CSIRO are a truly wonderful Australian science research resource. Key result areas stretch across a wide spectrum and when it comes to the mysteries of the ocean they dive deep. They also help to educate the public.
Lionfish wave their big side fins before a group hunt. Image: Wikimedia Commons/Jens Petersen
In the warm tropical ocean around the Great Barrier Reef, the lionfish hunts. Venomous fins fan out to trap a school of smaller fish. The little fish look for an escape. But this lionfish is not hunting alone.
As we grow up, we learn to share, take turns and cooperate. Now it seems lionfish use the same skills for a more deadly purpose. New research shows lionfish hunt better when they cooperate with other lionfish, and that they share the meal evenly.
Lionfish are predators and use their long, stripy fins to corner prey.
Enjoy the adventures of Ed the Bear and his partner, Steve Savage, at a beautiful shingled salt marsh in Shoreham, UK (below). Like saltmarshes in Australia the hardy plants that live there can have stunning colours as well as providing essential environmental services for us.
Today I took Abby to my beach at Shoreham. I explained that the beach was a nature reserve because of the rare vegetated shingle habitat – special plants that grow in the pebbles. They can survive with little water, no soil and survive the strong winds, hot sun and salty sea spray.
Although Steve and the nature reserve team help to look after the plants and wildlife, they were concerned about how global issues such as climate change, sea level rise, increase in storms and other issues might affect this beach. This is why I started my global travels to visit scientists to find out what they know about the ocean and the damage humans are doing to the ocean.
Off to Dungeness tomorrow to show Abby where some of the beach shingle travels to because of the sea and wave action. Sea defenses stop some the shingle moving so the beach doesn't get washed away