Metal pollution bad for fish sense of smell

By on March 22, 2013
Iron contamination in Idaho’s Blackbird Creek (Credit: NOAA)

According to Environmental Health News, researchers from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta have found that metal-polluted waters detract from fishes’ sense of smell.

When metals contact fish nostrils, their neurons stop working properly. Since fish use their sense of smell to find food and mates and to avoid predators, sensory deprivation due to pollution can be devastating to fish populations.

However, by placing fish from polluted waters into clean water, researchers ascertained that the effects of metal pollution are reversible.

The study may help researchers find ways to bolster fish populations and revive those endangered or threatened species.

Image: Iron contamination in Idaho’s Blackbird Creek (Credit: NOAA)

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