Bites at Animal Planet

Monster Week

6 Jun

What Could Kill a 9-Foot Great White Shark?

Eating-sharks-250For all those thinking the sharks may be the greatest predator in the water, new findings might cause a bit of alarm. There's something out there eating 9-foot great white sharks.

As part of a new shark tracking program, scientists tagged a healthy 9-foot female great white shark off the Australian coast. Then, four months later, the tracking device was discovered by a beach comber about two-and-a-half miles from where the shark was originally tagged.

When the scientists reviewed the recovered device, they found a rapid temperature rise - from the mid-40s to the high-70s - and a 1,900-foot change in depth. Both can be explained by the animal "living" within the stomach of something much larger. To date, this is all the information scientists have.

Is there a giant creature out there feasting on great whites? Watch the video below and decide.

Could it be megalodon?

Continue reading >

22 May

Godzilla Can't Compete With This Monster Dinosaur

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You would have to take an elevator to make eye contact with it. You’d need to stack 13 hippos’ to emulate its height. The sheer site of a human lying next to its bones would befuddle Darwin.

Scientists have uncovered huge bones that could be from the largest dinosaur yet, standing 65 feet — equal to a seven-story building. It’s length, from its head to the tip of its tail, was 130 feet. This tall monster, belonging to a sauropod subgroup called Titanosaur, walked the earth 100 million years ago, using its height to munch on the tops of trees.

The complete thighbone scientists uncovered measures at 7.9 feet, the longest of any vertebrate yet found, according to The Associated Press. The remains provide context for a dinosaur that weighed 80 tons — 10 tons heavier than the previous record holder, the Argentinosaurus, which was found in Argentina.

Interestingly enough, this new monster dinosaur’s remains were found near the central Argentine town of El Sombrero. A local farm worker first stumbled upon the remains. A team of palaeontologists from the Museum of Palaeontology Egidio Feruglio then excavated the monstrous fossils, much to their amazement.

Now this big monster on campus needs a big name to match its size. What name do you think suits it?

 More awaits when Monster Week continunes TONIGHT at 8PM EP!

21 May

Rare Lancetfish Washes Ashore In North Carolina

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Cute, right? (Photo Credit: Allen Shimada, NOAA)

Beachgoers were stunned last week when an extremely rare and unusual looking fish washed ashore in North Carolina.

Marked by its sharp teeth, jagged dorsal fin and long, skinny body, the lancethead fish was found alive near Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, located in the Outer Banks.

Very little is known about the lancetfish, but what we do know is as unusual as its physical appearance. According to NBC News, adolescent lancetfish are hermaphrodites, possessing male and female sexual organs, and the species is nicknamed the “cannibal fish” for eating members of its own species (lancetfish also eat crustaceans, squid and other types of small fish). The lancetfish’s creepy appearance doesn’t deter seals, sharks and larger fish from targeting it as prey.

Continue reading >

20 May

#KillerLampreys: Why You Should ALWAYS Check the Toilet & Drains First

Run for your lives! The monsters are coming! THE MONSTERS ARE COMING!!  Don't believe us?! See for yourself:

Continue reading >

20 May

A Moment in Monster History: The East River Monster

New York City doesn’t invoke visions of exotic creatures or wild animals (unless you count the big rats you find in the subway).

But two years ago, the Big Apple caught the attention of everyone, including scientists, when a bloated animal carcass washed up on the shores of the East River, near the Brooklyn Bridge. The creature, dubbed the East River Monster, was unlike anything anyone had ever seen (outside of the nearby Montauk Monster).

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What could the East River Monster be? (Photo Credit: Denise Ginley)

Continue reading >

20 May

Scuba Diver Encounters Shark -- and Lives to Tell the Tale

8xjwnA scuba diver off the coast of Florida's Vero Beach had a close encounter with a shark - and caught it all on his GoPro camera, according to an article in the NY Daily News.

Jimmy Roseman, a West Melbourne native, ran into the shark while he was 90-feet under water. The shark circled him several times and when he got too close, Roseman prodded him with his spear gun to scare him off.

Check out the video below:

Want more up-close encounters with mystifying creatures?

Tune in to Monster Week - all this week at 8PM E/P, with River Monsters specials starting at 9PM E/P.

Check out another shark of the deep when Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives airs Sunday, May 25 at 7PM E/P.

16 May

Jumping Crocodiles Offer Strong Reminder to Never Get in the Water Again

8rk74In further evidence supporting our decision to never enter the water again, this video of amazing crocodiles leaping majestically out of the water to catch some meat on a fishing line proves that these chomping beauties aren't creatures to be messed with.

The video, from Northern Territory, Australian Outback YouTube channel shows how you can get up close and personal with the crocodiles (in a safe, smart manner, of course). Check it out.

As for us? With all of our Monster Week research, we'll stick to dry land, thanks. Check out more reasons to never get back in the water - including this piranha whose teeth can bite through steel:

Tune in for a brand new Monster Week - starting THIS Sunday at 9PM E/P

(with specials premiering at 8PM E/P too!)

15 May

Monster Beaver Terrorizes Town


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When you think of your neighborhood pest, you’re probably not thinking of a beaver.

In 1994, a 5-foot-long, 80 pound beaver started terrorizing a city along the Mississippi River. Those familiar with the case nicknamed the beaver "Nessie," since no clear photos were taken of the creature and it evaded capture. Typically, the rodents only grow up to 4-feet long and generally weigh about 60 pounds, according to a 1994 AP article.

Twenty years later, Nessie still has not been found.

According to the article, only one picture of what many believe to be Nessie exists. It's not very clear - only a black smudge in water with ripples floating around it.

Tom Greene, a superintendent of horticulture, told the AP that the beaver had enough strength to escape traps - not once, but twice.

 

 

Prepare Yourselves ... Tune In to Monster Week, beginning Sunday, May 18 at 9PM EP!

14 May

British Boy Makes Monstrous Catfish Catch

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We've seen monstrous catfish catches on Hillbilly Handfishin' and River Monsters, but a British boy caught what many believe is the biggest living freshwater fish in Britain - a 122 pound, 7-foot long catfish.

Fourteen-year-old Will Sutton struggled with the catfish for 45 minutes and eventually was able to bring the fish to shore with the help of his uncle.

They weighed the fish and Sutton got his picture taken with it, then, with the help of his uncle, they released the fish back into the water. A monster catch with a happy ending.

Take a look at a fishing trip that had a not-so-nice of an ending, then tune in for more Monster Week starting THIS SUNDAY at 9PM E/P!

 

13 May

The Legend of the 40-Foot Snake: Titanoboa

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Imagine a snake half the length of a basketball court. This giant serpent looked something like a modern-day boa constrictor, but behaved more like today’s water-dwelling anaconda. The thickest part of its body would be nearly as high as a man’s waist.

It was the largest snake ever, and if its shocking size alone wasn’t enough to dazzle, the fact of its existence may have implications for understanding the history of life on earth and possibly even for anticipating the future.

Fifty-eight million years ago, a few million years after the fall of the dinosaurs, lived the Titanoboa cerrejonensis snake. This king, more than 40 feet long and weighing more than a ton inhabited Cerrejón, a vast, swampy jungle where everything was hotter, wetter and bigger than it is today.

For the past several years, the Titanoboa researchers and other experts have been trying to understand and model the climate that the giant snake lived in.

Titanoboa was a coldblooded animal whose body temperature depended on that of its habitat. Reptiles can grow bigger in warmer climates, where they can absorb enough energy to maintain a necessary metabolic rate. That’s why insects, reptiles and amphibians tend to be larger in the tropics than in the temperate zone. In this view, extraordinary heat is what made the snake a monster. The same principle would explain why ancient turtles and lungfish of Cerrejón were, like Titanoboa, much larger than their modern relatives.

 

Prepare Yourselves ... Tune In to Monster Week, beginning Sunday, May 18 at 9PM EP!

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