Imagine trying to adapt to life on Mars. One might think this would be a difficult feat. Physiologically, a fish being able to live in both fresh and salt water may be just as difficult! This is because saltwater and freshwater environments present very different challenges to fishes due to two related processes: osmosis and diffusion.
The Marine Science Institute's monthly column, Science and the SeaTM, is an informative and entertaining article that explains many interesting features of the marine environment and the creatures that live there. Science and the SeaTM articles appear monthly in one of Texas' most widely read fishing magazines, Texas Saltwater Fishing, the Port Aransas South Jetty newspaper, the newsletter of the Texas Chapter of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association , and the Heartland Of America online newspaper. Our article archive is available also on our website.
The “golden shadow from the lagoon” has returned to the Texas coast. Though not as well publicized as the fabled Loch Ness monster, this mysterious life form has plagued our coastal bays for more than a decade.
The “golden shadow” actually refers to the microscopic plant Aureoumbra lagunensis. This single-celled, golden-brown plant can reproduce so rapidly that it changes the color of the water and such blooms are commonly referred to as brown tide.