A Mud-Loving, Iron-Lunged, Jelly-Eating Ecosystem Savior

Meet the bearded goby, a six-inch-long fish that lives in toxic mud, eats jellyfish, lasts for hours without oxygen, and has saved a coastal African ecosystem from a nightmare fate.

Over the last several decades, as other fish populations off the coast of the Namibia collapsed, jellyfish and bacteria populations exploded — a condition widely considered to be ecological an dead end, incapable of supporting rich webs of life.

But amidst this turmoil, the goby has thrived. It circulates nutrients that would otherwise be lost, feeds animals who lost their historic prey, and provides that rare thing: a happy, or at least not-so-bad, ending to an environmental disaster story.

Read the rest on Wired.com.

Tags: Africa, Namibia, ecosystems, environment, environmental disaster, fish, food chain

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Replies to This Discussion

While people do their damnedest to eff up the planet, nature struggles to find a balance.

That's certainly not saying that we should not worry about how we're effing up the planet. But the cynic in me is confident that even if we do our worse and cause mass extinction - preferably including ourselves among the extinct if we do - Earth will go on.
It most likely will.


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