T) Limited of Australia, stated that although Lake Tanganyika shows signs of oil, the first oil well will not be drilled for at least 15 years. Lake area locals who are supposed to benefit from the lake’s mineral wealth, claim that oil extraction has already begun. Beach Petroleum insists that any drilling being done is for exploration and scientific studies only. For more on this story, visit allAfrica.com.
Discovered by the Monterey Bay Research Aquarium Institute, the harp shaped sponge lives 2 miles below the sea surface and uses velcro-like barbed hooks to catch its prey. Named Chondrocladia lyra, this carnivorous sponge can be found in the deep waters off California’s Monterey Bay. The first carnivorous sponges were first discovered less than 20 years ago and because they live in very deep waters, not much about them is know. More on this story can be found at Science on NBCNews.com.
Freshwater blenny (Salaria fluviatilis) / Wikipedia
According to The Olive Press, two types of endangered fish found in Southern Spain and Northern Africa have been collected for captive breeding and reintroduction into their native waters. 300 Aphanius iberus (Spanish toothcarp) and 40 Salaria fluviatilis (freshwater blenny) will form the breeding group. Their native waters have been threatened by habitat destruction. The offspring will eventually be released into rivers and wetlands around Andalucía (Southern tip of Spain).
Lake Victoria’s aquatic population is being threatened by yet another invasive species; water hyacinth. This fast growing plant now covers large areas of the lake. The negative impact on the fish and the people who rely on the lake is growing. For more information, including a video report, visit the CNN story.
New Amazon River Monsters exhibit in Phoenix area zoo