Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Freeloading Lifestyle of Freshwater Mussels

The Freeloading Lifestyle of Freshwater Mussels

Carrie Schuman, University of Florida
(cross-posted from

Conglutinates of the Ouachita kidneyshell - Chris Barnhart

I study oyster-y things. In my little myopic scientific snowglobe, I know a few things about shellfish, and I know a few more things about oysters. Then I know the most things about oyster filtration. So there’s still plenty of room for surprise.

This very thing happened this year during a local American Fisheries Society (AFS) meeting where I heard a talk about freshwater mussels. Probably because I always seem to be mucking about in briny water rather than its fresher counterpart, I was rather taken aback learning that many of these species have parasitic larval stages.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Natural Tags

Natural Tags

By: Julie Vecchio
PhD Student
University of South Florida

Many researchers and anglers know about tagging fish, sharks, or even other organisms to learn about their movements. Anglers enjoy participating in these programs because they can help with science and learn something new about the fish in their area. However, an emerging topic in ecology is the use of “natural tags.” Essentially, using natural tags means using the internal chemistry of an organism to learn about its genetics, origin, movements, or even chemical exposure levels. Currently there are three main types of natural tags that are commonly used. These are genetic signatures, otolith microchemistry, and tissue isotopes.

Monday, October 17, 2016

What’s in a Name: The Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata)

Kelcee L. Smith
M.Sc. Student
Lousiana State University

Interested Person: “Sawfish? … Oh! You mean swordfish?!”
Me: *** Shakes head***
Me: “No, I mean SAW-fish.”
Interested Person: “Oh yeah! I see fish all the time.”
Me: ***Face Palm***

As silly as this sounds, this is often the conversation I have with people about Sawfish. At this point in the conversation, I usually pull out my handy Sawfish figurine, which most times bridges the gap in the misunderstanding. Get your own Sawfish figurine here.