Life as We Know It
Wolves, hibernating animals, spitting cobras and more
- By Joseph Caputo, T.A. Frail, Megan Gambino, Abigail Tucker and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, April 2009
So, how many fish are in the sea? Scientists led by the University of Exeter in England have a new answer: about two billion tons. The estimate comes from a study of how ocean fish absorb dissolved calcium and convert it into calcium carbonate, which they dispose of in granules called "gut rocks." Snails, crabs and other creatures build shells out of the fish excretions.
"Molecular and Evolutionary History of Melanism in North American Gray Wolves," Tovi M. Anderson et al., Science, February 5, 2009.
"New Protocetid Whale from the Middle Eocene of Pakistan: Birth on Land, Precocial Development, and Sexual Dimorphism," Philip D. Gingerich et al., PLoS ONE, February 2009.
"Contribution of Fish to the Marine Inorganic Carbon Cycle," R. W. Wilson et al., Science, January 16, 2009.
"Functional Bases of the Spatial Dispersal of Venom during Cobra 'Spitting'," Bruce A. Young et al., Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, January/February 2009.
"Lower Extinction Risk in Sleep-or-Hide Mammals," Lee Hsiang Liow et al., American Naturalist, February 2009.