Image of the Day: Plastic Feast

New research suggests that plastic might just “taste good” to hard corals.

By The Scientist Staff | October 30, 2017

A young coral polyp feasts on a white scrap of plastic.ALEX SEYMOUR, DUKE UNIVERSITYMarine animals will frequently consume scraps of plastic because it visually resembles prey. But why do corals eat plastic when they have no eyes? A new study has found that hard corals–which rely solely on chemosensory cues for feeding–eat plastic because the material itself “tastes” good to them. Further research is needed to determine what ingredient tickles their fancy in particular, and also how this affects them. This study showed that plastic particles often get stuck in the coral’s bodies and can stay there for long periods of time. 

A.A. Allen et al., “Chemoreception drives plastic consumption in a hard coral,” Marine Pollution Bulletin, 124:198-205, 2017. 

See “Plastic Pollutants Pervade Water and Land”

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo


Avatar of:

Posts: 4

October 31, 2017

Give an environment enough time to adapt to changes and sooner or later some organisms will adapt to the changes Humans produce into and will take advantages of them.
That anyway is not a guarantee that humans will survive to those changes: we have generational turnover slower than corals! :)

Popular Now

  1. Could Rapamycin Help Humans Live Longer?
  2. Renowned Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies
  3. Elena Rybak-Akimova, Chemical Kinetics Expert, Dies
  4. Pupil Response to an Optical Illusion Tied to Autistic Traits