Video: Waterfall-climbing fish performs evolutionary feat

Feb 04, 2014 by Miles O'brien
Video: Waterfall-climbing fish performs evolutionary feat
With the help of blue light and special long-pass filters, scientists have uncovered more of the undersea world's secrets. A study published in January 2014 describes more than 180 species of marine fishes that glow in different colors and patterns, via a process known as biofluorescence. Biofluorescence is a natural process in which organisms absorb light at one intensity, or wavelength, and emit it at a different, usually lower, level--seen as a different color. Credit: J. Sparks, D. Gruber, and V. Pieribone

The species of goby fish, Sicyopterus stimpsoni, also known as the "inching climber," thrives in the waters off Hawaii, and the amazing physical feat it must perform to survive is no fish tale! To reach the safe haven of its freshwater spawning area, this goby must scale a waterfall, or at least the rock behind it, using suction cups on its body.

Typically no bigger than a few inches, it makes its way up the rock, hundreds of feet high. Comparatively speaking, a human being would have to climb Mount Everest three times in order to compete with the inching climber, according to St. Cloud State University biologist Heiko Schoenfuss.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), he and other scientists at St. Cloud State and Clemson universities study these extraordinary to better understand how they've adapted and evolved in order to achieve such vertical feats. The challenge in this case is climbing waterfalls, but Schoenfuss says their findings can be extrapolated to other species, and whether it's human-induced selective pressure, pollution or , scientists can learn about how adaptation occurs over long and short periods of time.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.


Explore further: Bumblebees use nicotine to fight off parasites

Related Stories

Looking for Nirai Kanai

Jan 30, 2014

In 2013, a new species of goby was discovered in a stream on the main island of Okinawa. The species was named Stiphodon niraikanaiensis, which comes from a traditional word on Okinawa and Amami areas, "Nirai ...

Climate change threatens freshwater fish

Jan 10, 2014

(Phys.org) —New research has revealed that Western Australia's drying climate will impact fish migrations, putting further pressure on a number of native freshwater fish species.

Minnow to be 1st fish taken off endangered list

Feb 04, 2014

A tiny minnow that lives only in Oregon is set to become the first fish ever taken off U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because it is no longer threatened with extinction.

Recommended for you

Norway tests out 'animal rights cops'

4 hours ago

Norwegian police is creating a unit to investigate cruelty to animals, the government said Monday, arguing that those who hurt animals often harm people too.

High-pitched sounds cause seizures in old cats

6 hours ago

When the charity International Cat Care asked veterinary neurologists at Davies Veterinary Specialists, UK, for help with several enquiries it had received regarding cats having seizures, seemingly in response ...

Bumblebees use nicotine to fight off parasites

11 hours ago

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL), gave bumblebees the option to choose between a sugar solution with nicotine in it and one without. ...

Two new iguanid lizard species from the Laja Lagoon, Chile

12 hours ago

A team of Chilean scientists discover two new species of iguanid lizards from the Laja Lagoon, Chile. The two new species are believed to have been long confused with other representatives of the elongatus-kriegi ...

ANZAC grevillea hybrid marks centenary celebrations

13 hours ago

Through an intense breeding program of native flora, Kings Park botanists have provided the Western Australian RSL with a commemorative grevillea (Proteaceae) in time for the Anzac Centenary.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.