A team of researchers from the University of Houston are examining ocean dwelling arthropods collected after the BP oil spill, and comparing them to samples collected in the gulf area before the spill. The samples offer the researchers an easy way to ascertain how different arthropods are affected by oil spills.
The various marine arthropods retrieved for examination were difficult to access due to the oil-heavy conditions where the animals were located. Researchers got around this problem by using an enormous vacuum-like device to simply suck the oil-laden creatures out of their contaminated habitat.
The researchers are curious as to how different marine-bugs react to the vast amount of oil in their environment. If some types of marine-bugs live, while other types die, then the fragile ecological balance within their environment may become radically altered. Scientist’s noted the plethora of past studies and data that prove how disastrous removing even a single animal from an ecosystem can be, so naturally an oil spill may change a lot more than just the color of the ocean water. The results of the study will likely be quite bleak.
Which sea-animals do you think would be most resilient to the damage caused by being exposed to oil? And which would be most sensitive to the oil?