Bites at Animal Planet

Fishing

4 Feb

This Baby Animal Can Grow Up to be 1,400 Pounds

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Zainab Akande from thedodo.com)

Did you know? The tiny, baby version of this massive sea creature is small enough to fit on the tip of a human finger.

In an incredible photo by Juan C. Levesque, a marine biologist, we're given a close-up look at the "gladiator of the sea," as Levesque calls him. In other words, a swordfish.

"Overall, swordfish grow rapidly in early years, but then their growth slows with age, which occurs around age 8 or 9," Levesque explained in a post for Florida Sportsman. According to Levesque, on average, swordfish can grow up to a whopping 14 inches per year. Thankfully, he goes on to do the math for us.

"It has been reported that swordfish can top 14 feet and 1,400 pounds in weight, but these large fish are rare these days," Levesque said, adding that female swordfish tend to have the upper hand compared to their male counterparts; they grow faster and bigger, and live longer. Sorry fellas.

"In my 7 years collecting data on commercial fishing vessels, the largest swordfish I ever saw captured was around 500 pounds; it was caught near West Palm Beach, Florida," he said.

Whether at 500 or 1,400 pounds, it's still surreal to think that a baby this small …

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… can grow up to be this big.

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4 Jan

Blast Fishing's Threat to the Aquatic Ecosystem

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Photo Credit: iStockphoto

An “explosive” form fishing is increasing concerns over human and animal welfare.

A recent story from National Geographic highlights the dangers surrounding blast fishing, in which fishermen use explosives to kill and gather fish.

Blast fishing is illegal, but is still practiced in parts of the world, notably in Tanzania. There, some fishermen throw explosives overboard that are capable of destroying anything within a 30 to 100-foot radius in the water. Any fish that are killed as a result float to the surface, allowing fishermen to rake in an easy haul that can bring in thousands of dollars in profit.

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15 Dec

This Year's Biggest Catches that Made Us Think Twice Before Jumping in the Water

Just when you think you've seen it all, another fisherman pulls a monster out of the ocean! From gigantic group to massive muskie, there have been some memorable catches this year! Some memorable enough to make us think twice before going for a swim! 

Massive, 280-Pound Wels Catfish Caught in Italy: In February, Dino Ferrari caught a massive wels catfish, weighing in at 280 pounds and measuring 8 feet, 8 inches in length!

WelsCatfish

9-Year-Old Boy Catches a River Monster: Talk about the catch of a lifetime! 9-year-old Keegan Rothman caught a 10-foot-long, 600-pound, 75-year-old white sturgeon while on a fishing trip with his father.

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Woman Catches Two Pacu in CaliforniaSay what? These two pacu were caught on a fishing pier in Sacramento. Authorities suspect they were bought at a local pet store then released by their owner into the ocean.

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14 Dec

Catfish Swallows Tank-Mate in One GIANT Gulp

Sometimes hunger strikes and there's nothing you can do to satiate your need but turn on those around you. Meet the gulper catfish that embodies "hangry". 

First, he checks out one of his tank-mates. Gives him a little nudge, letting him know who's boss.

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Then BAM, swallows him head first-- a real power move.

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Unfortunately, this catfish didn't think very far in advance. His hunger overpowered his judgment.

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He's so bloated, he can't even swim! 

Sadly, there is no followup to this video. The fate of the hangry catfish remains unknown.

This incident, though incredible and shocking, is quite a normal occurrence for owners of gulper catfish. These bold fishies can easily devour and digest ones half their size and often get too big for their britches and eat ones even larger though they cannot properly digest them.

Check out the entire attack below: 

Check out another massive, scaly monster! 

12 Nov

Fly Fisherman Catches 57-Inch Muskie

While out fishing on a Minnesota lake, Robert Hawkins caught the fish of a lifetime. He reeled in a 57-inch, 50-pound muskie on his fly fishing rod. On top of that impressive accomplishment, this fish might also set the world record for the biggest muskie caught while fly fishing. Hawkins, owner of a local fly shop, caught this fish on a fly he made himself. After snapping a few photos, the fish was released back into the lake. 

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Muskie, or muskellunge, are a species of large, uncommon, freshwater fish native to North America. They are the largest member of Esocidae, the pike family. 

The current record-holding fish weighed over 54 pounds and was 56 inches long. It hasn't been announced if Hawkins's fish broke the record.

Jeremy Wade dreamt of catching a muskie. Well, he finally did! Watch the catch here:

17 Sep

Giant Wolffish Caught in Japan Near Fukushima Plant

GiantWolffish

This isn't the poster of the latest SyFy original movie. This is a wolffish, was caught by Hirasaka Hiroshi off the coast of Japan, near the Fukushima nuclear plant. While these fish are known to grow up to 1.2 meters, about 3.9 feet, these particularly creature was 2 meters long, or 6.7 feet. Hiroshi is obviously straining to hold up his catch!

Wolffish are native to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, dwelling in deep waters and feeding on smaller fish. Their behavior is unpredictable, and they have been known to jump on land or into canoes to attack potential prey. 

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While there are anomalies in all species, the concern is that the abnormal size of this fish has been caused by the Fukushima plant. The nuclear planet melted down in 2011 after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake. Since the meltdown, fish caught in the waters around the plant have been reported to contain 2,500 times the legal radiation limit

Update: Some sources are saying that this fish's size was not caused by radiation, but instead was just a lucky catch. Since there are less fishermen in the area, this may cause fish to grow larger than normal. 

Jeremy Wade has had his fair share of experiences with the wolffish. Watch one of them here!

2 Sep

Sea Snake and Stonefish Found Locked in Battle

Sea Snake and Stone Fish

Spear fisherman Rick Trippe was heading back home from a day of fishing off the coast of Australia when he spotted something in the water. What he found was completely unexpected.

"It was a big sea snake, but I couldn't quite make it out what kind of snake it was," Trippe told CNN Tuesday. "Its head was biting a stonefish close to its tail area, and the fish had a huge bite into the snake."

At first glance it seems that the snake would win this fight due to its size. However, both of these sea creatures are highly venomous and could kill the other. Stonefish, or Synanceia, are the most venomous fish in the world while all known species of sea snake are some of the most venomous snakes in the world. 

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31 Aug

Seal Asks Human for Belly Rub

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Solon Kelleher from thedodo.com)

Dogs love belly rubs, and, apparently, so do the dogs of the sea.

When videographer Gary Grayson took a dive just off the Isles of Scilly in the U.K. in 2014, he got the chance to get up close and personal with a group of Atlantic grey seals.

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31 Aug

Two Men Go Fishing, End Up Catching Two Kittens Instead [VIDEO]

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That's not a fish... (Photo Credit: Alabama Adventures/YouTube)

Who knew the word “catfishing” could take on a literal meaning?

It's all thanks to Jason Frost and Brandon Key, who went on what could be the CUTEST FISHING TRIP EVAH on the Warrior River in Alabama. It seems the two set out to reel in fish, but what they caught instead was not one, but TWO kittens.

“Is this not the craziest thing y’all have ever seen?” one of them said, taking the words right out of our mouths.

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20 Aug

Woman Catches Two Pacu in California

This story sounds like something out of an episode of River Monsters. Cathy Blanc was fishing off a local dock in Sacramento County and got a bite on her line, like any other fishing trip. She reeled in her catch and instead of a blue gill or a catfish, she got something completely unexpected: not one, but two fish with human-like teeth. While Blanc initially thought these fish were piranhas, they have been confirmed as pacu by wildlife officials

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Pacu are relatives of the piranha and are normally found in the warm waters of South America. So how did they end up all the way in California, near Sacramento County? Pacu are sold in a local pet store, as confirmed by KCRA. Mitchell Thompson, one of the store's employees, said that people do buy the species for their personal aquariums. However, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, it is illegal to own a pacu without a research permit. 

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