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A salty situation.

Zooplankton may be the smallest species in the freshwater food chain, but they play a big role in preserving our lakes, streams and wetlands. That’s one of the reasons why IBM  joined forces with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and The FUND for Lake George to create the Jefferson Project at Lake George to understand and protect freshwater ecosystems. Recently they studied the effects road salt has on a species of zooplankton. Road salt usage has increased 50-fold since 1940, and bodies of freshwater are increasing in salinity because of it. Using IBM technology, the researchers monitored zooplankton in varying levels of salinity and found that the organisms were capable of evolving a higher tolerance to the salt. This is good news for the ecosystem since the loss of plankton could have cascading effects throughout the food chain. See, small can be mighty too.


Explore the study’s results  →

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A large colony of garden eels sway and feed in the gentle currents off Dumaguete Philippines. Garden eels are extremely shy and harmless members of the conger eel family. They live in burrows on the sea floor and are very social creatures that form large colonies. The currents deliver a a continuous passing supply of plankton allowing the eels to feed in the comfort and safety of their sandy home. As our team approached this giant colony they quickly vanished into their burrows as if they never existed. I find these colonies to be hypnotic living gardens in the sea. Thank you to Leandro Blanco for video support. On assignment for @natgeo Philippines, Inside the Coral Triangle.
#DiscoverOcean

Me: *is visibly upset*

Gf: what’s wrong?

Me: nothing.

Me internally: Plankton’s “do instruments of torture count?” question in Band Geeks has been so undeservedly overshadowed by Patrick. Like, that’s some comedy gold, and if it wasn’t for the slightly brighter comedy gold that is “is mayonnaise an instrument?” it would be much more popular. It deserves to be.