Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Discover How Fish Evolved To Float At Different Sea Depths

18.03.2005


Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered how fish have evolved over the last 400 million years to stay motionless at different water depths.



A research team led by Dr Michael Berenbrink, a Comparative Physiologist at the School of Biological Sciences, has revealed how modern fish, such as pike and cod, have developed a way of floating at certain water levels using a gas-filled swimbladder.

Dr Berenbrink investigated the mechanism that allows fishes to keep the swimbladder inflated with gas even at great water pressure in the depths of the sea. The mechanism comprises of a complex system of arteries and veins, called the rete mirabile, and special blood proteins, which can release oxygen even at high oxygen concentrations.


These systems drive oxygen from the blood into the swimbladder allowing the fish to float at different levels in the sea without coming to the surface of the water for air. A similar system is also present in the eye of the fish, which provides oxygen to the retina.

Dr Berenbrink explains: “I am interested in how the mechanisms in the swimbladder and eye could have evolved. Some fish have no swimbladder and others fill it by swallowing air at the surface of the water. Another group of fishes has a closed swimbladder that is inflated through gas secretion even when they are in high water pressures. My aim was to find out how these systems came into place and how this allowed for the great variety of fishes we have in our oceans today."

The study revealed that the special blood proteins, which are essential for oxygen secretion, were present in the eye system 250 million years ago. This predated the swimbladder system by 100 million years. The special blood proteins induced development of the swimbladder system.

Dr Berenbrink continued: “Many researchers believe that the swimbladder evolved from a primitive lung, which can be traced back 400 million years. These findings will help us to understand the diversity and success of modern fishes in their environment.”

Dr Berenbrink’s research will be published in Science magazine on Friday, 18 March 2005.

Samantha Martin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.liv.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>