Welcome to this year's blog detailing our field season at McMurdo Station, Antarctica! We are a team of biologists from Portland State University who study the fishes of the extremely cold waters of the Southern Ocean. We will be collecting fish from McMurdo Sound, an icy body of water that borders the Ross Ice Shelf at 78 degrees south latitude. Our studies are focused on the impact of increasing water temperatures on the physiology of these extremely sensitive and ecologically important species.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


If you want to watch an excellent documentary about Antarctic fish, we suggest this:

Click on "The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes."

The fish highlighted in this video is the scaleless, hemoglobinless Icefish (family: Channichthyidae). Hence, its gills, heart, and blood are colorless. They are the only known vertebrate to lack hemoglobin. Icefish are not known to exist in the Ross Sea Region (where we are at the moment), but have been documented around Bouvet Island, a small Antarctic Island in the South Atlantic. Still, they are very interesting.
Borks (Pagothenia borchgrevinki) have a cameo in this video. Interviews with Art DeVries and Chris Cheng take place in the Crary aquarium at McMurdo, where we are working now.

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