Bites at Animal Planet


17 Sep

Giant Wolffish Caught in Japan Near Fukushima Plant


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. 


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. 

Continue reading >

31 Aug

Seal Asks Human for Belly Rub

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Solon Kelleher from

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

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 9.45.04 AM

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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17 Aug

Guy Swims Out to Save Drowning Baby Deer

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

It's not every day that a family outing on the boat turns into an opportunity to save an animal's life. The Welsh family happened to be out on the lake when they spotted a baby deer struggling to stay afloat, treading water far from shore.

As someone on the boat filmed, one of the guys swam out to the tiny fawn and tried to bring her to safety. You could hear her frightened cries.

"Courageous family saves rogue deer from frigid water," Lyle Welsh explained on Youtube. "Once in a lifetime moment captured by team of un-trained heroes."

Once they had the little deer close enough, they lifted her into the boat and tried to get her warmed up.

Deer have powerful noses that help moms find their babies again — so hopefully this tiny fawn's family was nearby, waiting for her to get back on dry land.

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13 Aug

Man Can't Help But Laugh After Brave Little Fish Attacks His Nipple

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from

Sometimes, even the most refreshing bodies of water can suddenly turn a bit too, ahem, nippy for comfort.

Wyatt Green was out enjoying a relaxing dip in Lake Powell, Utah, when he had asurprising encounter with a brash little local. While idly filming himself being visited by some sunfish, one of them decided to remind him who's boss — leaping from the water to bite him on the nipple.

Fortunately, Green seems to take the little attack in stride.

Green was not available for comment on the nipple-biting experience, but a coworker of his, named Rex, at Boater's Outlet was willing to weigh in.

"We all thought it was pretty funny," Rex told The Dodo. "It was just a fluke."

Not all small fish are so harmless, as Jeremy Wade learned in this video.

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13 Aug

Largest Recorded Snakehead Caught in Maryland River

The name, snakehead, has peppered headlines since its introduction to Maryland's ecosystem in 2002. It is an extremely invasive species that reproduces very quickly and are able to survive on land for extended periods of time. Now, they're back in the headlines after Maryland man, Todd Murphy, caught the largest recorded snakehead in the Potomac River, specifically Mattawoman Creek. 

His catch measured 36 inches long and weighed 17.47 pounds. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources confirmed the fish's size and even thanked Murphy on Twitter for the catch.

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Snakeheads are native to China and are threatening local species. Check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for more facts about and tips for handling snakeheads. 

Watch Jeremy Wade reel in his own snakehead here:

Continue reading >

12 Aug

'Flying Spaghetti Monster' Stuns Crew Who Discovered Him

Dodo Circular

Guest post by Caitlin Jill Anders from

It would be such a fun job to get to name new species. The fact that we don't have more animals with ridiculous names is astounding to me. If I were in charge of naming animals, they'd all be called things like "Yellow Squish Face" or "Cutest Animal In The Whole World." Which, of course, is why I don't have that power.

A group of researchers captured some unique footage of a rarely seen sea creatureoff the coast of Angola. The creature was identified as being part of the species Bathyphysa conifera, a transparent sea creature with tentacles, but the people who discovered him had a WAY better name in mind.

Spaghetti Monster. Or, the FLYING Spaghetti Monster, to be more exact. 

Relatives of this awesome creature include jellyfish and corals. While this footage is incredible, the most amazing part is probably the sense of humor of the researchers who found Mr. Spaghetti Monster. That's my kind of name for a new species.

Check out the full video of this awesome sea creature below:

Check out another strange creature of the deep below.

7 Aug

New Fish Species Discovered in the Ocean's Depths


The ocean is an amazing and terrifying place, especially when fish like this are pulled from its depths. The pictured fish above is a new species of ceratioid anglerfish, caught by Drs. Tracey Sutton and Theodore Pietsch from the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography.

They caught this unusual-looking fish in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, nicknamed the "midnight zone," which is 3,280 to 4,921 feet below the surface. The ominous nickname was given to the bathyal zone because the waters are pitch black and the only light it receives are from bioluminescent fish. It's so dark that plants can't even grow there and the aquatic creatures that call this place home must depend on marine snow, a waste that sinks down to them. This dependency has led to some interesting adaptions, like the anglerfish's strange fishing-pole-like appendage on the top of its head. 

This new species is named Lasiognathus Regan and averages about four inches in length, according to the specimens captured by researchers. This new anglerfish differs from other of its kind because of how flat it looks. Anglerfish are typically round and stout, while this fish looks, well, deflated. 

"Finding this  reinforces the notion that our inventory of life in the vast ocean interior is far from complete," said Dr. Sutton in his recently published article about the new species. "Every research trip is an adventure and another opportunity to learn about our planet and the varied creatures who call it home."

Learn more about anglerfish here. 

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