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Toxic Waters Provide 'a Snapshot of Evolution'
The waters of New Bedford Harbor, Mass., sparkle on sunny days. But beneath the bay's gleaming surface lies one of the most toxic environments in the nation.
"You'd think nothing, absolutely nothing, would be able to live in New Bedford Harbor," says Jim Kendall, a fisherman and president of New Bedford Seafood Consulting. "But you'd be dead wrong. Something does live there, and in huge numbers."
Killifish, three-inch-long saltwater fish common along the Atlantic coast, thrive in these polluted waters. (The Native American name for killifish, "mummichog," means: They go in great numbers.)
"Sometimes they're so thick in the harbor, you could just about walk across on them," Kendall says. "Killifish are super-fish in the way they've 'learned' to exist here."