Scientists stymied by inch-long fish

Dec 22, 2005

Scientists say they are unable to explain the steady declined in the number of pupfish -- an endangered species that lives only in a Nevada limestone cave.

For the last decade the number of pupfish in Devils Hole, a deep, water-filled cavern about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas, has dwindled, the Las Vegas Sun reported Thursday.

The population last month was tallied at 84 -- the same as in February.

Jim Deacon, a University of Nevada-Las Vegas biologist, said, "The expected increase this fall did not happen. All through last summer there was egg-laying and babies produced, but not enough to increase the adult population, so we're still at very dangerous levels."

Observers are increasingly worried that whatever they do, the species may be on a slide to extinction, the newspaper said.

"It doesn't look like there was a change in the ecological relationships," Deacon told the Sun. "One easy cop out is to say there is a genetic bottleneck, but I think that's too easy.

"They've been there for 10,000 or 60,000 years, somewhere in that neighborhood, so why would they blink out now?"

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Study finds female entrepreneurs are discounted because of their gender

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers bring clean energy a step closer

1 hour ago

For nearly half a century, scientists have been trying to replace precious metal catalysts in fuel cells. Now, for the first time, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have shown that an inexpensive metal-free catalyst ...

Barclays to allow payments by using Twitter handles

1 hour ago

The next chapter in banks moving into the digital age is a stretch beyond reminding customers over phone lines that they can also bank online. Barclays has launched Twitter payments through Pingit.

Predicting human crowds with statistical physics

2 hours ago

For the first time researchers have directly measured a general law of how pedestrians interact in a crowd. This law can be used to create realistic crowds in virtual reality games and to make public spaces safer.

Recommended for you

Think twice about investing in own company

2 hours ago

Employees whose retirement plan is invested in stock of the company where they work do not pull out money as the firms approach financial distress, a recently released, but yet to be published paper, co-authored ...

Fossil lower jaw sheds light on early Homo

2 hours ago

A fossil lower jaw found in the Ledi-Geraru research area, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia, pushes back evidence for the human genus—Homo—to 2.8 million years ago, according to a pair of reports publis ...

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.