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Are we interrupting the kinky sex lives of fish?

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    Right now,
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    beneath a shimmering blue sea,
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    millions of fish are having sex.
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    (Cheers)
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    And the way they're doing it
    and strategies they're using
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    looks nothing like what we see on land.
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    (Laughter)
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    Take parrotfish.
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    In this species, all fish are born female,
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    and they look like this.
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    Then later in life,
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    she can transition into a male
    and she'll look like this.
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    But it's not just
    a spectacular wardrobe change.
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    Her body can reabsorb her ovaries
    and grow testes in their place.
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    In just a few weeks,
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    she'll go from making eggs
    to producing sperm.
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    It's pretty impressive,
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    and in the ocean it's also pretty common.
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    In fact, I'll bet nearly all of you
    have at some point had a seafood dish
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    made up of an individual
    that started life as one sex
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    and transitioned to another.
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    Oysters?
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    Grouper?
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    Shrimp?
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    Seeing some heads nodding, yeah.
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    But not all fish that change sex
    start as females.
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    Those clownfish we know
    from "Finding Nemo"?
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    They're all born male.
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    So in the real world,
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    when Nemo's mother died,
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    Nemo's dad Marlin would
    have transitioned into Marlene
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    (Laughter)
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    and Nemo would have likely mated
    with his father turned mother.
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    (Laughter)
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    You can see -- (Laughter)
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    Yeah.
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    You can see why Pixar
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    took a little creative license
    with the plot line, right?
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    (Laughter)
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    So sex change in the ocean
    can happen in either direction
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    and sometimes even back and forth,
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    and that's just one of the many
    amazing strategies animals use
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    to reproduce in the ocean.
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    And trust me when I say
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    it's one of the least surprising.
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    Sex in the sea is fascinating,
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    and it's also really important,
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    and not just to nerdy
    marine biologists like me
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    who are obsessed with understanding
    these salty affairs.
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    It matters for all of us.
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    Today, we depend on wild caught fish
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    to help feed over two billion people
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    on the planet.
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    We need millions of oysters and corals
    to build the giant reefs
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    that protect our shorelines
    from rising seas and storms.
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    We depend on medicines that are found
    in marine animals to fight cancer
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    and other diseases.
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    And for many of us,
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    the diversity and beauty of the oceans
    is where we turn for recreation
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    and relaxation and our cultural heritage.
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    In order for us to continue
    to benefit from the abundance
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    that ocean life provides,
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    the fish and coral and shrimp of today
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    have to be able to make fish
    and shrimp and coral for tomorrow.
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    To do that, they have to have
    lots and lots of sex.
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    And until recently,
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    we really didn't know how sex
    happened in the sea.
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    It's pretty hard to study.
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    But thanks to new science and technology,
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    we now know so much more
    than even just a few years ago,
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    and these new discoveries
    are showing two things.
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    First, sex in the sea is really funky.
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    Second, our actions are wreaking havoc
    on the sex lives of everything
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    from shrimp to salmon.
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    I know. It can be hard to believe.
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    So today, I'm going to share a few details
    about how animals do it in the deep,
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    how we may be interrupting
    these intimate affairs,
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    and what we can do to change that.
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    So, remember those sex-changing fish?
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    In many places in the world,
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    we have fishing rules that set
    a minimum catch size.
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    Fishers are not allowed
    to target tiny fish.
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    This allows baby fish to grow
    and reproduce before they're caught.
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    That's a good thing.
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    So fishers go after the biggest fish.
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    But in parrotfish, for example,
    or any sex changer,
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    targeting the biggest fish means
    that they're taking out all the males.
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    That makes it hard for a female fish
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    to find a mate
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    or it forces her to change sex sooner
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    at a smaller size.
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    Both of these things can result
    in fewer fish babies in the future.
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    In order for us to properly care
    for these species,
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    we have to know if they change sex,
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    how, and when.
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    Only
标题:
Are we interrupting the kinky sex lives of fish?
演讲者:
Marah J. Hardt
描述:

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Video Language:
English
Team:
TED
项目:
TEDTalks
Duration:
12:22

English subtitles

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