Is there any help for pearl mussels?
We hear and read so much about plants and animal species being threatened by extinction, but not all species make headlines, like for instance the freshwater pearl mussel with the beautiful name Margaritifera margaritifera. Not only oysters and other marine molluscs produce pearls: the freshwater pearl mussel of the holarctic region on both sides of the Atlantic has for centuries yielded valuable wild pearls, too. But the times when these bog mussels were literally plastering the beds of fast flowing streams of areas poor in nutrients and calcium are nearly over – and that despite the fact that this animal can probably reach an age of 200 or even more years. —>—>
But even in fish it has its price
Have you ever had this feeling that you were really hungry or thirsty and needed to eat or drink something, but you were too exhausted (or let’s put it bluntly: too lazy) to get up and go to the shop? Getting up, putting on your coat, walking to the shop, etc., all that takes time and would, of course, also have required extra energy. The decision as to whether to stay at home or to go out procuring food is one that animals have to make all the time . —>
Fish without eyes
It is sometimes quite shocking what some people think the work of an animal biologist consists of. One day, when visitors to our house took a look at my aquarium and admired the fish in it, my ears had to hear the following comment: “Very interesting, but doesn’t it hurt them when you remove their eyes?” “What do you think?”, came my reply, “they are blind fish. They never have any eyes! They are Mexican cave fish, Astyanax mexicanus.” Stupid visitors (I did not say that), but they obviously did not know that some species of fish are naturally eyeless.