biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow fish desert water

FISH IN THE DESERT ?

That sounds suspiciously fishy, doesn’t it

Several early explorers of the Australian interior (and sadly in recent years some tourists as well) have lost their lives there, because they were unable to satisfy their need of fluid intake and died of thirst and dehydration. The Australian desert is dry, hot, and treeless and yet reports from as far ago as 1845 by Eyre and 1861 by Burke and Willis state that Central Australian Aborigines caught fishes and had names for them – in the desert! So, what kinds of fish could possibly survive in the desert? Well, along tropical seashores one can meet the so-called mud skippers, a group of fishes that hop along tidal flats, the sandy beach or may even climb onto the lower branches of mangrove trees in search of food, like insects, spiders, and worms perhaps that they consume on land. Eels, too, are known to be able to survive out on land especially when in wet grass for some days. Even some catfish have been reported to survive for a while out of water. However, none of that applies to the Australian desert species. —>—>

zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog water life pollution environment Florian Nock

Environment and pollution : Water is Life

Water is more valuable than gold

In many parts of the world people are proud of their rivers, streams, and creeks. They speak of them with veneration, they have composed songs about them (e.g., A. Dvorak’ “The Moldau”), written stories about them (e.g., Mark Twain’s “Life on the Mississippi”) and expressed in poetic verse how water hurtles down deep gorges, caresses the fingers of the weary hiker, and bathes the pebbles in soft murmur. But the reality in many countries is more than often far less romantic. That polluted waterways can, indeed, be “turned around” I have seen in Europe and Japan. When I first visited Japan in the 60s, some rivers I saw were filthy, disgustingly black and used as dumps for all kinds of garbage. And now? Not a trace of foreign objects; totally cleared up. Elsewhere in the world, however, it’s still bad.
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zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog moving in water Florian Nock

Moving in water : Screwing up (and down of course)

And spiralling around as well

A look at the diminutive, fantastically diverse life forms and their activity in a single drop of water can be a truly amazing experience – provided of course you have not chosen tap or rainwater. A drop of water from the edge of a weedy pond (or a puddle near a penguin rookery, which was my source for a study) examined under a simple light microscope does, however, reveal a microcosm of hidden life. In amongst the jittering soup of miniature plants and animals, it is the group of ciliated protozoans that are the greatest attention getters. The smallest may not even reach 50 microns, while Paramaecium and Euplotes maximally attain 1 mm and the biggest like Spirostomum may reach a length of 3-4 mm.
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