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I still want to know what happened to those fish that escaped from the dentist’s office in ‘Finding Nemo.’

↓ More info + Links! ↓

1. Boy, that sucks…
“First record of the non-native suckermouth armored catfish Hypostomus cf. niceforoi (Fowler 1943) (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Central America,” W. A. Matamoros, C. D. McMahan et al. Occasional papers from the Museum of Natural Science, LSU (2016):

“WWF and the aquarium trade in the Amazon and Orinoco - Buy exotic fish, save Amazon rainforests,”, retrieved 8.31.16:

“Don’t dump that aquarium: Cute aquarium fish become ugly monsters in springs and streams,” Larry D. Hodge. Texas parks and wildlife magazine, retrieved 8.31.16:

2. Emily’s relationship advice…

“Comparative genomics reveals convergent rates of evolution in ant-plant mutalisms,” Benjamin E. R. Rubin & Corrie S. Moreau. Nature communications (2016):

“Peaceful ant-plant partnerships lead to genomic arms race,” Elizabeth Pennisi, Science Magazine (2016):


Host, Producer, Set Design: Emily Graslie
Written by:Emily Graslie, Mark Alvey, Kate Golembiewski, Matthew Northey
Contributions from: Corrie Moreau, Caleb McMahan, Pete Makovicky

Camera, Editor, Graphics, Sound: Sheheryar Ahsan

Camera, Graphics, Animation: Brandon Brungard

Music: Jason Weidner

Additional footage: Greg Mercer
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Heey and welcome back to Natural News from The Field Museum!

Todays stories include exciting dinosaur discoveries, things that suck, and the importance of not becoming a parasite in any long-term relationship you may have. Lets go!

Fishes collections manager Caleb McMahan and co-authors recently had a publication in the Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science from Louisiana State University about something that SUCKS. Literally. Hypostomus niceforoi is a species of suckermouth armored catfish that is found in Andean streams in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru -- but this new paper reveals that the species has recently been collected from Lago Nicaragua, in Nicaragua.

And given the big geographic leap and saltwater barriers, the fish probably didnt swim there, BUT.. it may have flown. At least, part of the way. See, ornamental fishes often travel thousands of miles from their original homes to end up in your fishtank.

The papers authors believe that this fish trade is the reason why a South American catfish was found in a Central American lake. The ornamental fish industry has been in place in Central and South America for decades, and when sustainably and responsibly managed this industry provides jobs for thousands of people. But, when pet owners grow tired of their scaly pets and decide to dump them in a local water system, its seriously bad news: one estimate is the aquarium trade has contributed to a third of the worlds worst aquatic and invasive species, which makes that one scene from Finding Nemo not NEARLY as endearing.

Armored catfishes like this species of Hypostomus can become entangled in fishing nets and ruin them, due to their long spines and barbs. More dramatically, different species of armored catfishes are known invasives in other parts of Central America and the extent of their negative impact on those environments is not yet fully understood. So let this be a friendly reminder and dont dump your fish!

If youre looking to get rid of your pet and its still healthy, consider returning it to a pet store, or donating your setup to a school or retirement home. Because even if you think youre saving one fish by releasing it into the wild, you could be irreversibly damaging an entire population of native fishes. And thats a bummer of a thought! -- Weve got an update from Field Correspondent M.

Lee Grass Lee, who is reporting on recent dino finds in Utah. Fossil preparator Akiko Shinya and curator Pete Makovicky are out west doing some good, ol-fashioned prospecting with a few other staffers hoping to strike paleo-gold. Lets go to the Field.

Thanks Emily. Were back in Utah here with Pete and Akiko where theyve spent three weeks conducting field work on the lookout for dinosaurs - and boy is it hot. While searching for these 112-98 million year old remains, the team walked up to 12 miles a day in 100 degree heat.

But diligence pays off, and after a week of nothing they scored big when they discovered a partial skeleton of a probable armored dinosaur. The team also salvaged a small, Late Jurassic herbivorous dinosaur, which had been located by a state geologist and then run over by local dirt bike enthusiasts, as well as the skeleton of a large sauropod. The paleontologists gave no additional details on that find so far, but well know more soon.

Back to you! --- Thanks M. Lee. Museum media producer Greg Mercer joined the team in Utah and provided those clips for us!

If you want to learn more about that particular field trip, be sure to stay tuned for his mini-documentary, comin at you soon. And now - ants. In Lewis Carrolls book Through the Looking Glass, the Red Queen tells Alice it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.

Biologists took this phrase and ran with it (PUN), and today in biology, the Red Queen Hypothesis refers to the pressure on competitive species to evolve as rapidly as possible so as to outgun their competition. But in the last ten years, statistical modeling has suggested the opposite is true for mutualists, which are two species that each benefit from the activity of the other - like when you do the dishes because your partner made dinner. This is called the Red King Hypothesis -- the idea the the two mutualist species evolve at a slower rate, so as to avoid interrupting their beneficial partnership.

All hypotheses require testing, and curator and ant scientist Corrie Moreau and Princeton post-doc Ben Rubin were curious to find out how long it takes these mutualist relationships to evolve between two species. They examined the bonds between acacia trees and certain species of ants side note, if you remember in our video What the Function? we learned with Destin from SmarterEveryDay that certain stinging ants live in the hollowed thorns of acacia trees. The tree provides food and shelter, and in turn, the ant protects the tree from elephants and other grazers who might eat the leaves.

In non-scientific terms, thats what you call a win-win. Corrie and Bens findings were published recently in Nature Communications, and they discovered something unexpected, which is that mutualists actually evolve more quickly than competitive species, not more slowly, because they constantly need to adapt to their environments and keep up with changes of their mutualist partner. Corrie proposes this is because many species switch between mutualism and parasitism over time you stop offering to help with dinner or do the dishes, and that relationship becomes pretty one-sided.

So each species needs to react quickly to their situation, meaning faster rates of evolution. So the lesson from this is that its important to work hard on maintaining balanced relationships, and both sides gotta put in the effort. Otherwise..

One of you is going to turn into a parasite. I really shouldnt be giving relationship advice. --- Hey guys, thanks for watching this episode of Natural News from the Field Museum. If you want to know more about anything we covered today, check out the links to the articles in the description, and subscribe to get a notification the next time we upload an episode!

The next episode on The Brain Scoop is about artificial head-binding in Ancient Egypt. Stay tuned.