Saturday, February 4, 2012

News of Jellyfish Takeover Unfounded, Scientists Say

Jellyfish have become the subject of what resembles a modern myth, some say.

The story goes like this: Around the world, more and more massive blooms of the gelatinous creatures are cropping up, nurtured by overfishing, climate change, pollution and other human alterations to the environment.

But so far, the paradigm of jellyfish rising to dominate the world's oceans is little more than a myth, without data or analysis to support it, according to a group of scientists who have set out to see what's really going on with this diverse group of animals on a global scale.

Research they have published in the journal BioScience points out that this paradigm has taken on a life of its own. Within the last two decades, news reports on jellies have increased by more than 500 percent, comfortably outnumbering scientific publications on jellyfish outbreaks and carrying headlines that are often alarmist, they point out.

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