Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Adapting to Pollution, Quickly.

     Pollution of our waterways is becoming a problem but one particular fish has been shown to have adapted to the excess level of pollution in the waters that they live in. Atlantic killfish that occupy polluted estuaries. The Atlantic killfish is a small slender fish that is native to the North American coast. (Banded killfish facts). The places they live have toxicity levels high enough to kill them and other larger fish. This is due to industrial plants that dump their waste into the estuary. Scientists from the University of California have examined these fished in order ti figure out how they are adapting so quickly. Their tests exhibited that the killfish is 8,000 times for resistant to these pollutants than other fish. The killfish is an important small food fish, meaning that it is the base food for most other bigger fish. It also is a bio-indicator, meaning that if the killfish suddenly start to take a dive them the surrounding ecosystem will be harshly affected.

     The Atlantic killfish, like the one above, is special because it has very high levels of genetic variation, higher than any other vertebrate. The more genetic variation the faster evolution can act upon that creatures. The fish were taken from a multitude of different sites, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Virginia. Their test also concluded that their high levels of genetic variation were not due to the polluted enviorment, instead they were already present in the fish's genome. The Atlantic killfish has had the ability to adapt very quickly to changing enviorments. The study lay the frame for future research that can figure out which genes are used to deal with the chemical change. (University of California- Davis). 

Banded killifish photos and facts. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2016, from

University of California - Davis. (2016, December 8). Against the tide: A fish adapts quickly to lethal levels of pollution: What's its secret? And can humans learn from it?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 14, 2016 from

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