Fighting (Tasty) Invasive Fish With Forks And Knives

Blue catfish is another alien invader. In its native Mississippi River basin, the blue catfish is a healthy part of the ecosystem. But it was planted in Northeastern waters as a sport fish, and now it’s become a ferocious predator.

Blue catfish can live for as long as 20 years and grow to be as big as 100 pounds. So now, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has started promoting this fish as good eating, too. It’s not a bottom feeder like other catfish, so it has a clean flavor, excellent for fish and chips.”

Learn more from NPR.

Bao Bao’s Birthday: Smithsonian Celebrates Baby Panda’s Adorable First Year

After a year of bamboo, growth and lazy days spent in trees, giant panda cub Bao Bao celebrates her first birthday on August 23 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

To celebrate the exciting milestone, the Smithsonian Channel takes a peek back at Bao Bao’s first year as she grows from a teensy, 4.5-ounce cub into a playful and curious 40-pound bear.”

Learn more from mashable.

Broken Teeth And Fake-umentaries: Another Shark Week Gone By

The hit summer series was once observed with some respect by serious members of the scientific community. Through the decades, however, it has devolved into a B-movie-style blend of fiction, bad acting, a few facts and potential injuries to sharks.

In some of the shows, real scientists are featured onboard real research vessels at sea. However, their chief priority, beneath flimsy scientific premises, seems always to be landing sweet video footage of sharks biting stuff.”

Read more at NPR.

Little Giant Whales Take 100 Gulps an Hour

The blue whale can swallow half a million calories in a single mouthful. When it spots its prey—shrimp-like creatures called krill—it lunges forward, accelerating rapidly and opening its jaws to an almost right angle. Its mouth expands, its tongue inverts, and it engulfs around 110 tonnes of water—about the same mass as another small blue whale. Over the next minute, it pushes the water through sieve-like plates, filters out the krill, and swallows. Then, having reloaded its face, it’s ready for another attack.

But lunge-feeding didn’t evolve among titans. The fossil record tells us that the technique first arose in species in the size class of the modern minke whales—the smallest of the rorquals at a mere (!!) 5 metres long.”

Learn more from Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

Two-headed dolphin washes ashore

Turkey’s Dogan news agency reports that the remains of a conjoined dolphin calf were found on a beach near Izmir. It is thought to have been about a year old at the time of its death.

Akdeniz University marine biologist Mehmet Gokoglu was quoted as saying the dolphin was a rare occurrence, similar to conjoined twins.

But Mr Gokoglu denied media reports that his university in Antalya, southern Turkey, is studying the remains. He said the university would be happy to display them, but it is still unaware of the where the remains of the dolphin have been taken to.”

(via Boing Boing)

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