This article was originally published on September 26, 2018.
More:A study published on August 26, 2017 in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface (JRSI) shows that a small number of sea animals can survive the frigid temperatures in Antarctic waters.
A study led by the University of Washington, the University in Queensland, and the Queensland Government has found that, even though the ocean can be very cold, there are certain species that can survive it.
In a study led with the University at Albany, University of New South Wales, and Queensland Government scientists, the scientists showed that the animals found on Antarctic beaches can be kept warm by staying in close proximity to warm water, such as the water in rivers or streams.
“The study demonstrates that it’s not about getting warm or keeping warm, it’s about being in close vicinity to warm waters,” Dr Paul D’Agostino said.
“We found that animals like seals, sealsons, and marine mammals like seals and sea lions can survive below the freezing point.”
Some of these animals can stay in their dens and get warmer for longer periods of time, which helps them to cope with the extreme cold conditions.
“Dr D’Aguostino and his team from the University and Queensland have been working with a research partner, the Australian Antarctic Division, and a marine mammal research centre at the University’s Institute of Marine Science to track how the animals living in Antarctic conditions survive the harsh conditions.
The team used data from the Australian National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Operational Marine Ecosystem Monitoring Program (OMEP), which monitors temperature and salinity levels in the marine environment, to monitor the water temperature, salinity, and pH in Antarctic water.
In the OMP, the researchers monitored temperatures and salinities of the water from November 2017 to August 2018.
In January 2019, they found that the sea animals that lived on the surface of the Antarctic ice sheet, such an anchovy and sea bass, were more than twice as likely to survive when the water was just above freezing than when it was below freezing.
The study shows that sea mammals, such a sea bass and anchovy, can survive a frigid winter in the Antarctic and can be used as an example to help understand the effects of extreme cold on marine animals.”
In the ocean, we have many species that have adapted to extreme cold and these adaptations have been used to survive the extreme conditions that we see,” Dr D’Abostino explained.”
These are all animals that can move to different areas of the ocean to get food, to eat fresh fish, to move around and for some species, it can even be able to survive by swimming in the water and getting warm in the process.
“That’s the key to understanding why some animals can be adapted to such conditions and others can’t.”
For the study, Dr D ‘AgostINO and his colleagues monitored temperature and pH levels in Antarctic ice and freshwater waters over three months from December 2017 to July 2018, taking into account the average salinity and temperature in each area.
“When we first started this project, we were concerned about the extent to which animals would adapt to the harsh cold conditions, and that they would have a limited amount of time to adjust to the change,” Dr A ‘Aguastino said, “but the results of this study have shown that we are not the only ones to find this.”
Dr A ‘Agastino has been working to understand the impacts of extreme weather on marine mammals since he graduated from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Marine Mammalogy.
“I wanted to look at the impacts on the marine animals that are living in Antarctica, to try and understand how their bodies respond to these harsh conditions,” Dr AgostINO said.
Dr D ‘Agroso and his research team have now been able to examine the relationship between salinity changes and changes in the animals’ physiology and behaviour.
“One of the things that we’ve found is that the organisms are very sensitive to changes in their environment,” Dr AGOSTINO said, adding that they have already found that sea animals are able to adapt to a range of conditions and temperatures.
“So we can’t see if the animals can withstand certain conditions in Antarctica and they can’t tolerate certain conditions at other locations, but we can see that their physiology and behavioural response to their environment is more like those animals that live in warmer areas of Antarctica.”
Dr AGOSTICO said that the Antarctic is one of the cold spots in the world, where temperatures are typically around 0C, so the Antarctic environment has a lot of unique characteristics.
“What we’ve learned from this work is that animals are very adaptable, they have an extraordinary ability to adapt,” Dr Aguastino explained, “which is one reason why we’re seeing animals that have survived for so long on the Antarctic are able, through their ability to survive in extreme cold, to survive for so much longer.”