Tag Archives: great lakes

Prehistoric caribou hunting structure discovered beneath Lake Huron

ANN ARBOR — Underwater archaeologists have discovered evidence of prehistoric caribou hunts that provide unprecedented insight into the social and seasonal organization of early peoples in the Great Lakes region.

An article detailing the discovery of a 9,000-year-old caribou hunting drive lane under Lake Huron appears in today’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (more…)

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Great Lakes evaporation study dispels misconceptions, points to need for expanded monitoring program

ANN ARBOR — The recent Arctic blast that gripped much of the nation will likely contribute to a healthy rise in Great Lakes water levels in 2014, new research shows. But the processes responsible for that welcome outcome are not as simple and straightforward as you might think.

Yes, extreme winter cold increases ice cover on the Great Lakes, which in turn reduces evaporation by preventing water vapor from escaping into the air. But this simplistic view of winter ice as a mere “cap” on Great Lakes evaporation is giving way to a more nuanced conception, one that considers the complex interplay among evaporation, ice cover and water temperature at different times of year. (more…)

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Sea lampreys turning up the heat

Male sea lampreys may not be the best-looking creatures swimming in our lakes and streams, but they apparently have something going for them that the ladies may find irresistible.

Research by a team of Michigan State University scientists found that the males have a secondary sex characteristic that creates heat when they get near a female lamprey, something the females find hard to say no to. (more…)

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Ancient Lamprey DNA Decoded

When it comes to evolution, humans can learn a thing or two from primeval sea lampreys.

In the current issue of Nature Genetics, a team of scientists has presented an assembly of the sea lamprey genome – the first time the entire sequence has been decoded. The data is compelling as the sea lamprey is one of the few ancient, jawless species that has survived through the modern era.

The paper not only sheds light on how the venerable invasive species adapted and thrived, but it also provides many insights into the evolution of all vertebrates, species with backbones and spinal cords, which includes humans, said Weiming Li, Michigan State University fisheries and wildlife professor, who organized and coordinated the team. (more…)

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Estimate: A New Amish Community is Founded Every 3 1/2 Weeks in U.S.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new census of the Amish population in the United States estimates that a new Amish community is founded, on average, about every 3 ½ weeks, and shows that more than 60 percent of all existing Amish settlements have been founded since 1990.

This pattern suggests the Amish are growing more rapidly than most other religions in the United States, researchers say. Unlike other religious groups, however, the growth is not driven by converts joining the faith, but instead can be attributed to large families and high rates of baptism.

In all, the census counts almost 251,000 Amish in the United States and Ontario, Canada, dispersed among 456 settlements, the communities in which members live and worship. The 1990 census estimated that there were 179 settlements in the United States. (more…)

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Statistical Analysis Projects Future Temperatures in North America

COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the first time, researchers have been able to combine different climate models using spatial statistics – to project future seasonal temperature changes in regions across North America.

They performed advanced statistical analysis on two different North American regional climate models and were able to estimate projections of temperature changes for the years 2041 to 2070, as well as the certainty of those projections.

The analysis, developed by statisticians at Ohio State University, examines groups of regional climate models, finds the commonalities between them, and determines how much weight each individual climate projection should get in a consensus climate estimate. (more…)

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Construction of New Rock Spawning Reefs Will Help Great Lakes Native Fish

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The first of nine rock reefs is under construction in the St. Clair River delta northeast of Detroit. The goal of the project, which is led by Michigan Sea Grant, is to boost populations of lake sturgeon and other rare native fish by providing river-bottom rock structures where they can spawn.

The rock reefs are designed to assist several native species that are considered threatened or endangered in Michigan, including lake sturgeon, mooneye, the northern madtom catfish and the river redhorse sucker. Walleye, a popular sport fish, and commercially important lake whitefish should also benefit. (more…)

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