Bites at Animal Planet

River Monsters

24 Jun

Amazonian Pacu Fish Caught in New Jersey Lake (VIDEO)

ABC US News | World News

If you're a fan of River Monsters, you probably already know that the pacu fish is native to the Amazon. But that doesn't explain how one made it into a man-made lake in New Jersey. 

According to ABC News, the pacu is found in many home aquariums. When the fish get too big for home tanks, owners often release them into lakes. However, officials warn against doing this since the fish won't likely survive in the colder temperature waters.

According to River Monsters lore, pacus, who are vegetarians and mostly eat fruit and nuts, have been known to go after certain body parts that may, ahem, closely resemble nuts. Learn more about this in the video below:

See photos of a red-bellied pacu, get more information on the pacu fish, and watch a video from River Monsters below:

11 Jun

Rare 17-Foot Oarfish Washes Up On California Coast


A rare Oarfish washed up on the coast of South Catalina Island earlier this month, CNN reports.

These mysterious sea-serpents almost exclusively swim 1,000 to 3,000 feet below the surface, in the darkest depths of the water. The fish was found early morning June 1 by two conservationist from the Catalina Island Conservancy, and was measured at about 17 feet long, relatively small considering these creatures can reach lengths of 50 feet.

The Oarfish was found dead with its tail missing, and it is unclear exactly how it died. This marks the fifth time in one year that an Oarfish has washed up on California's coast, and the second time it has washed up on Catalina Island. The last time was in 2013 and the carcass measured at about 18 feet.

The Giant Oarfish was first discovered in 1772 by Norwegian biologist Peter Ascanius, and has been the subject of many legends and tales.

To learn more about giant sea creatures, check out our Top 10 Biggest River Monsters, or some of the videos below! 


Continue reading >

6 Jun

It's Raining Sea Monsters in Alaska

Can you imagine going about your daily routine, around your home or out shopping, and then seeing a squirming, toothy sea creature right in your path? This is the sci-fi scenario experienced this past week on dry land in Alaska.

Lampreys, those worm-like sea monsters featured in episodes of River Monsters...

... and the subject of an eerily prescient (and hilarious) movie Blood Lake, have been found in a lawn, a parking lot and other odd locations on land around Fairbanks, Alaska. What's going on?

The leading theory, from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game no less, is that these Arctic Lampreys are being plucked out of the Chena River by gulls, who then drop them as the eel-like critters squirm.


This past week the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), in Fairbanks, received calls about arctic lamprey found...

Posted by Alaska Department of Fish and Game - Official on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

That's bizarre even for Alaska, where nature has been known to throw a few curveballs at its human residents.

RELATED SHOW: Watch a preview of our critically-acclaimed special event, The Last Alaskans, airing Sundays at 8/7c.

3 Jun

Beware of Flying Fish! They Just Knocked a Florida Teen Unconscious

A sturgeon underwater. Photo: Jeff Foott

According to Florida Wildlife Authorities, a local teenager was knocked unconscious while boating with her family on the Suwannee River this past Sunday.

CBS News reports that this is the second incident involving a sturgeon, which can leap more than seven feet out of the water and weigh up to 40 pounds.

After being hit by the fish, which was estimated to be about 6-feet long, Heavyn Nash was treated at a local hospital. Earlier in the month, a sturgeon smashed the windshield of another boat on the Santa Fe River.

Check out this video of Jeremy Wade coming in close contact with an arapaima:

28 May

Monstrous, 552-Pound Goliath Grouper Caught by Kayak Fisherman (VIDEO)

One EXTREMELY ecstatic Florida man reeled in the catch of a lifetime -- and, aboard a kayak no less!  That's right -- he caught a massive, 552-pound Goliath grouper, a fish so monstrous, it snapped his fishing rod. Check out the video: 

The grouper was caught in Sanibel, Fla., by Jon Black of the Crazy Lure Bait & Tackle Shop.  Black was sitting in his kayak when he felt a pretty strong tug at the end of his line -- little did he realize, he was about to reel in this massive beast!

Photo: YouTube image


Black and his bait shop urge on their Facebook page however not to attempt catching such large fish from a kayak as it can prove dangerous. The grouper was released back into the water shortly after it was caught - after some momentous photo opps, of course. 

Captain Ben Chancey and Crazy Lure's owner, Captain Jonathan Black went kayak fishing for major goliaths today, which to...

Posted by Crazy Lure Bait & Tackle Shop on Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Dig into our archives and waatch more impressive grouper catches with Jeremy Wade on River Monsters:

Continue reading >

22 May

The Helicoprion: 'It Doesn’t Get More Badass Than a Big Buzzsaw for a Lower Jaw'

RIVER MONSTERS PREHISTORIC TERROR: JURASSIC SIZED premieres Monday, May 25, at 8/7c.   Find out more about the BADASS Helicoprion in an exclusive feature with the leading experts on the species, below.

Illustration Credit: Ray Troll 2013

Five years ago in the invertebrate paleontology collection in the basement of the Idaho Museum of Natural History, a student of Idaho University Professor Leif Tapanila, Jesse Pruitt, was searching for an undergraduate research project when he stumbled upon the Helicoprion fossil. 

The spiral rock had been an anomaly for over a century, with scientists trying to figure out what was buried beneath its surface. Without the technology of today, however, most fell short, only being able to interpret the fossil for face value. 

But with the help of CT scans and a lot of manual labor, Tapanila and Pruitt along with four other scientists and Alaskan artist Ray Troll, who Tapanila calls "the world expert on Helicroprions," uncovered the age-old mystery.

Together they solved how its jaw works, what its function was and where exactly the whorl, spiral of teeth, were placed in the mouths of these 275 million-year-old sharks. 

So ladies and gents, I give you, the Helicoprion.


The ancient shark lived nearly 275 million years ago, with a body of up to 25 feet long and a jaw stretching two to two and a half feet. And, inside of that jaw, sat a deadly set of teeth.

But its 130 to 150 teeth didn't go from left to right like those of a normal jaw, no, these teeth spiraled outward from the inside.

A human, like many other animals, sheds its teeth, but the Helicoprion keeps every tooth its ever grown. In the center of the diagram are its baby teeth and on the outside are the newer teeth it has created, holding a lifetime of teeth! Tapanila says Helicoprions are "married to these teeth forever." 

Helicoprion jaw

But the shark has a "storage problem," said Leif Tapanila, leader of the Helicoprion research team, because it can't shed its teeth. So instead, it "wraps its bigger newer formed teeth around the smaller teeth," hence the spiral.

Continue reading >

17 May

Like to Fish? Show Off Your #ReelMonster Catch on TV

Tune in tonight at 9/8c for a killer episode of River Monsters. Then stick around for an Aftershow with Jeremy Wade featuring selections of our audience photos posted to #ReelMonster.
Get the full story in our Facebook post embedded below.

Do you like to fish? Then post a picture of your catch to either Instagram, Twitter or the River Monsters Facebook page...

Posted by Animal Planet on Saturday, May 16, 2015

Preview tonight's episode with this highlight of an underwater encounter with a huge crocodile.

7 May

Concerns Raised After Cancerous Tumor Found on Susquehanna River Fish

Tests Confirm Rare Cancer Findingin Susquehanna River Smallmouth Bass SampleWILKES-BARRE, Pa. (May 4) – The...

Posted by Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission on Monday, May 4, 2015

Questions about the safety of fish in Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River have been a topic of concern after a smallmouth bass caught last November tested positive for a large cancerous tumor. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) claims that the finding is an extremely rare occurrence, according to the Tech Times.

The fish caught in November was the only one found with a tumor like this, however, executive director of the PFBC John Arway believes that the finding is enough to suggest that the river may be impaired and that other fish could be in danger. Apparently, the organization has been concerned about the river's health after other smallmouth bass have been found with various lesions since 2005.

Despite the findings, The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to do more tests before qualifying the river as impaired.

According to the article, the Pennsylvania Department of Health states that while fish with carcinoma have not been found to harm humans, they discourage consumption of fish with any visible masses, lesions or sores.

Watch this video of Jeremy Wade catching another type of bass:

6 May

Fisherman Reels In Piranha In Arkansas Lake

A fisherman got the surprise of his life when he reeled in one very unexpected monster on the end of his line. State officials confirmed his catch to be a piranha, caught in Lake Bentonville, Arkansas.

Roger Headley believed the fish to be a perch on initial inspection. But, after a near miss with its razor sharp teeth, he realized this was another more aggressive little beast.

“When I went to take the hook out, he opened up his mouth and tried to bite me," Headley told KNWA Fox 24. "I about messed my pants."  You can watch the full interview here:

Local authorities believe the fish was most likely dumped by pet owners.  It is illegal in Arkansas to do so with certain exotic fish, including piranhas.

See photos of the captured fish:


Continue reading >

29 Apr

Local Man Lands Largest Fish Ever Caught in Oklahoma - and the Bragging Rights That Go With it

Snagged from Lake Texoma, this 8 ft. alligator gar weighed 254 pounds with a girth of 44 inches and is the largest fish...

Posted by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This fisherman will have boasting rights for years to come! Paul Easley managed to wrangle the biggest fish ever caught in Oklahoma history last Thursday.

The unique fish, an alligator gar, weighed in at 254 pounds, was 8 feet long, and had a girth of 44 inches. According to NewsOK, the fish are long-lived with minimal spawning opportunities. Easley caught the fish in Lake Texoma.

Learn more about the catch from the news article or on the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Facebook page.

Watch Jeremy Wade land a giant alligator gar himself:

Watch Jeremy's favorite River Monsters episodes this Sunday at 7/6c, then tune in for an all-new episode at 9/8c!

Monster Week starts Sunday, May 17, at 9/8c!

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