The extraordinary survival of seal lice in the deep sea

by   |  VIEW 268

The extraordinary survival of seal lice in the deep sea

Under pressure: the extraordinary survival of seal lice in the deep sea, a study published on The Journal of experimental biology, shows a very interesting insight into this extraordinary marine symbiosis, showing a truly two-part bond, and a survival that defies many laws, but that becomes reality.

We can read: "Lice from pinnipeds - sea lions, seals and walruses - are the only insects capable of surviving marine dives. Throughout their evolutionary history, they have adapted to tolerate hypoxia, high salinity, low temperature and, in particular, to tolerate conditions of high hydrostatic pressure.

To understand the limits of the capacity of lice to survive during host deep dives, we conducted a series of controlled experiments in the laboratory. We collected lice from elephant seals and submitted the different life stages to high pressure conditions.

Lice were first exposed to one of four hydrostatic pressures: 30, 80, 150 or 200 kg cm-2 They were then exposed a second time to higher or lower hydrostatic pressure conditions to test for the impact of the first experience, which could either be deleterious or trigger physiological adaption, allowing them a better tolerance to high pressure.

We found that lice from elephant seals can tolerate hydrostatic pressures higher than 200 k g cm-2 (close to 200 atm), which is equivalent to 2000 m depth. Adults exhibited lower recovery times than nymphs after immersion at high hydrostatic pressure.

Our findings show that lice have developed unique adaptations to endure extreme marine conditions. We discuss these extreme performances in relation to the morphological characteristics and physiological responses to diving in these insects."

Oregon: the devastating wildfires still burns

In the western US, especially in the state of Oregon, devastating fires are still burning.

Just a few days ago we reported how the smoke coming from the west of the country has enveloped the New York skyline with its coils. There are currently still about 80 active fires. In Oregon, the Bootleg destroyed a larger area than Los Angeles.

The flames began to spread from last July 6 and are currently limited to only 25%. The coils of the fires have developed clouds of hot air which can cause a further spread of the fire. About 16 fires are active in both Oregon and Washington state and several more in California and Nevada as well.

The ongoing fires on the West Coast and in the US Midwest have destroyed over one million acres of land. Montana is the state with the highest number of wildfires, 18, followed by Idaho with 17. New York invaded by smoke from wildfires of the West, especially in Oregon, which is currently the largest in the United States.

The smoke produced by thousands of hectares of burning forest is moving towards the east coast, favored by strong winds. Other parts of the eastern United States and Canada were also covered in a smoky gray haze yesterday.

caused by the vast fires that are affecting the western areas of the country. In New York, according to a local expert, smoking is lower than usual. However, this phenomenon is expected to disappear by today, with the expected arrival of a cold front in the New York region, according to a spokesperson for the US National Meteorological Service.

The New York State Environmental Protection Services have issued a full-day air quality alert, a measure that is systematically triggered when concentrations of fine particles above 35 micrograms per cubic meter are expected.