Navigation Links
Archaeological study shows human activity may have boosted shellfish size
Date:8/31/2010

In a counter-intuitive finding, new research from North Carolina State University shows that a species of shellfish widely consumed in the Pacific over the past 3,000 years has actually increased in size, despite and possibly because of increased human activity in the area.

"What we've found indicates that human activity does not necessarily mean that there is going to be a negative impact on a species even a species that people relied on as a major food source," says Dr. Scott Fitzpatrick, associate professor of sociology and anthropology at NC State and co-author of the study. "The trends we see in the archaeological record in regard to animal remains are not always what one would expect."

At issue is the humped conch, Strombus gibberulus, a small mollusk that has been a food source in the Pacific islands for thousands of years. The researchers dated and measured more than 1,400 humped conch shells found at an archaeological site on the island of Palau in the western Pacific. They expected the size of the conchs to decrease over time, based on the conventional wisdom that an expanding human population would result in the conchs being harvested before they could achieve their maximum size.

Instead, the researchers were surprised to find that the average size of the conchs actually increased in conjunction with a growing human population. Specifically, the length of the average conch increased by approximately 1.5 millimeters (mm) over the past 3,000 years. That may not sound like much, but it is significant when you consider the conchs are only around 30 mm long which means the conchs are now almost 5 percent larger than they used to be.

Fitzpatrick believes the size increase is likely related to an increase in nutrients in the conch's waters, stemming from increased agriculture and other human activities.

"In the big picture," Fitzpatrick says, "this study tells us to focus on the physical evidence and beware of conventional wisdom. It also tells us that using a large number of samples is important. Previous studies had shown a decline in conch size at Pacific archaeological sites but they used smaller sample sizes. Maybe that is a factor in their findings."


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Queens helps produce archaeological time machine
2. Shipworm threatens archaeological treasures
3. Study: The bright red of cardinals means less in urban areas
4. New study shows that oilsands mining and processing are polluting the Athabasca River
5. BUSPH study observes link between decongestant use in pregnant women and lower risk of preterm birth
6. Study points to key genetic driver of severe allergic asthma
7. Neuronal diversity makes a difference, says Carnegie Mellon study
8. Jefferson receives $3 million NIH grant to study molecular and genetic mechanisms in platelets
9. Texas A&M research produces tools to study stallions subfertility
10. UCI-Scripps study links cellular motors to memory
11. Coral off Puerto Ricos coast ideal case study for Gulf oil spills impact
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Archaeological study shows human activity may have boosted shellfish size
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016  A new partnership announced today ... underwriting decisions in a fraction of the time ... and high-value life insurance policies to consumers without ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and ... (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid ... setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to ... leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track ... and body mass index, and, when they opt in, ... convenient visit to a local retail location at no ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: LEGX ... Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort to ... of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting and ... athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing proof ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By inserting ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... Despite the volatility that continues to envelop the ... research on ActiveWallSt.com directs the investor community,s focus on the ... ), Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: CERS ), Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals ... Inc. (NASDAQ: FPRX ). Register with us today ... On Wednesday, shares in Massachusetts ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... FireflySci cuvettes are used in leading laboratories all over the globe. Their ... , In addition to manufacturing awesome cuvettes, FireflySci makes spectrophotometer calibration standards that ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The ... fracture-specific plating options designed to address fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. ... The Acumed Ankle Plating System 3 is composed of seven plate families that ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... at the University of Athens say they have evidence that the variety of different ... lead to one good one. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the ... 98 mesothelioma patients who got a second kind of drug therapy after ...
Breaking Biology Technology: