Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

What lurks in the water…

Saltwater_Crocodile_on_a_river_bank

Saltwater Crocodile photo taken by Paul Thomsen (WILDFOTO.COM.AU)  in Northern Territory, Australia via Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Craig Franklin from the University of Queensland spoke yesterday about his research with crocodiles. After evaluating hundreds of recordings from telemetry instrumentation and satellite tags of the animals, the data showed that crocodiles regulate their body temperature much like fish. This means that crocodile body temperature is often dictated by their surrounding water temperature.

Chaenocephalus aceratus.jpg

Dr. Iskander Ismailov, a Research Assistant Professor from lab of Dr. Michael Friedlander at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, presented research on two species of Antarctic teleost icefish, C. aceratus and N. coriiceps. C. aceratus is a rather special fish as it lacks hemoglobin, the constituent of red blood cells that gives blood its red color. He was interested in how C. aceratus would adapt to warming sea levels, so him team exposed these fish to water that was warmer than the animals were accustomed to and found that the fish began to exhibit escape behaviors along with periods of inactivity, perhaps to save energy. Interestingly, the fish also began to fan their gills, which is a behavior that was previously only thought to occur with parental care.

 

Categories: Comparative Physiology

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