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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
Until recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) kept its plans for its $70 million portion of the...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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ScienceShot: Sawfish Going Extinct
2 October 2013 4:30 pm
The vast sandy channels and grassy flats of Brazil’s Amazon estuary may be the last, best hope for the beleaguered largetooth sawfish (Pristis pristis) in the Atlantic Ocean. The swimmer, known for its long, tooth-edged snout that looks like some alien saw blade, is one of the world’s most threatened marine creatures, a victim of overfishing and habitat loss. The shark relative is found around the world in tropical and semitropical seas, but in recent years conservationists have become gravely concerned about Atlantic stocks. The fish may now be extinct in some parts of its Atlantic range, including waters off the southern United States, northern South America, and southern West Africa, researchers report in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. And an analysis of more than 800 sightings and catch records from 1830 to 2009 suggest that just three sawfish strongholds remain in the Atlantic: the Colorado-San Juan River system in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the Bissagos Archipelago in Guinea-Bissau, and—most important—the Amazon estuary. Greater protection for these areas is “crucial,” the authors conclude, “if the extinction of the species in the Atlantic Ocean is to be prevented.”