strange behaviors

Cool doings from the natural and human worlds

  • Richard Conniff

  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books

    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

  • Wall of the Dead

  • Categories

  • Advertisements

The Next Big Thing #2: Working On The Right Mussels

Posted by Richard Conniff on December 27, 2013

North America is a mother lode of freshwater mussels, with almost 300 native species. Their looks are dull, but their behaviors aren’t. In one species, for instance, the female puts out a fleshy mantle that does a convincing imitation of a minnow. But when a real fish comes to investigate, the mussel blasts larvae into its gills, turning the fish into a mussel incubator.

Unfortunately, many native mussels are now being overwhelmed and suffocated by invasive zebra and quagga mussels. Researchers have been testing scores of microbes in search of a way to kill the invaders and save the homegrown species. The common North American soil bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens didn’t sound like a contender at first. It’s a beneficial microbe used in agriculture to protect the roots of some plants against fungi and nematodes. One strain even helps turn milk into yogurt. But when researchers tried strain CL145A, it killed the invasive mussels without harming anything else.

Advertisements

One Response to “The Next Big Thing #2: Working On The Right Mussels”

  1. […] « The Next Big Thing #2: Working On The Right Mussels […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s