Bites at Animal Planet


15 Sep

Giant Manta Ray Seeks Help from Nearby Divers

C59afTwo divers went on the dive of a lifetime and were able to help a manta ray after the creature swam up to them in Costa Rican waters.

Brazilian Thomaz Monteiro and Canadian Brian Thompson saw the animal in the distance and watched as it swam closer. It was then that they saw that the female manta ray was tangled in rope from a fishing line, The Dodo reported. Thompson was able to remove the line, which left a small wound in her side, according to Ninemsn. Once they managed to free her, the manta ray swam around the divers for about 30 minutes before heading to deeper waters.

Watch the amazing video:

Want to learn more about manta rays? Watch this video!

25 Aug

Moray Eel Eats Lionfish

It's an eel-eat-fish world out there!  Check out this video below of a spotted moray eel attacking and eating a lionfish.  

Pay special attention to the eel's hunting technique. It bites the lionfish in the middle of its body and uses its double set of jaws to both hold and cut the lionfish in half. Then it pulls the lionfish through its coils and tears it in two. It's pretty amazing to watch!


Eel:1, Lionfish: 0!

Continue reading >

8 Jul

Too Cute Tuesday: Germany’s First Walrus Pup is Born


On June 15, an adorable, whiskered male walrus pup was born at Hamburg’s Hagenbeck Zoo. But this isn’t an ordinary walrus pup.

Why? Because he is the first and only walrus to be born in Germany. The zoo’s website states that this group of walruses (the pup’s mother and enclosure mates) came to them about a year ago from the Moscow Zoo to fulfill the dream of Tierpark Hagenbeck to host the only walrus breeding group in Germany. And their dreams have come true! This little guy doesn’t have a name yet, but it will be decided by zoo visitors.

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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?

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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.

9 May

Curious Shark Nibbles on Inflatable Boat

Recently, the crew from Max Animal had the encounter of a lifetime when an inquisitive Great White Shark started chomping on their inflatable boat. According to the crew, they were filming for their youtube channel somewhere off the coast of South Africa when the shark decided to 'investigate' their boat.

While this was undoubtedly a frightening experience, it was one with a happy ending. All parties involved (including the shark!) swamp away unharmed.

Check out the incredible footage below

2 May

Sixty-ton Whale Lands on Canadian Shores, Could Explode


It's problem enough that a 60-ton whale carcass landed on the shores of a small fishing town in Newfoundland, but residents have legitimate concerns over the possibility that the carcass could explode. As explained by The Atlantic, during decomposition, gases such as methane build up inside the carcass. In this particular case, the whale ballooned to nearly double its size.

As of today, it appears that the whale has shrunk in scale and an explosion may not be imminent. How do we know? Marine science communicators at Upwell and Southern Fried Science created a site that provides status updates. You can check it out here.

For now, citizens of the small town will just have to deal with the stench and hope it doesn't impact their tourist season.

For more on the actually quite interesting history of whale explosions, check out The Atlantic's article.

See more Monster content on Monster Week! Starts May 18 at 8PM E/P!

15 Apr

New Device Enables Scientists To Converse With Dolphins

A baby Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and mother swim together in the seas near Curacao, Netherlands Antilles (Photo by Horizons/UIG via Getty Images)

Humans are one step closer to communicating with dolphins, after scientists successfully interacted with dolphins using an underwater audio device, according to news outlets.

Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry, or Chat, enables scientists to emit audio that resembles the sounds dolphins make in the water. While the microphones do not translate the dolphin sounds into human language, it allows scientists to “speak” in clicks and high-pitched whistles that can be used to teach dolphins new commands and vocabulary, according to The Independent.

Continue reading >

21 Mar

Can Lobsters Feel Pain? Scientists Seek an Answer


Have you ever been horrified by the thought of cooking a lobster alive, fearing that it can feel the pain? According to a recent article in the Washington Post, scientist Robert Elwood has been working for the last eight years to uncover whether or not lobsters and other invertebrates do feel pain in the same way humans do.

When conducting tests on various kinds of shellfish, Elwood discovered some interesting results. According to the article, when Elwood brushed acetic acid of the antennae of prawns, the prawns began an intricate, prolonged grooming process - something that was diminished when the prawn were given a local anesthetic before the acid was placed on the antennae.

In the case of brown crabs, when crabs were touched with a brief electric shock, the crabs tended to rub at the spot for "an extended period of time." Similarly, if the crabs claw was removed, as it often is in fisheries, the crabs would rub and pick at the wounded area.

“These are not just reflexes,” Elwood told the Post. “This is prolonged and complicated behavior, which clearly involves the central nervous system.”

Elwood also researched another factor - how much pain is worth it for a great reward? In the case of hermit crabs, crabs that had located an ideal shell for their home were more willing to put up with greater increases in pain before moving out of the better shell. Elwood suggests that this behavior goes far beyond any reflex and could be a true relection that the animals are able to feel pain.

Despite Elwood's findings, the subject of pain remains a problem of consciousness. Pain remains "private to each individual." However, Elwood's findings have inspired change - some scientists have changed how they treat invertebrates in their labs and are encouraging others to do the same.

What do you think? Can lobsters and other invertebrates feel pain?

26 Nov

It’s A River Monsters Roundup, Featuring The Greenland Shark And Skate

It’s been a BIG week for fish in the news and we’re bringing you two incredible stories involving two rare beasts as seen on River Monsters: the skate and the Greenland shark!

It's a monster skate! (Photo Credit: Jeff Rotman/Getty Images)

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