Bites at Animal Planet


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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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:

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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. 

30 Jul

300-Pound Grouper Caught Off the Coast of Florida

"I was able to swim along side this beautiful animal and even touch its huge scales. After a few minutes of this close...

Posted by The Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's a week of giants for Florida! First the 18-foot python, now this: a gargantuan grouper. On Monday, Florida doctor Sam Gerson went out on Cape Canaveral, Florida with a fishing charter. Little did he know he was going to make the catch of a lifetime. After dropping his line over a shipwreck site, he felt a nibble almost instantly.

"I dropped my line in and within seconds of hitting bottom, I felt a strong jerk. As I started reeling in, the rod bent until the tip was almost in the water. Soon I wasn’t reeling, but instead holding on for dear life as line was running out of the spool at an alarming speed," he told The Huffington Post.

After an hour of reeling, the massive grouper, nicknamed "The Dinosaur," breached the surface. According to their fishing guide, the fish weighed at least 300 pounds and could be more than 50 years old.

After snapping a pic next to his catch, Gerson let "The Dinosaur" back into his watery domain. 

Watch Jeremy Wade catch his own gigantic grouper here!

29 Jul

Bold Dolphin Shows Man Just What He Thinks of His Phone

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

A group of men was soaking up the scenery from a fishing boat, gliding smoothly across the beautiful waters near South Australia.

The sun was shining, the scenery was idyllic. Wild dolphins followed the boat, adding to the picturesque majesty of the moment.

"Look at that! That's amazing," someone says about the dolphins swimming alongside their vessel.

"He's showing off," another says.

One man tries to capture the dolphin on his cell phone camera, leaning slightly over the side of the boat.

The adorable dolphin, with his permanently jovial expression, follows, looking up at him, almost posing.

Then the little dolphin ... just leaps out of the water and tries to swipe the guy's cell phone.

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27 Jul

60-Pound Carp Found in Drainage Ditch in Kansas

School Resource Officer Jamie Schmidt is spending her summer working as an Animal Control Officer, and last Friday she...

Posted by Olathe Police Department on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How often do you find a prized fish just sitting in a ditch for anyone to find?

That’s what happened this month in after a man found a 60-pound carp lying in a drainage ditch in Olathe, Kansas, according to Reuters.

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20 Jul

Dead Bowfin Fish Fights Back (VIDEO)

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Even though this bowfin was headless and gutted, it still managed to put up a fight. (Photo Credit: YouTube/Ed Cupp)

No head, no guts, no problem.

Forty minutes after it was reeled in, fileted and gutted, a bowfin still managed to move and make a statement, much to the shock of the fishermen that caught it.

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