Tiny Shrimp Help to Fine-Tune National Defense

May 10, 2006

Research being conducted by UMaine researcher Peter Jumars of the Darling Marine Center and UMaine School of Marine Sciences has created an unlikely pairing between the U.S. Department of Defense and a tiny ocean-going creature known as the opossum shrimp.

The military's Defense University Research Instrumentation Program has supplied Jumars with a grant of more than $103,000 to continue his groundbreaking work in the utilization of sonar technology, which seeks to establish reliable techniques for monitoring the movements of opossum shrimp as they carry out their daily migrations from the shelter of the ocean floor to the waters above and back.

So far, Jumars' research has revealed some exciting data about the biology and ecological importance of the fast-moving shrimp, which are a major source of food for small cod and other fishes. The research is proving important for national defense purposes as well, since the movements of large numbers of opossum shrimp and other small organisms can interfere with the military's use of sonar for detecting and identifying underwater mines.

"I basically study what the people who identify undersea mines call noise. Their noise has become my signal," said Jumars. "My Office of Naval Research Program Officers have been impressed by how dense the swarms of migrating shrimp can be. This is definitely not a small problem when it comes to using acoustics for local area search, and the shrimp are certainly something cod care about. I just didn't expect this research to be connected to so many things."

Source: University of Maine

Explore further: GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EPA's methane crackdown to come slow and easy

3 hours ago

The Obama administration on Jan. 14 announced its long-awaited plan to control the oil and gas industry's emissions of methane, saying it would in the next decade cut in half leaks of the potent global-warming pollutant.

'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

14 hours ago

Nepal's success in turning tiger-fearing villagers into their protectors has seen none of the endangered cats killed for almost three years, offering key lessons for an anti-poaching summit opening in Kathmandu ...

Japan launches new spy satellite

14 hours ago

Japan on Sunday successfully launched a back-up spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, after cancelling an earlier lift-off due to bad weather.

Recommended for you

'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

14 hours ago

Nepal's success in turning tiger-fearing villagers into their protectors has seen none of the endangered cats killed for almost three years, offering key lessons for an anti-poaching summit opening in Kathmandu ...

GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

Jan 31, 2015

A British company's plan to unleash hordes of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida to reduce the threat of dengue fever and other diseases has sparked an outcry from fearful residents.

Population genomics unveil seahorse domain

Jan 30, 2015

In a finding vital to effective species management, a team including City College of New York biologists has determined that the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is more a permanent resident of the we ...

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.