Bites at Animal Planet

Monsters

23 Feb

Meet the Bobbit Worm and Get Ready for Nightmares

Bobbit Worm - Dinner time from liquidguru on Vimeo.

There are some creatures that are hard to believe aren't CGI creations from a sci-fi horror film. The bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois) is one of them.

Bobbit worms are giant invertebrates that lie in wait under the sand on the sea floor for an unsuspecting victim to swim or crawl too close. When that happens, they launch themselves upwards at speeds almost too fast for the human eye to see, grab their victim, and drag it to its death under the sand.

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Photo by Rickard Zerpe via Flickr Creative Commons.

Bobbit worms' terrifying mouth parts look like an unholy cross between the mouth of a Predator from the Schwarzeneggar movie and a sarlaac from Star Wars (although fortunately, they don't hunt humans for sport or take thousands of years to digest their prey).

They can grow to lengths of over 9 feet. They are venomous. They got their common name from the fact that because they attack their prey with such speed and force they often cut the fish in half, similar to a what abused wife Lorena Bobbitt did to her husband's man-parts. 

Here's another video showing the full body of a bobbit worm that was discovered lurking in an aquarium tank to add to the nightmare-fuel.

 

 Protect Wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation.

 

29 Jan

Rare Megamouth Shark Discovered, Washed Ashore in Philippines

A rare 15-foot megamouth shark was found washed ashore in the Philippines. The elusive fish was dead on discovery by local fishermen.

There have only been 66 reported sightings of the shark, Megachasma pelagios, with only 60 of those confirmed.  The species was only discovered in 1976.

#ThrowbackThursday: Remember this sighting from last Spring? >> "Rare Megamouth 'Alien Shark' Species Caught Off Japan Coast"

The megamouth can grow to 17 feet in length and they live in very deep ocean waters. The fish has been discovered in Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Megamouth-shark
Photo: YouTube video

The cause of death is yet to be determined by researchers. Keep up with the latest at the Facebook page of the Marine WIldlife Watch of the Philippines, who originally posted photos of the discovery >>

And, (if you speak Tagalog) watch the latest reports from the Philippines:

Continue reading >

22 Oct

Meet the Hellbender

Just in time for Halloween, I introduce you to the hellbender.

No, it's not one of Satan's minions or a CGI monster. It's a type of salamander native to the streams and rivers of eastern North America.  Despite its demonic-sounding name, this spectacular amphibian is completely harmless to people. Yet the species is rapidly declining due to human activity such as deforestation, erosion and chemical runoff into our streams--which is the real horror story.

Watch this video put out by the Forest Service and partners about one of North America's most fascinating and little-known wild animals.

 

The Last Dragons - Protecting Appalachia's Hellbenders from Freshwaters Illustrated on Vimeo.

Here's a close up of the ancient beauty of the hellbender, an animal perfectly adapted to and camouflaged in its environment.

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Photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons. 

Save Appalachian streams and the hellbenders that live in them with National Wildlife Federation.

20 Sep

Don't Want None, WHAAA? GIANT Anaconda Sighting in Brazil

Move over with the buns, huns — these boaters spotted one monster of an anaconda in a river in Brazil   The woman in the boat is understandably FREAKING OUT while the men want to pursue the beast — WHY?? I'm on your side, lady:

WHY, sirs, would you even touch that?! Don't mess with Mama Nature, friends:

Anaconda-brazil

Continue reading >

16 Sep

Loch Ness Monster Flees to England Ahead of Scotland's Independence Vote?

Is ol' Nessie making her own political statement by fleeing to England? Or, could this be a distant English cousin, "Bownessie"? ... Orrrr, just another HOAX?

Just days away from a historic vote to determine Scotland's future as part of the United Kingdom, photos of a lake monster spotted in England have been circulating the interwebs.  The photo was captured at the Lake District in Windermere, where sightings have been reported since 2006.  If it is Nessie, well, she's a good 300 or so miles away from her Scottish home. 

Loch-ness-monster-1-500
Photo Credit: REX USA/Autographer/Rex

Twenty-four-year-old photographer Ellie Williams had set up her camera to snap a few pics on timer of the lovely changing foliage.  Upon reviewing her images, she noticed her serendipitous capture:

Loch-ness-monster-2-500
Photo Credit: REX USA/Autographer/Rex

What do you think? Hoax or REAL?  Post your theory in the Comments section below.

 

In the meantime, watch what Jeremy Wade's investigation into the Loch Ness monster uncovered:

Continue reading >

15 Jul

Testicle-Biting, 'Ball Cutter' Pacu Fish Caught in Michigan Lake

A Michigan woman caught a 14-inch pacu, a "testicle-biting" native of South America and relative of the piranha, in Lake St. Clair last week. 

Last summer, pacu were caught off the coast of Sweden as well. The fish has been dubbed the "ball-cutter" per its reputation of attacking human testicles.

Our own angler Jeremy Wade caught this "nutcracker fish"  when he investigated reports of two men who died from severe hemmoraging after being castrated by something in the water. His search took him to Papua New Guinea. Watch his report: 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed last week's catch by Holley Luft on July 9.  Officials believe the fish may have been dumped in the lake once it became too large for a private aquarium. Pacu can grow to be up to 55 pounds and 3 feet in length in the wild — and could become too aggressive as well for your home tank.

In other words ... maybe NOT get a pacu for the house.

Watch Jeremy Wade's How to Catch a River Monster digital series and learn how he caught the ball-cutter:

Continue reading >

29 Jun

Cutest Attack Ever: Itty Bitty Shark Bites Swimmer, *Grrr*

It's that time of year when shark is on the brain among many summer, ocean lovers. And, though they may often be frightening incidents, here's an encounter from a few months ago that proved to be ... well, ADORABLE:

The swimmer, a man named Carlos, was scuba diving when this tiny shark nipped and grabbed a hold of his swim trunks.  The tenacious little guy was determined and Carlos had to surface and return to their boat to get him to loosen his grasp.

Cutest. Attack. EVER.

Cutest-shark-attack-ever
Photo: YouTube image

Though, as you can see from the video, Carlos is quite lucky the little thing didn't attach a few inches the other way.

Want to see more sharks? Watch our collection of amazing shark videos

Continue reading >

19 Jun

Father & Son Reel in Giant, Record-Breaking White Sturgeon

Apl-bites-giant-sturgeon-500w

When Ron Jarvis and his son Paul traveled from Atlanta, Ga., to British Columbia for a father-son fishing trip, little did they know they were about to make the record books.  On the first day of their three-day excursion along the Fraser River, the duo caught one of the largest white sturgeon ever reeled in.

While it may be common for people to hook one of these giant fish, winning what can be an hour-long battle to reel the monster in is where people often fall short.  Sturgeons are the largest freshwater fish that can be found in North America and are said to live for over 100 years and grow to be over 1,500 lbs. However, after over an hour of work, 19-year-old Paul Jarvis succeeded in reeling in the beast which was over 11 feet long, and approximately 882 lbs.

Continue reading >

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 >

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 >

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