Sep 052014
 

Original story by Cell Press via EurekAlert!

Archerfish hunt by shooting jets of water at unsuspecting insects, spiders, or even small lizards on leaves or twigs above, knocking them into the water below before gobbling them up. Now, a study in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on September 4 finds that those fish are much more adaptable and skillful target-shooters than anyone had given them credit for. The fish really do use water as a tool, the researchers say, making them the first known tool-using animal to adaptively change the hydrodynamic properties of a free jet of water. Continue reading »

Jun 122014
 

Original story John Long, Flinders University, at The Conversation

It looked more like the worm on an angler’s hook than any living fish we might recognise today but it still takes the record for the oldest known fish to date.
An artist’s reconstruction of Metaspriggina walcotti, the world’s oldest definite fish. Artwork by Marianne Collins

An artist’s reconstruction of Metaspriggina walcotti, the world’s oldest definite fish. Artwork by Marianne Collins

The first fossil fishes are known from scant and often ambiguous fossil remains, and research published today in Nature gives us the first clear picture of exactly what these earliest fishes were really like. Continue reading »

Jun 102014
 

Media release by LSU Research News

Animals incorporate a number of unique methods for detecting prey, but for the Japanese sea catfish, Plotosus japonicus, it is especially tricky given the dark murky waters where it resides.
Plotosus japonicus, the Japanese sea catfish.

Plotosus japonicus, the Japanese sea catfish.

John Caprio, George C. Kent Professor of Biological Sciences at LSU, and colleagues from Kagoshima University in Japan have identified that these fish are equipped with sensors that can locate prey by detecting slight changes in the water’s pH level. Continue reading »

Jun 062014
 

Original story at ABC News

You would be happy with a double eagle on the golf course, but a pair of crocs is enough to make any player choke.
Two crocodiles have been moved to a golf course near Cairns. Photo: Sukree Sukplang/Reuters

Two crocodiles have been moved to a golf course near Cairns. Photo: Sukree Sukplang/Reuters

Two crocodiles, both about a metre long, have taken up residence at a Yorkeys Knob golf club near the far north Queensland city of Cairns.

But Half Moon Bay Golf Course manager Greg Ferry reckons they are more of a novelty than a threat.

"A few of the golfers are mentioning there's a few other hazards around," he said.

"They aren't really much of a danger at the moment, they're a bit of a joke and people are interested in having a look at them."

The pair, who live in separate lakes on the club's grounds, come within about 15 metres of a couple of the holes on the course.

Warning signs are dotted around the place and rangers are monitoring the reptiles to ensure they do not pose a danger to golfers. Continue reading »

May 232014
 

Original story by Angela Fedele, Sourceable

Design works have officially commenced on the $50 million aquarium, which has been described as a “bold and confident architectural statement” for the town.
A tectonic façade that symbolises the movement of the earth will serve as the iconic architectural feature of the new Cairns Aquarium and Research Centre.

A tectonic façade that symbolises the movement of the earth will serve as the iconic architectural feature of the new Cairns Aquarium and Research Centre.

The building was a collaborative design project between Peddle Thorp Architects (PTA) and Architects Ellick and Partners. PTA has already completed nine aquarium projects, including Melbourne Aquarium’s Antarctic Exhibit and the fish tank which sits within the city’s Royal Children’s Hospital. Continue reading »

May 232014
 

Original story by Daniel Meers, The Cairns Post

TALK about having a frog in your throat! A North Queensland angler was left stunned after he found a live green tree frog sitting inside the throat of a jungle perch he caught on the weekend.

SURPRISE: Angus James caught a Jungle Perch in North Queensland and when he removed the hook he found a frog inside it's mouth, Photo: Angus James

SURPRISE: Angus James caught a Jungle Perch in North Queensland and when he removed the hook he found a frog inside it's mouth. Photo: Angus James

Angus James began unhooking the fish to throw back in the water when he saw the frog, who leapt over his head to freedom. Continue reading »

May 222014
 

News release from Fisheries Queensland

The Field guide to common saltmarsh plants of Queensland is back by popular demand.

Field guide to common saltmarsh plants of Queensland by Louise Johns.

Field guide to common saltmarsh plants of Queensland by Louise Johns.

First printed in 2006, the popular publication is a valuable resource for local governments, students, teachers, community groups, fishers and people with an interest in Queensland’s coastal environment.

Author and senior fisheries biologist, Louise Johns, said the new and improved guide would help people to correctly identify key marine plant species in saltmarsh fish habitats and provide them with a greater appreciation of the importance of the saltmarsh environment.

“Marine plants, including saltmarsh vegetation, are protected in Queensland because of the valuable role they play in ensuring sustainable fish habitats and fisheries production,” Ms Johns said.

“Saltmarshes provide food for aquatic species and recycle nutrients.

“It is important that people are able to identify saltmarsh habitats and do their part to protect this integral fisheries ecosystem.

“The 76-page guide provides colour photographs, detailed descriptions, plant distribution maps and identification keys for the 32 most widespread saltmarsh species in Queensland’s coastal zone.

“It’s a simple, user-friendly guide that will make it easier to identify the species and provide a better understanding of this important ecosystem.

To order your free copy of the Field guide to common saltmarsh plants of Queensland, call 13 25 23.

 

May 212014
 

Original story by Jon Coghill and Annie Gaffney, ABC Sunshine Coast

A bright purple, alien-like jellyfish has washed up on Coolum Beach and an expert says it may be a new species.

Lifeguard Jamie Smith says a local fisherman alerted him and his partner to the discovery after pulling the sea creature up on to the beach to avoid getting stung.

Coolum lifeguards have never seen a jellyfish like this. Photo: Coolum lifeguards/Jamie Smith

Coolum lifeguards have never seen a jellyfish like this. Photo: Coolum lifeguards/Jamie Smith

"The thing that struck me was how long the tentacles [are] and the colour," Mr Smith said. Continue reading »