Posted July 06, 2018 05:02:33 A sea scallope caught off the coast of Western Australia may have succumbed to starvation, according to scientists.
The species is one of the most endangered species in the world.
“It’s very hard to get sea scalls,” said the Queensland University of Technology’s Dr. David Silliman.
“They’re very tough.
They’re incredibly resilient.”
Researchers from the Queensland Institute of Marine Sciences collected the scalloped sea scum off the shore of the Northern Territory’s Bass Strait in December, and tested it for the presence of the toxin thiamethoxam.
The test revealed that the scalls were almost certainly sick.
“The scalloping sea scapulars have been found to be very sensitive to thiamethylsulfamethoxazole,” Dr. Sillim said.
“When thiamoxazoles are in the scum, the scapula and scapulae have a higher rate of infection.”
Thiamethoxicam is also toxic to the brain, heart, kidneys and lungs, which are important organs in developing fetuses.
The toxin is a common ingredient in antifreeze used in the U.S. and Europe.
Dr. Steve Williams, a research fellow at the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences, said the toxin was probably also in the sea scales.
“Thiamethoxin can be detected in the tissues of sea scapes, particularly in the anterior segment of the scalp, but we don’t know exactly what the extent of that is yet,” he said.
Sea scalls can live for up to 50 years.
The scientists said it was possible the sea-scallops were eating too much and died.
“A lot of species, especially scallopes, will not survive to adulthood,” Dr Sillum said.
The researchers said they were still trying to understand the exact mechanism behind this.
“We can’t tell for sure, but it may be that they’re not responding to thiosulfam and thiamestimethoxamide and thiosaepoxy, but just aren’t responding as well to the thiamylsulfamide,” Dr Williams said.
A team from the University at Albany has also been studying the sea shells of the western Australian coast.
“Our team has been studying sea scalps since 2010, and we’re currently analysing the seascapes in this area,” said senior scientist Dr. Thomas W. McBride, from the university’s Department of Earth Sciences.
“There are some things we don,t know yet about the mechanism, but that could mean there is some type of toxic response.
It could be a combination of all these things that we’re still not sure of.”
Scientists have been studying scalloplankton for a decade and have found the species has been affected by climate change and habitat loss.
Scientists have also been looking at how sea scaly sea creatures grow and mature, as well as how they respond to ocean acidification.
“Sea scaly scallos have an extremely high growth rate, which makes them very resilient to climate change,” Dr McBride said.
Scientists are also looking at the ability of scallopsis to adapt to changing environments.
“This could be because they are more able to survive on a variety of nutrient-poor conditions, like low salinity, and that’s why they’re being threatened by the acidification of the oceans,” Dr W. R. MacLean, a professor of ecology at the university, said.