"Our results are exciting because it turns out that Hagfish can not only regulate their acid-base balance, but that they have a greater capacity for rapid pH compensation than any marine or fresh water fish studied to date", explains Baker.
Just as cold-blooded animals have an equal body temperature to their surrounding environment, the Hagfish has the same concentration of salt in its blood as the surrounding seawater. This trait previously led scientists to believe that these fish (known as osmoconformers) could only poorly regulate their pH.
The scientists next want to find the mechanisms by which they do this, and if prolonged exposure to high levels of CO2 causes any long term effects.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.