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Mallards ferry fish eggs between waterbodies (audubon.org)
78 points by Someone 4 days ago | hide | favorite | 15 comments

That's TERRIBLE news for The Great Lakes:


People are fighting like hell to keep Asian carp out of the lakes, this makes me think it's an impossible fight.

Just introduce Baikal Seals to the Great Lakes & they'll eat the carp. Plus - water pups!

This is quite interesting, as it has long been the popular belief that birds were responsible for migrating fish eggs to new bodies of water (albeit usually stated as external transport on legs and or feathers, not internal). Even Charles Darwin proposed this explanation. But there has been little scientific evidence that this was actually true.

Just mentioned this story to my fisherman friend and he said he has dug quite a few ponds and often seen fish magically appear before they stock the pond.

There is debate about whether Zelandia the mostly submerged continent under New Zealand was ever fully submerged. One of the arguments agains this is the existence of related species of fresh water fish in NZ and New Caledonia. I guess this means there is the possibility that so long as some lake somewhere didn't submerge, the fish could have re-populated to newly rising islands.

"If there's one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories, and crashes through barriers painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh, well, there it is. ...Life finds a way." - Jurassic Park

Oh, thank you! I am now past my middle age, but I so remember as if it were yesterday, the day when I was not more than 7 years old. A completely isolated small puddle of water, all that remained after few days rain and then Sunshine. I stepped on it, creating small waves and a couple of fish emerged writhing on to the dry surface. No one could answer how they came about. All my 7 year brain could think of then was some bird must have dropped them by accident. And now I have the answer!

> No one could answer how they came about

There are simpler explanations for that. It depends on the location but in some places is pretty normal.

I always suspected this was how fish wind up in isolated lakes and ponds but no one could ever tell me for sure.

The "it is known" story i had was that fish eggs stick to the legs of wading brids; exterior transmission... It doesn't seem impossible but birds groom themselves too, so I dunno.

In hindsight it seems so obvious. Going forward, "duck poop" will be my new default answer to every question.

Not, is not so normal. We talk of putting a delicate embrio for several hours in a bottle of hydrochloric acid or vinegar (PH: 1-3), and expecting that the animal will survive intact and without any inner damage in organs or skeleton. Even a minor damage would disqualify it for competing and survive in nature; and we are assuming that hatching means survival, correct grow and even a guarantee of living enough years to be able to reproduce. Is a big leap.

This is not what happens normally and the original experiment should have addressed it.

But the idea is pretty convenient so we can now start blaming the ducks and talking about stop spending money in "unavoidable" processes when in the 99% of the cases the real culprit will be human

Is like seeing lots of money vanished for a bank with the door crashed and blame termites for it.

There's a Monty Python and the Holy Grail joke in there somewhere but I can't quite reach it.

I really enjoy how it's not quite parasitology research, but involves very similar methods :)

I had the same conversation in other forum two days ago and my opinion has not changed.

Not. Not necessarily.

> Hungarian researchers fed...

The team comprises researchers working in Hungary and Spain in fact

As they say, is a preliminary study

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