Bites at Animal Planet

River Monsters

12 Nov

Fly Fisherman Catches 57-Inch Muskie

While out fishing on a Minnesota lake, Robert Hawkins caught the fish of a lifetime. He reeled in a 57-inch, 50-pound muskie on his fly fishing rod. On top of that impressive accomplishment, this fish might also set the world record for the biggest muskie caught while fly fishing. Hawkins, owner of a local fly shop, caught this fish on a fly he made himself. After snapping a few photos, the fish was released back into the lake. 

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Muskie, or muskellunge, are a species of large, uncommon, freshwater fish native to North America. They are the largest member of Esocidae, the pike family. 

The current record-holding fish weighed over 54 pounds and was 56 inches long. It hasn't been announced if Hawkins's fish broke the record.

Jeremy Wade dreamt of catching a muskie. Well, he finally did! Watch the catch here:

9 Nov

Three-Eyed Catfish from New York City Raises Interest and Doubts

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Does that look like a third eye to you?

Can 3-eyed fish live outside of Springfield?

Take a look at this catch one individual reeled in from the “putrid toxic waters” of New York City’s Gowanus Canal. The Gothamist first shared the home video, capturing what looks like a third eye near the top of the fish’s head.

Three-Eyed Fish by Gothamist

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3 Nov

Hungry Octopus Flies Out of Ocean to Catch Crabby Meal

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Hudson Hongo from

It's never a good idea to turn your back on the sea, but if there's a hungry octopus lurking below, it could end up being a very grave mistake indeed.

A hair-raising video filmed in Yallingup, Western Australia, demonstrates the fearsome tenacity of one such octopus, who refused to let a little land get between him and his lunch.

"I didn't know why I chose to film this crab, but thought I would try and get closer to it," wrote 30-year-old Porsche Indrisie, who uploaded the video on YouTube, "but something else beat me to it."

Famous for their intelligence, octopuses have demonstrated the ability to open jarsuse tools and even take pictures, so it's no wonder the clever mollusk was able to catch his prey. Few, however, would have guessed how quickly he could do it.

"When I first saw the octopus, I thought it was a black crab it moved so fast," Indrisie told WAToday. "I was just so surprised the octopus could leap out of the water like that."

YouTube/Porsche Indrisie 

No kidding!

Octopi don't just stop at attacking crabs! They can get feisty with divers that get to close! Watch one such encounter here:

29 Oct

Man Touches Stingray Only to Discover She's Pregnant

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Solon Kelleher from

Yanked from the water by a hook in her mouth, a pregnant stingray surprised a family on a fishing trip when they saw what was poking out of her.

Off the shores of Port Charlotte, Florida, in the summer of 2014, the Conger family fishing boat suddenly turned into an operating room when the family noticed small stingers making their way out of the mother's body.

As a father himself, Terry Conger felt compassion for the stingray in labor, so he followed his instincts. And with a few gentle pushes, the fisherman-turned-midwife helped the mother give birth ...

Not once.

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14 Oct

Divers Stumble Upon the Biggest Fish They've Ever Seen

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

Divers off the coast of Portugal got a huge surprise when they happened upon this GIANT sunfish ... and then swam alongside him for a while. 

In this video, first shot back in 2013, the huge sunfish seems totally unbothered as awestruck humans swim beside him, trying to take as many pictures as possible to record this rare and magical sighting. 

Sunfish usually weigh an average of 2,200 pounds, making us humans look tiny when we happen upon them. But their huge size poses no danger to us — sunfish eat mostly jellyfish and crustaceans.

As is clear from the video, this sunfish is perfectly content to swim along peacefully next to the tiny divers. Watch the whole incredible encounter below:

Jeremy Wade is no stranger to giant fish. Check out when he caught a monster banana catfish here!

5 Oct

Rare 'Sofa Shark' Surprises Scientists, Who Promptly Let Him Go

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from

A rare deepwater species has been spotted by scientists in Scotland for the first time in over a decade, offering the world a fresh reminder of what fascinating forms lurk beneath the ocean's depths.

The bizarre-looking fish, known as both a "sofa shark" or "false catshark," was captured by a team of marine biologists from the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme. Weighing in at over 130 pounds, with a length of 6 feet, the rare shark's appearance left scientists stunned.

"I was pretty surprised when it landed in our boat," marine biologist Francis Neat told The Scotsman. "We quickly measured and weighed it before sending it back into the water. We hadn't seen one in ten years."

Read more about the discovery on The Scotsman.

Remember when Jeremy Wade caught a rare Glyphis shark? Relive the moment here!

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21 Sep

Rare Dolphin Spotted Smiling While Swimming Backstroke

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

Emma Schmidt was out patrolling waters off the coast of Australia as usual earlier this month, when she was graced by one of the rarest sights of the natural world.

Amid a pod of humpback dolphins, an incredibly rare snubfin dolphin popped out of the water and smiled.

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Schmidt, a ranger at Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, has only spotted the rare snubfin dolphin twice in the past dozen years. "They are very rare, so this photo was just pure luck," Schmidt told the Townsville Bulletin.

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17 Sep

Giant Wolffish Caught in Japan Near Fukushima Plant


This isn't the poster of the latest SyFy original movie. This is a wolffish, was caught by Hirasaka Hiroshi off the coast of Japan, near the Fukushima nuclear plant. While these fish are known to grow up to 1.2 meters, about 3.9 feet, these particularly creature was 2 meters long, or 6.7 feet. Hiroshi is obviously straining to hold up his catch!

Wolffish are native to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, dwelling in deep waters and feeding on smaller fish. Their behavior is unpredictable, and they have been known to jump on land or into canoes to attack potential prey. 


While there are anomalies in all species, the concern is that the abnormal size of this fish has been caused by the Fukushima plant. The nuclear planet melted down in 2011 after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake. Since the meltdown, fish caught in the waters around the plant have been reported to contain 2,500 times the legal radiation limit

Update: Some sources are saying that this fish's size was not caused by radiation, but instead was just a lucky catch. Since there are less fishermen in the area, this may cause fish to grow larger than normal. 

Jeremy Wade has had his fair share of experiences with the wolffish. Watch one of them here!

11 Sep

Stunning Footage Shows Dolphins Surfing in Unison

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

Gorgeous footage shows wild dolphins truly know how to enjoy themselves.

Off the coast of Australia, the video, shot by Riggs Australia with a drone camera, reveals a pod of dozens of dolphins surfing side by side.

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8 Sep

Pink Dolphin Spotted Again in Louisiana Shipping Channel

If you're ever in Louisiana and find yourself on the Calcasieu River, keep your eyes peeled for something pink swimming in the water. That something pink is Pinky the dolphin, a rare sight for even seasoned biologists. She was first spotted as a calf eight years ago by Captain Erik Rue of Calcasieu Charter Service. Since then, he has seen her hundreds of times, swimming with her pod and behaving like any other dolphin.

The most logical explanation for her appearance is albinism, which is further supported by her red eyes. However, most animals with albinism are white, not pink. This has lead some to believe her coloration may be caused by a rare birth defect. 

Either way Pinky is a stunning sight. Captain Rue told WGNO he has even seen her mating so there's a chance another pink dolphin will soon call this river home.

While Pinky is a bottlenose dolphin, there is a species of pink dolphin that call the Amazon River home. Watch Jeremy Wade encounter a pod here:


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