Unlike most vertebrates which die within a few minutes without oxygen, goldfish and their wild relatives crucian carp are able to survive for months in oxygen-free water.
Biologically speaking, the fish convert their anaerobically produced lactic acid into ethanol which diffuses across their gills into the surrounding water.
The researchers from the Universities of Oslo and Liverpool have discovered the unusual molecular mechanism behind this unique ability.
They have pinpointed sets of proteins which are normally used to produce energy by channelling carbohydrates towards their breakdown within a cell’s mitochondria.
While one set of those proteins is very similar to what other species of vertebrate possess, the second set is uniquely activated by the absence of oxygen.
Dr Michael Berenbrink, an evolutionary physiologist at the University of Liverpool, said that the blood alcohol concentration in these fish can exceed the drink-drive limit during the winter.
“During their time in oxygen-free water in ice-covered ponds, which can last for several months in their northern European habitat, blood alcohol concentrations in crucian carp can reach more than 50mg per 100 millilitres,” said Dr Berenbrink.
“However, this is still a much better situation than filling up with lactic acid, which is the metabolic end product for other vertebrates, including humans, when devoid of oxygen.”
Lead author Dr Cathrine Elisabeth Fagernes, from the University of Oslo, said: “The ethanol production allows the crucian carp to be the only fish species surviving and exploiting these harsh environments.
“Thereby avoiding competition and escaping predation by other fish species with which they normally interact in better oxygenated waters.
“It’s no wonder then that the crucian carp’s cousin the goldfish is arguably one of the most resilient pets under human care.”
Lizzie Meek, the programme manager for artefacts at the Trust, said: “With just two weeks to go on the conservation of the Cape Adare artefacts, finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise.
“It’s an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice.”
The cake and its tin have been taken to New Zealand’s Canterbury Museum laboratory, where the Trust’s staff are working on conserving almost 1,500 artefacts.
Scott’s expedition had a number of objectives, but reaching the pole was key – and although they ultimately succeeded they found that the Norwegians had beaten them to it.
Tragically the entire party died on the return journey from the pole.
Like the hell-raising rocker it is named after, the creature was no shrinking violet.
At 19ft (5.8m) long, with a skull measuring just over a metre, it used its large, blunt teeth to crush bones and turtle shells.
It would have been one of the biggest coastal predators of its time when it roamed the Earth more than 145 million years ago.
It has now been named Lemmysuchus, which translates as “Lemmy’s crocodile”.
It comes after a study of a fossil skeleton housed at London’s Natural History Museum, which was dug up from a clay pit near Peterborough in 1909, by University of Edinburgh palaeontologist Michela Johnson.
Ms Johnson realised it had been incorrectly classified and required a new scientific name, with the Lemmy inspiration coming from the Natural History Museum’s Lorna Steel.
“Although Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015, we’d like to think that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of the nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the Earth,” Dr Steel said.
“As a long-standing Motorhead fan I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to immortalise the rock star in this way.”
Lemmysuchus was part of an extinct group of reptiles known as teleosaurs, which were distantly related to the crocodiles of today.
“It can be difficult to identify new species as we are normally working with incomplete fossil skeletons,” Ms Johnson, a PhD student, said.
“Following careful anatomical comparison, and by referring to the main specimen held at the Natural History Museum, we could see that most of the previous finds were actually from relatives of Lemmysuchus rather than the species itself, and we were able to assign a new name.”
Keen to incorporate animal therapy with Tracy’s job as a psychotherapist, the couple quickly found that the South East was built up and expensive, so took their search a little further afield.
Dean told Sky News: “We’d fostered children when we lived in Kent, and we saw how they responded to our pets – they allowed them to come out of their shell.
“Animals are being used in therapy more and more, and we were drawn to the idea of using the animals to help people.”
As soon as Dean saw the Animalarium Borth Zoo, in Ceredigion, he knew it was meant to be.
“We’d spent holidays in Snowdonia before, but never Mid Wales. As soon as we drove over the hill and saw it we both knew we would live there.”
Moving from Milton Regis in Kent, the animal-loving family – who already had about 40 pets – found a whole new raft of exotic animals to care for.
The £625,000 zoo has more than 300 animals, including lions, monkeys, meerkats, a leopard, crocodiles, turtles, wallabies (including a rare albino wallaby), lemurs, peacocks and osprey flying overhead.
There is also a reptile house, with snakes including “a medium sized” 15ft snake, and a 22ft female boa constrictor.
For those looking for a more tactile experience, there is also a petting barn with ponies, lambs, cows, goats, pigs, rabbits and Guinea pigs.
And Dean’s daughters – Sophie, 13, Sarah, nine, and Paige, eight – can’t get enough of the animals during the summer holidays.
“From the moment they wake up they are helping the zookeepers,” Dean said.
“All their friends are keen to have sleepovers. They couldn’t be happier.”
While Dean insists he “is no Matt Damon” and wasn’t inspired by the 2011 film We Bought A Zoo, he has spoken to the man whose life the film is based on, Benjamin Mee.
The former bricklayer, who bought the dilapidated Dartmoor Wildlife Park in Devon back in 2007, before opening it to the public the following year, has offered his words of wisdom to the Tweedy family as they go about returning the zoo to its former glory.
While Mr Tweedy says he has “no plans yet for an elephant or a rhinoceros”, the next job on his list is to engage boy scouts in painting the meerkat enclosure.
“I’m keen to get some social projects going, get local people involved with the zoo,” he said.
“Lots of the animals here were rescued – either from other zoos or from owners who they’d got too big for. The leopard used to belong to an Indian prince, but once he started showing an inclination to eat his owner, he gave him to the zoo.
“He’s so used to being around people, he has trouble relating to other leopards.”
He added: “Our dream is to make it a sanctuary for people as well as animals”.