Featured Image Credit:montereybayaquarium.org
Almost every marine fish relies heavily on their senses to survive. In fact, every animal on the planet (including humans) rely on their sensory systems in some way. Imagine going through life without senses. It would be a difficult existence.
Unfortunately, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has caused some creatures to lose their sensory abilities. The Atlantic stingray has been significantly affected by the oil spill.
Researchers at Florida Atlantic University were able to understand the effects of crude oil on marine vertebrates. The experiment was done through recreating the amount of exposure to crude oil in the water. They found that after just 48 hours, significant damage was done to the stingray’s sensory systems.
Stephen Kajiura, an author on the study, had this to say, “Elasmobranchs are renowned for their well-developed sensory systems, which are critical to alert them of the presence of predators, prey, mates, and unfavorable environmental conditions. Any impairment of these sensory systems could have a damaging effect on their survival and fitness.”
Although this study was done on just one species, it is probable that the negative effects of crude oil could be seen on other elasmobranch species.
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