How a little bit of cold can kill a big manatee, and what it might mean for the species

While Florida may be warm enough even in the coldest winter months to attract sun-seeking tourists, when the thermometer does dip, it can prove deadly for endangered Florida manatees. Just why these plus-size animals would succumb in water cooled to just 68 degrees Fahrenheit has remained a mystery. Now, researchers from HARBOR BRANCH Oceanographic and other institutions have discovered for the first time the causes of this "cold stress syndrome" in Florida manatees.

The work, described in the current edition of the journal Aquatic Mammals, could significantly improve treatment for cold-stressed manatees. It could also help decide an ongoing controversial debate regarding the manatee's state endangered species status and aid in the development of plans to minimize the effects of power plant shutdowns on the manatees who have grown to depend on the warm water they release.

During cold spells, sick, sometimes emaciated manatees at times wash up along the coast of Florida afflicted with a puzzling combination of skin sores and infections that clinicians historically treated as separate ailments. In the new paper, lead author Dr. Gregory Bossart, Director of the Division of Marine Mammal Research and Conservation at HARBOR BRANCH, and colleagues, explain how long-term exposure to cold water can be responsible for this multi-faceted condition.

The team found that the cold stress syndrome stems from a cascade of physiological events and diseases initiated by cold water and manatees' limited ability to adapt to low temperature extremes. The study suggests that the animal's metabolism slows, leading to digestion problems, decreased appetite, and associated weight loss. These events, along with the possible release of certain hormones, weaken manatees' immune systems, making them vulnerable to environmental toxins as well as a variety of diseases, including pneumonia, intestinal infections, and perhaps even a manatee virus similar to one that c

Contact: Mark Schrope
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Study: A little help from friends makes wounds heal faster
2. Comprehensive study: We know little about environmental effects on kids
3. Vitamins do little to prevent recurrent stroke
4. A little stress may be good for you
5. Research shows little effect from Arctic offshore oil drilling
6. Dutch diet contains too little folic acid
7. Chimpanzees with little or no human contact found in remote African rainforest
8. Artemis: a little bit is not enough
9. Too little attention is paid to the side effects of emission-limiting measures
10. Study identifies hypertension patients who can benefit from the little used diuretic amiloride
11. New technologies to battle little known, widespread cattle disease

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/21/2019)... ... 2019 , ... The ASGCT Clinical Trials Finder is a customizable ... United States. Data curated daily from ClinicalTrials.gov ensures the most up-to-date and applicable listings ... to assist in the development of the ASGCT Clinical Trials Finder reviewed ...
(Date:5/16/2019)... ... ... In a FDA-contracted Standard Coordinating Body Workshop held at the ... Asymmetrex founder and director James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. predicted a sea ... cells. Many of the gathered participants dismissed this idea. Few argued against ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... ... May 14, 2019 , ... IMMUNE 3D®, ... beyond immuno-oncology into areas of autoimmunity, fibrosis and skin immunology. In addition, the ... lines for IO discovery efforts. , IMMUNE 3D®’s proprietary platform aims to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... 30, 2019 , ... The centuries old practice of brewing beer thrives today ... breweries, and even home brewing clubs scattered across the nation. , But proper ... mastered can produce a superb product. Students at South Dakota School of Mines ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... , ... May 02, 2019 , ... ... clinic in the greater Boston area. Gone are the days of painful hair ... iX Robotic Hair Restoration System is the only robotic intelligent solution to offer ...
(Date:4/18/2019)... ... April 18, 2019 , ... Taking a ... includes a chemical engineer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a novel ... possible to manufacture isobutanol and other biofuels more economically. , Isobutanol, like ethanol, ...
(Date:4/15/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Sirrus, Inc., a developer of novel electron-deficient ... to increase production of methylene malonate monomers and oligomers. , The expanded bench ... production facility, which is scheduled to break ground in 2019. “The expanded facility ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: