Goldfish-driven vehicles continue to make great strides since our previous coverage. Now they are higher up and on a sturdier wheelbase, allowing free movement around any gallery where this iteration resides.
Quentin Destieu and Sylvain Huguet say:
Machine 2 Fish is an artistic installation using a robotic experimental system that translates the movements of a living goldfish into the physical locomotion of a robot. It is a question of allowing a goldfish to move in a terrestrial universe thanks to this prosthesis. The aim is to create a pseudo-intelligent system linking the fish and the machine to a stand-alone device that refers to cyborgs and science fiction. This project was born in 2010 as part of a residency with the support of M2F Créations / Lab GAMERZ, the 2016 version embeds a new system of sensors and computer programming able to respond as closely as possible to the requirements of fish.
When will the BattleBots-style series FishBots start? We're waiting with bated* breath.
* Yes, the pun is intentional. Read the rest
The Archerfish of Southeast Asia and Australia spit at perched insects to knock them into the water for an easy meal. From KQED's "Deep Look":
“When the fish fires the shot,” (Wake Forest University biologist Morgan) Burnett explained, citing the work of other researchers in Germany who first used high-speed cameras to observe the projectiles in 2014, “the water leaves the mouth as essentially a very long stream. But during flight, the stream merges into a ball.”
The fish accomplishes this feat of timing through deliberate control of its highly-evolved mouthparts, in particular its lips, which act like an adjustable hose that can expand and contract while releasing the water.
Scientists declared the ruby seadragon a new species in 2015, but that was based on dead specimens in a museum. Now though, Scripps Institution of Oceanography biologist Greg Rouse who led the team that originally discovered the species, managed to find two of the wonderful fish swimming around the Recherche Archipelago, off the south coast of Western Australia. Each one is about 10 feet long. Just kidding. They're 10 inches long. From National Geographic:
After four dives with a remote-controlled mini-submarine, they managed to film two ruby seadragons more than 167 feet underwater, as the fish swam through rocky gardens of sponges and nibbled at their prey, most likely tiny crustaceans called mysids...
...The footage confirms that ruby seadragons use a different means of camouflage than its closest relatives. Common and leafy seadragons are covered in leafy outgrowths meant to camouflage the fish as they swim through seagrasses. The ruby seadragon, however, lacks them—opting instead for a scarlet body, an efficient way to disguise itself from predators in the dark depths.
Most surprisingly, the video suggests that the ruby seadragon can use its curled tail to grasp objects.
Tens of thousands of fish, starfish, scallops, crabs, lobsters, and other ocean life washed up dead this week at Savory Park on the western coast of Nova Scotia. The cause of the massive fish death is not yet known. From CNN:
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Environmental officials are testing the water for pesticides and oxygen levels for possible clues...
While toxic chemical exposure can be one cause, most fish kills are attributed to low concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the water, according to the USGS.
Just this year, mass fish deaths were reported in Florida's Indian River Lagoon and Hongcheng Lake in Haikou,China.
A new study suggests that the ominous background music often heard in shark documentaries correlates with viewers' fearful and negative opinions of sharks. (For the source of this musical cliche, see the 1975 trailer for Jaws above.) From the Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers paper in the scientific journal PLOS One:
Using three experiments, we show that participants rated sharks more negatively and less positively after viewing a 60-second video clip of swimming sharks set to ominous background music, compared to participants who watched the same video clip set to uplifting background music, or silence. This finding was not an artifact of soundtrack alone because attitudes toward sharks did not differ among participants assigned to audio-only control treatments. This is the first study to demonstrate empirically that the connotative attributes of background music accompanying shark footage affect viewers’ attitudes toward sharks. Given that nature documentaries are often regarded as objective and authoritative sources of information, it is critical that documentary filmmakers and viewers are aware of how the soundtrack can affect the interpretation of the educational content.
A person who goes by the moniker usedcatsalesman227 on Reddit took this photo at a Whole Foods in Brooklyn, remarking, "We think the merchandiser hated their job and decided to quit with this stunt as a final send off."
A Chatham-Kent, Ontario man allegedly attempted to buy a 12-year-old boy's fish with fake marijuana. When the boy smartly protested about the unfair deal, the man reportedly hit him in the head. And now, the man is facing an assault charge. From CBC:
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The boy went to the man's house Saturday for a planned meeting where the boy was going to sell the man a fish. The man tried to pay for the fish with a bag of what he claimed to be weed, but the boy realized it was actually a bag of dried spices.
A new study says that this small eel photographed by accident on a Caribbean coral reef is the first green fluorescent fish ever recorded. Read the rest
Where are my antacids?