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Research at Millport

Nature volume 141, page 1006 (04 June 1938) | Download Citation



THE annual report of the Scottish Marine Biological Association for 1936–37 shows that much good work is in progress. A scheme has been prepared for extension of accommodation which it is hoped will soon be carried out. Among other things, the library space will be considerably enlarged. Work on the growth and food of the herring has been continued by Drs. Orr, Marshall and Nicholls, mainly on the young herring. In 1935 the life-history of the herring was followed from hatching in March to metamorphosis at the beginning of June. Since July 1936 catches have been made every fortnight up to the present time in the immediate neighbourhood of the laboratory. The largest numbers were caught at dusk. Work on algal ecology has been continued by Dr. D. C. Gibb, and on animal ecology by Mr. A. J. Haddow on the growth of Sertularia, and by Dr. E. E. Watkin on the Amphipod genus Bathy-poreia. In view of the failure of the herring supplies during the winter, a number of fishermen have turned their attention to "clams"as Pecten maxim/us is called locally. Preliminary work on this mollusc indicates that at five years it measures 4 inches wide, growth being indicated by winter rings, and it takes four years to reach a marketable size. It therefore grows too slowly to maintain for long the call now being made on the reserves of the species. Interesting results from examining the stomach contents of shags and coromorants are shown. The shags visiting sandy areas feed on shrimps and polychaetes and on rocky shores eat prawns (Leander).

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