I just know you will be thrilled to learn that your hard earned tax dollars (donated to the Australian Government) are being spent wisely. The faeces of Sea Cucumbers are being closely studied (ICKY!) by hard working scientists Professor Maria Byrne, and Dr. Symon A Dworjanyn from the University of Sydney.
They are straining hard to bring to your notice research which shows tropical sea cucumbers and their feces could save coral reefs from the harmful impacts of climate change. (As they said at ACM: “You just cannot make this stuff up”.)
One of the contributing bloggers at ACM (Baldrick) was kind enough to provide a link where you can actually see just how much of your hard earned tax money is being expended (read wasted) on this earth shattering research.
Over $ 370,000 – Three Hundred and Seventy Thousand Dollars has been spent on this vital research folks!
Prof Maria Byrne, Dr Symon A Dworjanyn
Impact of climate change stressors on calcifying and noncalcifying marine life stages: predicting tipping points for persistence in a changing ocean.
2011 … $127,000.00
2012 … $127,000.00
2013 … $124,000.00
Photograph of sea cucumber with its excrement!
Scientists at One Tree Island, the University of Sydney’s research station on the Great Barrier Reef, say sea cucumbers reduce the impact of ocean acidification on coral growth.
“When they ingest sand, the natural digestive processes in the sea cucumber’s gut increases the pH levels of the water on the reef where they defecate,” Tree Island director professor Maria Byrne said. (source)
I can see how this is vital to the life of Planet Earth. I can see it might create a nightmare scenario if the cucumbers were to become constipated. I can also see now another vital research project (down the track) whereby a group of highly qualified oceanic scientists and gastroenterologists, will be applying for Federal Funding to create a New Laxative for constipated Stichopus Herrmanni and its relatives!