Lots of lively news about the oceans and ocean life this week. Here's our Top 5 -- distressing, amusing and amazing:
- The Perils of Prozac: British researchers at the University of Portsmouth believe shrimp are becoming more vulnerable to predators because their brain chemistry is being altered by rising levels of the anti-depressant Prozac that's flowing to the ocean through sewage treatment plants. Their findings were published in the journal Aquatic Toxicology.
- Eat Thine Enemy: There's a big problem with invasive lionfish in the Caribbean, which threaten the survival of coral reefs. Now there's a solution, according to the Washington Post. Serve them up for supper! The invaders are being rounded up in "lionfish rodeos" and landing on menus. Bon appétit!
- Offshore Oil Drilling, The Game: In the age of the internet, nothing ever disappears for good. That includes a 1970's-era board game, Offshore Oil Strike -- complete with British Petroleum logo, that turned up in a British toy museum. Highlights: A "hazard card" that cautions, "Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1 million." Yeah, right. (Thanks to ProPublica for this.)
- Talk to the Fishes: A New Zealand researcher has found evidence that fish can talk with one another, using grunts, chirps and pops among their communication tools. They may do so to attract mates, scare off predators or orient themselves in the ocean, according to newspaper reports shared by Discovery News.
- The Mating of the Squid: New insights into the mating habits of giant deep-sea squid, Onykia ingens, courtesy of a BBC report of the discovery of what it terms "a super squid sex organ." The heroically tumescent squid was collected off Patagonia and helps unravel the mystery of how deep -water cephalopods impregnate their mates. Details are published in the Journal of Molluscan Studies.