Atlantic killifish Current Affairs

Researchers discover mutated Atlantic killifish resistant to toxic waste 8,000 times

Researchers discovered Atlantic killifish, a fish species which has evolved to be 8,000 times more resilient to toxic waste compared with normal fish.

The fish species lives in the heavily polluted East Coast estuaries of US such as the Elizabeth River in Virginia and the Newark Bay in New Jersey.

Key Facts
  • The evolution has made Atlantic killifish very resilient to environmental change allows it live in lethal and human-altered environments.
  • The fish has evolved to adapt to the amount of highly toxic industrial pollutants that would normally kill normal fish.
  • Killifish has resilience to high levels of genetic variation which is higher than those of other vertebrates including humans.
  • The fish has small strip on its small body and has beautiful colours. It is not commercially valuable
  • Ecologists use it as an indicator species acting like an aquatic canary in polluted environments.
How it is resistant to toxic waste?

The high genetic diversity of the killifish makes it unusually well-positioned to adapt and survive in habitats that have been radically changed. It has the genetic variation needed to adapt even before the habitats they live in became polluted. It can live in polluted sites have been contaminated by a mixture of industrial plants which include heavy metals, dioxins, hydrocarbons and other chemicals.

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