May 2010

Shark cartilage products are also sold as "a natural source of protein, calcium, phosphorous, and zinc, which promote strong bones and healthy teeth, enhances metabolism, and aid enzymes in the digestion process. "

Myth debunked: Shark cartilage has no benefit in cancer

Hopes that shark cartilage would prove to be a useful treatment for cancer were not borne out in one of the most rigorously designed and executed studies of an alternative therapy ever conducted. Adding a drug derived from shark cartilage to standard cancer treatments did not improve survival among patients with late-stage lung cancer in the study.

Nectocaris is a genus containing one species (N. pteryx) of early cephalopod known from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale. It was not until 1976 that it was formally described. The head had two stalked eyes, one pair of tentacles, and an oval carapace or shield at the rear. Fleshy fins supported by internal spines ran along the sides of the flattened, kite-shaped body

Ancestral cephalopod had just two tentacles

"We think that this extremely rare creature is an early ancestor of squids, octopuses, and other cephalopods", says Martin Smith from the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto.

"This is significant because it means that primitive cephalopods were around much earlier than we thought, and offers a reinterpretation of the long-held origins of this important group of marine animals."

Sculpture from "The Ghostship" salvaged

According to the Swedish Heritage Act findings from within the Swedish economic zone has to be handed over to the Swedish government if they were salvaged by a Swedish vessel or transferred to Swedish territory. The salvage team has now transferred the sculpture to the Swedish National Maritime Museums, which intend to display the sculpture at the National Maritime Museum.

Sea anemones from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of Nature) of 1904.
Sea anemones from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of Nature) of 1904.

Coral larvae find reefs by sound

Researchers have known for years that juvenile fish use sound as a cue to find coral reefs. But Dr Steve Simpson, Senior Researcher in the University of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences, and his Dutch collaborators in Curaçao were amazed to find that coral larvae--which must quickly find a safe place to land and establish a colony or they will die--can do the same thing.

The endangered Spotted Handfish are found on sandy sediments at the bottom of Tasmania's Derwent estuary and adjoining bays.

Nine new species for disappearing handfish family

The review of the handfishes brings the family to 14 known species – six found only in Tasmania and one known from only one specimen possibly collected in Tasmania by early European explorers, yet not recorded since. It also deepens concerns about declining populations of some handfishes. “Handfishes are small, often strikingly patterned or colourful, sedentary fish that tend to ‘walk’ on the seabed on hand-like fins, rather than swim.
Mangrove forest.
Mangrove forest.

World's mangroves threatened with extinction

According to the first-ever mangrove species assessment conducted by the IUCN Red List, 11 of the world’s 70 mangrove species are threatened with extinction, including two which were listed as Critically Endangered. Species were evaluated by mangrove specialists and the Global Marine Species Assessment Unit (GMSA), a joint venture between the IUCN and Conservation International.