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Sixth-Grader’s Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

Her project showed that the lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water. The results blew away professional ecologists. The invasive species has no predators on the Florida coast, so if they were to migrate upstream in rivers, they could pose a threat to the ecosystem.

"Scientists were doing plenty of tests on them, but they just always assumed they were in the ocean," Lauren, now 13, tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers. "So I was like, ‘Well, hey guys, what about the river?’ "

In the beginning, she wanted to conduct her test by placing the lionfish in cages at different points in the river, but she had to simplify the project.

"It was just a small, sixth-grade project, and I really didn’t have all the tools necessary," she says. Her dad, who has a Ph.D. in fish ecology, suggested that she put the fish in tanks instead.

Lauren then put six different lionfish in six different tanks where she could watch her subjects closely. Lauren was given a strict set of rules by the science fair organizers. The most important one: Her fish could not die.

Lionfish had been found to live in water with salt levels of 20 parts per thousand. But no one knew that they could live in water salinity below that.

One of the six lionfish was her control fish, and the rest were the experimental fish. Every night for eight days, she would lower the salinity 5 parts per thousand in the experimental tanks. On the eighth day of her experiment, she found her experimental fish were living at 6 parts per thousand. She was amazed.

Her research did not stop there. Craig Layman, an ecology professor at North Carolina State University, confirmed Lauren’s results. “He credited a sixth-grader for coming up with his idea,” Lauren says ecstatically. Layman’s findings were published this year in the science journal Environmental Biology of Fishes. Lauren is mentioned in the acknowledgments.

Lauren’s father says he talks about science with her a lot. “We’re a science bunch of dorks in our family,” he tells McEvers.

(Source: NPR)

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obsidianwingsofmidnight:

city-of-superwholockian-candy:

gaybananas-and-all-thellamas:

dumb-asses:

shakethestump:

twntydollarnosebleed:

stargatekitten:

walkingbitchfest:

awkward-avenger:

izziesworldofizzie:

ahuttoftea:

fizzylimon:

meisterj:

savagelucy42:

I am the Beastmaster.

It was Pitch Perfect. i’m stuck is a more musical version of real life, it sucks because I’m visual and can’t sing for shit.

The Lego Movie.
I am the opposite of fucked.

IM GONNA WRECK IT

'How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying' so basically I'm doing great.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL YES I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE IN A WES ANDERSON MOVIE

HTTYD2 I AM THE FARTHEST THING FROM FUCKED GIMMEE A FUCKING DRAGON WOOOOOOOOOOO

I watched Dredd. I am going to die

Julie and julia. I will be very very well fed

Catching Fire. See you in the arena bitches

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
well sHIT

I am watching Dirvergent for the first time ever and now I’m a tad terrified.

IM SO HAPPY IM IN THE ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES!!!

The Dark Knight. I don’t know how to feel about this

Stargate. So…

…Silence of the Lambs. T_T

(Source: slutformisha)

How sexy is your name?

zodiaccity:

Add the letters in your first name using the numbers below =) 

- Under 60 points= NOT TOO SEXY
- Between 61-300 points= PRETTY SEXY
- Between 301-599 points= VERY SEXY
- Over 600= THE ULTIMATE SEXIEST

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sashayed:

silvermoon424:

poppypicklesticks:

billybatsonandjameshowlettsbro:

cosmicallycosmopolitan:

billybatsonandjameshowlettsbro:

james-winston:

The Titanoboa, is a 48ft long snake dating from around 60-58million years ago. It had a rib cage 2ft wide, allowing it to eat whole crocodiles, and surrounding the ribcage were muscles so powerful that it could crush a rhinoTitanoboa was so big it couldn’t even spend long amounts of time on land, because the force of gravity acting on it would cause it to suffocate under its own weight.

I’m so glad they aren’t around

omg me too. I’m scared enough of 26 ft long anacondas. I’m so happy Megalodons, those giant sharks, aren’t alive either

Praise natural selection

I remember watching Walking with Beasts or something similar, or some British tv show about evolution

The subject was something like a 12 foot long water scorpion

I was so startled by its sudden appearance and narration that I yelped: “12 fucking feet?!?!  I’m fucking glad it’s extinct!” 

Dude, prehistory was home to some fucking TERRIFYING creatures. For some reason, everything back then was enormous and scary. Extinction doesn’t always have to be a bad thing!

And Poppy, what you saw was an arthropod known as Pterygotus (it was actually featured in Walking With Monsters). Not only was it as big (or maybe even bigger) than your average human, it had a stinger the size of a lightbulb. REALLY glad that bugger isn’t around anymore.

Also, Megalodon deserves to be mention again, because just hearing its name makes me want to never be submerged in water ever again.

GOD, I HATE THIS POST. HOW DO WE EVEN KNOW THAT SHIT ISN’T STILL AROUND? LURKING? EVOLVING? WE DON’T. WE DON’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT SHIT DOWN THERE. THE OCEAN IS A PRIMEVAL HELLSCAPE NIGHTMARE AND WE ALL JUST DIP OUR STUPID FRAGILE UNPROTECTED FETUS BODIES AROUND THE EDGES OF IT LIKE THAT’S NORMAL. FUCK THE OCEAN.

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