Sunday, 17 February 2008

It's Time For Slime

It's devolution in action as the world's oceans gradually return to something like the start of life on the planet. The Los Angeles Times has an excellent long feature on the phenomenon. From this piece:

"In many places — the atolls of the Pacific, the shrimp beds of the Eastern Seaboard, the fiords of Norway — some of the most advanced forms of ocean life are struggling to survive while the most primitive are thriving and spreading. Fish, corals and marine mammals are dying while algae, bacteria and jellyfish are growing unchecked. Where this pattern is most pronounced, scientists evoke a scenario of evolution running in reverse, returning to the primeval seas of hundreds of millions of years ago."

Thought the ocean were relatively free of the sort of garbage we've filled the earth with? Think again. All this unchecked refuse is sure to have consequences we can scarcely conceive of. Jellyfish, algae blooms, fireweed, and - perhaps most notably - giant squid, all these fill the gaps left by now vanishing species, "transforming the oceans into a microbial soup."

Could things possibly get any worse?

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