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Title:Suspended Ice
Author(s):Fields, Lauren
Subject(s):Animal Biology
Abstract:The fog on this water is not fog at all but actually minute ice crystals suspended in the surface water. The Southern Ocean, Antarctica, is the coldest water in the world and ice crystals can be present from the surface down to 33m depth and range in size from microscopic to 15cm diameter. Small ice crystals are easily ingested by fishes and can also enter the body through lesions in the skin or gills. The blood and tissues of a fish should freeze at -1'C in the -1.9'C water but they are able to survive due to the prevalence of biological antifreeze glycoproteins which bind to the ice crystals and prevent the crystals from growing which would mean the death of the fish. My research focuses on the ecological effects of temperature and ice on the activity and concentration of these antifreeze glycoproteins. Regions of the Southern Ocean remain frozen nearly year-round while others (seen in this image taken off the Antarctic Peninsula) are ice-covered only in the winter months. Fishes from warmer regions in winter have lower concentrations of antifreeze than their cold-region counterparts but still maintain a high enough concentration to keep their blood from freezing.
Issue Date:2015-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Lauren Fields
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-04-20

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