The Florida state shell has died more than previously thought

The Florida state shell has died more than previously thought

Researchers are looking at a Florida horse conch in the form of a study conducted by the University of South Florida. Available: University of South Florida

Florida’s conch horse population – one of the world’s largest invertebrates – is declining. Founded in 1969 as a two -foot -long Florida state capital, it has become a symbol of Florida’s natural resources and is widely used in advertising for the state’s tourism industry. But the collection of unorganized business and the collection of fun demands that the population is close to collapse.

According to a study led by the University of South Florida, the average lifespan of a Florida conch horse is between eight and 10 years, and it does not begin to reproduce until six years. giving birth to up to 28,000 children each year. This is a dramatic change from the earlier belief that a conch horse could live for half a century – meaning that fewer children were born to replace those taken due to harvest or reasons. natural.

The interdisciplinary research team, which includes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and current USF graduates and former USF graduates, also found that the Florida horse conch was not as large. over 16 years of age. The two-foot shell is on display at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum in Sanibel. Results of the association, published at PLOS SOMEONEwas based on the observation of museum exhibits, reducing the harm to the vulnerable population if they removed the shells from the forest.

To compare horse conch age, the researchers analyzed chemical cords in the shell, which track the temperature of the water as the udder grows and can be calculated as wooden rings that measure over time. Unlike wooden rings, it is known that chemical chains can be determined by geochemical observation.

The Florida state shell has died more than previously thought

The researchers collected Florida horse conch samples in the form of a study conducted by the University of South Florida. Available: University of South Florida

The company was able to determine how much of a conch horse would grow each year by winding a rope around each wheel and then straightening and measuring the rope. They saw that the females grew faster each year of their lives, even though the males were slower at dawn and much younger. The researchers determined that female conch horses will start producing in about six years, due to rising shell carbon levels.

“Our research shows that there is less horse re -engineering with a large harvest than previously thought,” said Greg Herbert, lead author, doctor of the USF School of Geosciences. “The conch horse population is important. They create habitat for other species by leaving empty shells of dead bodies around fish, crabs and other animals to use as habitats. home. They also give us the unique information we have in Florida that allows us to go… to the beach and see some of the world’s largest ocean currents on the water’s edge. “

The Florida state shell has died more than previously thought

Map showing the locations where researchers analyzed the Florida horse conch as part of a study conducted by the University of South Florida. Available: University of South Florida

Data from the FWC shows that the population has been declining since the mid -1990s. Professional fishermen reported the highest number of 14,511 Florida horse conch in 1996, followed by 6,124 in 2000, 1,461 in 2015 and only 67 in 2020.

“We know very little about the size of conch horses and where they are preferred or their best environmental status,” said Stephen Geiger, research scientist at FWC. “Since we don’t have funding for the more than 1,500 mollusks found in waters around Florida, we continue to look for lessons that we can learn from “They’re healthy, and they help the authorities decide if certain things are necessary. It’s better to be safe.”

The Florida state shell has died more than previously thought

The researcher presents models of the Florida horse conch as part of a study conducted by the University of South Florida. Available: University of South Florida

The shells studied were collected from Dry Tortugas, Vaca Key, Sanibel Island and Cape Romano. According to the researchers, the smaller the Florida horse conch, the less likely it is to fish and harvest fun.


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More information:
The age and growth of one of the world’s largest carnivorous gastropods, the Florida Horse Conch, Triplofusus giganteus (Kiener, 1840), a target of undigested harvests, PLoS ANYTHING (2022).

Presented by the University of South Florida

Directions: Florida state shell captured earlier than expected (2022, April 6) on April 6, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04-florida-state-shell- higher-extinction.html

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